Notebookcheck Logo

New Sony PlayStation handheld reportedly in development with possible PS4 backward compatibility and potential PS6-generation launch

Sony launched the original PS Vita in 2011. (Source: Sony/Unsplash/edited)
Sony launched the original PS Vita in 2011. (Source: Sony/Unsplash/edited)
Sony could be in the early stages of developing a new handheld console per the latest report from Moore’s Law is Dead. Sony’s latest portable gaming device, the PS Portal, only streams games over the network leaving players who want a truly portable system like the PSP of yesteryear only with options from third-parties like Nintendo Switch, Valve, and ASUS to name a few.

If we discount the PlayStation Portal as a true handheld console, since the device can’t run games locally, Sony hasn’t produced a standalone portable device since discontinuing the PlayStation Vita in 2019. It now appears that Sony is planning to reenter the standalone handheld market with full force with the purported development of a new PlayStation handheld device.

According to serial leaker Moore’s Law Is Dead, Sony is in the initial stages of developing a new handheld console with a custom AMD APU. The AMD APU powering the portable gaming system is reportedly in the “High Level Design” phase which means the device could be “at least” two years away from release.

The leaker’s source also suggested that Sony has contracted AMD to develop the silicon for the PlayStation 6. On the topic of the PS6, there is a possibility that the new PS handheld doesn’t belong to the PS5 generation and could instead launch alongside the PS6 as a less powerful portable PS6 console for the Japanese market.

Moving on, the PlayStation handheld, which the MLID jokingly terms “Vita 2”, might have a 18 Compute Unit GPU for retaining backward compatibility with PS4 games. The device could possibly also run PS5 games after the developers deliver a “pro-like patch” for the titles. Speculating further, MLID’s source suggested that the “Vita 2” may have a 1.8 GHz or lower variable GPU clock like the PS5.

A word of caution here, while the leaker’s source confirmed AMD’s involvement in the PlayStation 6 development and the development the PlayStation handheld, the specs like the CU count and clock frequency for the handheld are “speculation”. So, take it as such.

PS Vita’s failure and what "Vita 2" needs to succeed

Assuming Sony is indeed developing a new handheld console for natively running titles, the company needs to seriously look and take a lot of lessons from the failure of the PS Vita.

After the success of the PlayStation Portable (PSP), Sony launched the PlayStation Vita as a next-generation portable device that the company hoped would become a mainstay. The PS Vita had all the features one would expect from a modern handheld system of the time. For instance, the PS Vita had an OLED display when even most smartphones didn’t have OLED screens. The device also had a touch screen, front and rear cameras, two analog sticks, and Wi-Fi/3G connectivity.

Coupled with a launch roster that promised a mix of PS exclusives like Uncharted and Little Big Planet and third-party staples such as Rayman Origins, the PS Vita was looking destined for success. Alas, as we now know, the PS Vita failed to repeat the success of the PSP due to a variety of reasons.

Aside from the proliferation of mobile devices as gaming handhelds and stiff competition from Nintendo 3DS, the lack of killer games was the chief reason why the PS Vita failed to attract the attention of gamers. In addition to third-party developers, Sony also scaled back the support for PS Vita resulting in a lackluster library.

There was also the issue of expensive proprietary memory cards that were a must because the PS Vita, aside from the 2000 model, didn’t come with any internal storage.

So if there ever is a "PS Vita 2", Sony needs to make sure that there is a vast library of amazing games to play. The handheld also needs to be relatively easy to afford as the PS Vita was, compared to the Nintendo 3DS, pretty expensive at $250.

Let’s hope Sony is developing a new handheld console as portable gaming systems are marking a resurgence with the launch of machines like the Steam Deck, ROG Ally, and Legion Go, to name a few.

(Source: Moore's Law Is Dead on YouTube)
(Source: Moore's Law Is Dead on YouTube)


Moore's Law Is Dead on YouTube, Teaser image: Sony/Unsplash (edited)

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 02 > New Sony PlayStation handheld reportedly in development with possible PS4 backward compatibility and potential PS6-generation launch
Fawad Murtaza, 2024-02- 2 (Update: 2024-02- 2)