Rumors have been swirling about a new PlayStation handheld console for the past few days. At first, it looked like Sony might be working on a PS Vita 2, a follow-up to its beloved but poorly supported handheld. Our hopes were further dashed by the report Insider Gaming:. According to the report, the rumored PlayStation handheld (codenamed Q Lite) will require a PS5 to run and play games via Remote Play.
If this is true, then Sony is wasting its best chance to dominate the market.
What does PS Vita 2 look like?
The report Insider Gaming: claims that early prototypes of the unannounced device “look a lot like a PlayStation 5 controller, but with a massive 8-inch LCD touchscreen in the center.” They have volume buttons, speakers and an audio input jack. Q Lite also requires a constant internet connection for adaptive streaming up to 1080p and 60FPS.
Considering how ergonomic the DualSense controller is, I’m personally impressed with this design. Sony has made some of the most comfortable handhelds of all time, and combining that experience with the look and feel of the DualSense should be a chore.
But it’s not the design that bothers me. It’s the functionality.
We are currently living in the golden age of mobile video games. Nintendo paved the way with the Switch back in 2017, Valve turned the industry upside down with the Steam Deck in 2022, and in between countless third-party manufacturers have flooded the market with affordable retro handhelds that can play any classic game. which you can play. throw at them.
For under $100, you can get a retro handheld that can play every PS1 game ever made. If you load up your Steam Deck with emulators and roms, it’s entirely possible to go through most of the PS2 and PS3 library from anywhere on the planet, too.
Then think about how crazy everyone went for Nintendo’s Classic Edition consoles in 2016 and 2018. There’s a real and growing market for these classic games, but the best Sony can offer right now is a subscription to PlayStation Plus Premium. And by the way, if you want to use that service, you have to pay $499 for the PS5 first.
Sony may launch its own Steam Deck
I don’t want or need an always-on, streaming-only handheld. I’m already using Remote Play to stream my PS5 games to my laptop, tablet, phone and Steam Deck with no issues. My DualSense controller connects to all of those devices flawlessly. Why should I pay hundreds for a dedicated device that does the same thing?
That’s what I’d be hopelessly tempted to spend money on, a dedicated PlayStation handheld that plays all my favorite PlayStation games from consoles past.
One of the PSP’s greatest assets was the PSOne Classics library. PSP owners not only enjoyed a huge library of handheld exclusive games, but they could also download dozens of classic PS1 games from the PlayStation Store, such as: Crash Bandicoot, Siphon filter, Turn 2, Wild weapons, Suicoden, Final Fantasy Tacticsand: Tomb Raider.
Why not release an official handheld with access to the full PS1, PS2 and PS3 libraries? Sure, licensing issues will affect availability, and there are some games that Sony might not want to touch, but if thousands of gamers are going to find games online for free anyway, why not give them a convenient way to pay for them?
Nintendo has effectively turned the Switch into a portable NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and N64 with Nintendo Switch Online. Switch owners pay $49.99 a year for access to a fairly limited selection of retro games. I have no doubt that PlayStation fans would do the same with a retro-focused PlayStation handheld.
One obvious solution. Combine the two ideas. The Q Lite probably won’t be powerful enough to play PS5 games, but PS5 owners can stream them with Remote Play. Meanwhile, when the console isn’t online, Q Lite owners can play dozens of PS1, PS2 and PS3 games purchased from the PlayStation Store.
Steam Deck has been an overwhelming success for Valve, giving PC gamers a relatively affordable and convenient way to play less demanding PC games everywhere. I have a feeling Sony would be in for a treat if they did the same for PlayStation games.