There are so many memorable moments that I had with my PSP that I could make several features just to cover some of them. Sony and the PSP brand offered a much different flavor than any Nintendo portable console did. Big exclusive IPs like God of War on the go, at that time, was simply mesmerizing. Experiences like LocoRoco and Patapon were revolutionary and showed that not only Nintendo was able to charm us with impactful on the go experiences. This was a time before mobile gaming hit off on iOS and Android. Then, the PlayStation Vita made its debut and it changed the game. But, even with Vita in the picture, Sony should revisit handheld gaming, just not yet.
PlayStation Vita was amazing, and I miss it
PlayStation Vita was a behemoth in regards hardware when it was unveiled. The idea it represented, and no, I am not talking about the ‘Vita means life’ monicker; was a revolutionary one. It mixed a graphics powerhouse with truly inventive input methods like the use of a touch screen and a back touch panel. Tearaway and Little Big Planet Vita were two prime examples of how great those ideas were. Sadly, support was lacking and it was either keeping PS3 relevant or making Vita a successful console. All in all, the reasons behind its demise aside, I miss the console and wished Sony still supported it.
Sony should return to handheld gaming
This is a statement based not only on the nostalgia factor or personal preference. Handheld gaming, even in a smartphone era is possible, the 3DS proved it and now Switch hybrid nature cements that idea even further. After PS3 and PS4, Sony has plenty of experience in getting third-party support for its platforms. Games like Persona 5 and Bloodborne prove that fact. With that support and their roster of exclusive IPs, Sony could take the Vita concept from the ashes and rebrand it to deliver what we all wanted, a true successor to the PSP.
Timing is everything
Vita was a victim of this. The timing was not great for Vita. Nintendo was going strong with the 3DS and PS3 was struggling to compete with Xbox 360. It became like a backburner project, instead of a priority for Sony. Now is definitely not the time for Sony to jump into handheld gaming again. Nintendo Switch is going strong and with the Nintendo Switch Lite they intend to repeat a handheld market dominance similar in scale to what they achieved with the 3DS and 2DS. Aside from the competitive scene, PS5 is launching next year and that is where Sony’s money is right now.
If PS5 launch follows the same trend of success that the PS4’s launch had, after a couple of years, it would be a great position for Sony to consider jumping back again to handheld gaming. With PS5 on a solid path, Sony wouldn’t find itself in the position Vita once was. If they went for it, this new device could fill the gap in everything that Vita promised to be, but ultimately failed to due to the lack of support. It would worth the time to see what Sony can do with the available technology and their unique vision of handheld gaming. Especially now that they have a solid exclusive IP roster.
Surely, that right time is far from now, but Sony should definitely revisit what once was a strong point in their line-up. They have proved to have enough talent and resources to do amazing things, for both hardware and software in the handheld realm. Their studios have showcased amazing portable renditions of masterpieces like God of War and Killzone. They have the recipe and once, they had a great vision. Hopefully, someday they’ll come back and bring that vision to life.