PlayStation Should Consider Another Attempt At Handheld Gaming

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The PSP Was Unmatched As A Handheld!

Story Highlights
  • The popularity of Sony’s PSP surged rapidly following its launch, leaving a profound impact on the handheld gaming industry at that time.
  • Unfortunately, Sony abandoned handheld gaming after the PS Vita failed.
  • Despite past setbacks, Sony should re-enter the handheld scene and aim to dominate the handheld market as it did in the past.

Sony’s PSP debuted 18 years ago and was highly successful. It experienced strong sales due to its amazing hardware capability, which practically enabled console-level gaming on the go, leading to its rapid popularity.

Despite the PSP’s successful run and global sales exceeding 80 million units, it was regrettably discontinued. After releasing the PS Vita, Sony did not find similar success in the handheld market.

Nevertheless, I want to see another PlayStation handheld and contend that Sony made a misguided decision to abandon handheld gaming.

Why it matters: The PSP showed Sony left this market with untapped potential. Another console with similar ambition could win many fans over again.

PS Vita Anniversary

The PS Vita Killed Sony’s Ambitions

The exact reason for Sony’s decision to abandon handheld gaming remains unknown. Many assert it was an attempt to recoup losses after the PS Vita flopped and the PS3 failed to make a name for itself during the early days.

The PS Vita faced several challenges leading to its lack of success, including its high cost and the expanding mobile market. In 2018, Sony further declared that there would be no successor to the Vita/PSP handhelds.

However, the PS Vita’s underwhelming performance doesn’t necessitate Sony abandoning the market altogether. In the past, PlayStation was an innovator in this market, offering class-leading games on the go.

PlayStation Project Q-Lite Portal handheld Streaming Device PS5

Why Sony Should Create Another Handheld

While Nintendo is the sole competitor in handhelds among the big three today, PlayStation needs to realize that this market is ripe with opportunities. No other console shows these possibilities better than the Nintendo Switch, which is now the third-best-selling system in the US.

Even Microsoft seems to be considering a venture into this market in the future. The closest thing to a modern gaming handheld from Sony is the recently launched PlayStation Portal.

However, this is a streaming device that serves as a unique accessory. It does not boast an entirely separate library like the PSP, PS Vita, or the Nintendo Switch.

Unlike other gaming giants, a PlayStation handheld would be able to offer more capable hardware sold at a loss due to the massive software market of PlayStation. In such a scenario, PlayStation could produce one of the most complete handheld consoles.

Like the PSP, a new handheld could also offer more experimental games. With increasing budgets, this approach could serve as a testing ground for PlayStation, bringing back some of the charm of older games that many feel Sony has lost today.

The handheld market is more competitive than ever today. Apart from Nintendo and Valve, Lenovo, Asus, and even MSI have recently joined the industry. This market has gone through a new revolution, and there is still time for more manufacturers to join in.

As unlikely as it may be, I hope to see PlayStation jumping in again to add further excitement to handheld gaming moving forward.

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