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PSP2, Switch 2 and an Xbox handheld... a brighter portable future?

New Vita successor rumours, bright specs, dim idea

On the same day Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari rumours rampaged across the net, us portable gaming types got our own top-level gossip. However, while the F1 champion's move is now confirmed, it could be years until we hear anything, if ever, about a proper PSP or Vita successor. 

The "evidence" comes from a tech-led article on a website, based on a leak discussed in a YouTube video (around the 13 minute mark). But when you hear phrases like "early development", "apparently planning" and "hasn't been greenlit," you know that us Sony portable fans are likely on a hiding to nothing. 

PlayStation Vita Future
Whatever any possible future Vita/Portable looks like, 
practicality says it can't be too far from the Portal

The silicon mentioned, based on the leaks out of AMD is an 18-compute-units core processor running around the 1.8GHz mark. Enough grunt to run PS4 games and perhaps patched low-res PS5 titles locally instead of streaming them to the PlayStation Portal. 

Further gibberings suggest the next-next generation portable will come out around the time of the PlayStation 6 for the Japanese market, so there's years worth of roadmap changes, battery tech and screen advances (yumm, MiniLED) to come before any decisions (or not) are made. 

With Xbox possibly working on a portable system and future generation Steam Decks and endless generic handhelds on the way, the market is chaotic and pushing up the power curve. That likely removes the need for a reasonably-priced, broad-audience, system where the Nintendo, PSP and Vita found their fans over the years.  

Processing Power on the Go

AMD's latest mobile chipsets, as part of the Ryzen 8000 range, include a 16-core Zen 4-powered Dragon Range with an RDNA 3 graphics core. Can thermal wizards cram one of those into a portable without the plastic melting? Downclock it enough and thermals shouldn't be a problem. 

AMD Ryzen zen 5

With even zippier, denser, Zen 5 chips taking flight later this year, that would put any future portable in the realms of competing against a third-generation Steam Deck, rather than an mass-market affordable, family-friendly gaming box. And getting the price down to mass-market levels would be some unholy magic. 

Then there's RAM, with Steam Deck packing 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Memory performance is making tiny increments, so there's not too much to worry about here, but the more on-die memory there is, the smaller the overall package.

AMD definitely has the power and resources to find a portable sweet spot for any future Sony hardware. So let the tinkering commence, and let's not talk about this for about three years until there's something more solid to discuss! 

Even then, developers are unlikely to code specific titles for a niche gadget (based on Vita sales) when the could just release PS4 and pruned PS5 games. Most of the devs that the Vita inspired to publish on console have long since gone multi-platform. 

WiFi7 router

That makes any further device questionable, especially as PlayStation could add new features to the Portal through firmware upgrades over time to build up the temptation factor, including PS+ streaming, all-new services and access to other stores (given Apple is having to open their walled garden up). And with WiFi 6 in the PS5 and WiFi 7 routers (MSI has a good tech explainer) starting to ramp up, the current streaming gremlins some Portal owners have could soon be ironed out, even as many owners are quite happily streaming from anywhere. 

Currently playing on my Vita/PS4/PS5