Monday, June 18, 2018

Sony's portable PlayStation options as PS5 and Android move on

Sony across its various divisions has made a lot of changes recently, from publishing on Nintendo Switch to changing tack on Android Home development, capped off by soft confirmation of a 2020 launch and inevitable leaks about the power of PlayStation 5 (aka PS4ProProPro).

With my little analytic head on, this creates a few interesting avenues for PlayStation (or wider Sony) if it is to reinvigorate its portable gaming plans.

The most obvious is that Sony, by launching a new Android Home app, could feature Remote Play as a key function, rather than just an extra app. Sure, Sony has tiny smartphone sales but they are still higher than Vita. But, if it rolls out the app across the wider Android universe, rather than just supporting recent Xperia devices, it could gain some traction.

Add in a specific, but flexible, Vita-style PS4-controller dock (rather than this kludge) and things suddenly get interesting. How about an official Vita emulator for Android, locked into PSN to go with it? Given Sony's piracy panic, that's perhaps a step too far.

Against this is Sony's anally-retentive control of the ecosystem and hatred of other devices (see the whole Fortnite on Switch thing!)  Talking of Switch, it would seem likely that the Unties project with Tiny Metal on Switch is dead, one release in six months and no great reviews or hype. Still, Unties continues to publish on PS4, so it could revisit the Switch, if the right Sony game turns up. Will that nudge more portable gamers to Switch, it can't hurt - which is why Sony probably won't do it!

A little sister for PlayStation 5?

Finally, there's the road to PS5. The lack of a Vita 2 created a massive hole in Sony's release schedule, not filled by the PS4 Pro or PSVR. Now the company is on the move to PS5 with its AMD next-gen graphics architecture Navi and Zen CPU, specifically for the Japanese giant’s upcoming console, there are some interesting developments.

AMD's first road map for Navi highlighted its scalability as a key feature. The 7-nano meter technology would be ideal for mobile, so there's a slim to fair chance that AMD could produce a comparable streaming-level architecture or reduced power/core version for HD portable gaming alongside the full-fat console version.

Developers could code once, deploy to both, with the smaller format automatically culling visual features for portable performance that few would notice. Failing that a kick-ass WiFi or 5G solution would make streaming direct off the console trivial, now that Remote Play is a fairly mature (if you have the right broadband) technology.

Likely none or maybe one of these ideas could come to fruition. Nothing sounds like a PS Vita 2, but a PlayStation 5 Remote Play device sounds a reasonably compromise considering the company's recent softer tone to on-the-go gaming.


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  2. I will repeat again even if you ban my comment: Each time you talk nonsense after 7/8 years reading this blog on a new Sony's handheld, nothing happens. Why? Because you talk more about bubbles of air over the sky than the pure reality. After all these years after running 24/7 each new notice about Vita, i can understand you still dream about this, but even make you more useless when you should have a better opinion about how Sony dont give a fuck about us anymore.

    Sony is totally lost over gaming handheld. They have studios developing Android/iOS games stuff that are getting delayed over and over again (AKA pure App Store shit / endless runner / crap shooter control stuff to feed casual users), that cant meet the quality over a dedicated gaming handheld.

    They still have the Xperia Play license to do a new one and they havent give a f* about it since 2012 to not mess with Vita sales. Now is 2018 and they still dont have a clue, not even about gaming handheld, but even with their "i was great but now im pure mess" Smartphone division, that is releasing pure shit products in the last two years (except the Xperia Premium one maybe).

    Get over it, Vita is finally turning from a Walking Dead console to an "Buried underground corpse" console. Switch is getting all the indies and they play extremly nice on Switch (plus pure 720p HD beyond the OLED/LCD difference).

    What you should have writen is a total big chronicle like i did on this blog years ago about how this handheld turned into the worst gaming console management example ever made on 21th Century with WiiU.

  3. I never knew that Sony also made mobile phones and game consoles, which sounds very novel, thank you for sharing the information.