Another week passes and, once again, the future for PlayStation 5 gamers looks brighter than ever.
Not only has a huge new wave of PS5 stock landed in the USA and the UK, meaning that thousands more gamers have started to enjoy PS5 games, but new rumors have surfaced about what they can expect from the PlayStation VR 2.
A long-buried hint has also been unearthed that, potentially, points to the secret development of a PlayStation Portable 5G (PSP 5G) handheld companion console for PS5.
Both those pieces of next-gen hardware, if brought to market, will be bad news for Microsoft and its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, as they will both deliver experiences that the North American console maker cannot – virtual reality and handheld console gaming.
And, considering just how successful the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite have been over the past four years, it shows that there is hunger in the gaming community for quality handheld gaming experiences.
Unlike Nintendo, though, who is now paying catch-up with an incoming rumored release of a Nintendo Switch Pro console, which will offer enhanced graphical performance, over at Sony’s headquarters it has a very different special weapon lined up that looks set to make the PSP 5G fly, and rub salt in the wound of Xbox gamers worldwide.
That special weapon? PlayStation Now, the digital Netflix-for-games streaming service that allows gamers to stream hundreds of games directly to their consoles. And, consoles is definitely the apt word here, as the beauty with PlayStation Now is that it would be the perfect partner for a PSP 5G.
Just think about it. A gamer eagerly unwraps their brand new PSP 5G console and turns it on, selects PS Now from the home screen, and then immediately starts streaming hundreds of games from the cloud seamlessly thanks to rapid 5G connection to their new toy.
No buying separate games, no waiting for games to install – just maximum gaming, immediately. And, what’s more, as no local hardware is needed to power these awesome graphical experiences, gamers will not just be playing portable versions of their favourite games, but the actual games themselves.
Fancy a spot of Cyberpunk 2077 on the commute to work? No problem. Want to explore the massive open world of Horizon Forbidden West during your lunch break at work? With a 5G-enabled, streaming AAA games from the cloud would be unlocked.
And, what’s more, with PS Remote Play, a PSP 5G would also unlock the ability to play games that were installed on the gamer’s home PS5 console. Instead of streaming the games from the cloud, the games would simply be streamed from their always-on PlayStation 5. This would also mean that rather than gamers required to buy extra games to play on PSP 5G, they could simply access their own pre-existing, pre-bought libraries. This would make the value proposition for gamers a lot more attractive when picking up the handheld, and really contrast Nintendo’s approach.
And, as T3 has noted before, the technologies detailed here, both in terms of hardware such as 5G and in terms of software like PS Now and the wider PlayStation ecosystem, Sony already has it all in its wheelhouse. And while Microsoft does have an excellent game streaming service of its own, it does not have Sony’s mastery of 5G or its heritage in producing a handheld consoles.
Nothing has been confirmed by Sony about a PSP 5G, naturally, and everything we’ve heard so far is firmly in the realm of leaks and unsubstantiated rumor, so as great as the scenario above sounds, we recommend gamers take it with a healthy dose of salt as it may not happen. But there is no doubting that the more you think about the factors in play, the more it makes sense that the PS Vita was not Sony’s last foray in to handheld gaming.
The technology, software and market appear to be there from an outsider perspective, and there’s no doubting that such an offering this generation would help bolster Sony’s position against the Xbox Series X in the current console war, which has seen the Japanese firm take a greater than 2-to-1 lead in terms of console sales into it from last gen.
Here’s hoping we hear something concrete soon, as the idea of getting apocalyptic in God of War Ragnarok while out and about is truly mouth-watering.
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