With Valve’s introduction of the Steam Deck, the gaming handheld, the eyes once again turned to portable game consoles. Nintendo’s Switch has also been on the market for a long time and has recently received an OLED display update. Well, should we expect a new step from Sony, which is the star of a period when it comes to handheld consoles, but has withdrawn from this market in recent years? Will the Japanese giant, which fell into silence after PSP and PS Vita, make a return to handheld consoles? In this article, we will try to find answers to these questions.
Sony’s handheld consoles so far are basically divided into 2 different models. PlayStation Portable (PSP) followed by PlayStation Vita (PS Vita). By looking at the pasts of these two handheld consoles, we can try to assert the future.
PlayStation Portable (PSP)
Andrew House, former Leader and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, claimed in a Game Informer article published in 2019 that the PSP was “really doing well, especially in the Japanese market.” Indeed, the PSP broke ground as Sony’s first attempt at the handheld console market. Despite competing with the Nintendo DS, the PSP has enjoyed both critical and commercial success, selling over 80 million copies since launch and even surpassing some consoles in Japan.
The sales success of the PSP gave Sony the audacity for a new model despite the competition in the handheld console market. And the PlayStation Vita appeared.
PlayStation Vita (PS Vita)
Jim Ryan, Sony’s current Leader and CEO, once again said of the PS Vita in a Game Informer article: “PlayStation Vita has been amazing on so many sides and the actual gaming experience has been phenomenal. But frankly, we’re talking about a business that we’re no longer in . . . ”
Despite being technically perfect, the PS Vita failed to perform commercially. With the rise of portable gaming and the Nintendo 3DS and later the Nintendo Switch eclipsing it, the PS Vita received neither Sony nor the public interest.
Any Hope for a New Sony Handheld Console?
Just as the PSP has been a heartbeat for the PS Vita, the PS Vita has become a handbrake for any potential new Sony handheld console. If we look at Jim Ryan’s statement above, it seems unlikely that Sony will launch a handheld console anytime soon.
Despite this hopeless image, rumors of a new PSP are not stopping. One of them is that Sony is working on a powerful PSP focused on 5G technology. Moreover, those who make this claim also say that the time frame is appropriate. Sony released the PSP in 2004 and the Vita in 2011. So it might be time to see Sony announce a new handheld console. However, if we’re looking at a seven-year mid-release pattern, Sony is a few years late.
Will Sony Handheld Console Return to Business?
We said above; We don’t expect to see a successor to the PS Vita in the next few years. So is Sony never going back to the handheld console business? Will definitely return!
How can we be so sure? As usual relying on Sony2’s handheld console fans. . . Despite the PS Vita’s poor performance, Sony has a dedicated fan base that would like to see and buy a new portable PlayStation. And it should not be forgotten that many successful companies, such as Sony, never say never. If a new opportunity arises, Sony is sure to return to the handheld console market.
It is also worth noting that; The PSP was proof that Sony could achieve great commercial success with a handheld console. The Vita, on the other hand, was an example of the technology giant’s future-oriented design. There’s no reason Sony couldn’t combine the pros of its previous consoles to develop a new product that is successful in this market. But that probably won’t happen in the next few years.