Thursday, October 2, 2014

PlayStation 4 Portable, the only Sony device that makes any sense

Okay, Sony has ditched the Vita in the west, that much is clear and any adult has to accept that (perhaps with a small tantrum along the way). There's also little sign of first-party activity in Japan, as not seen at TGS and other events.

So, Sony is putting everything into the PS4 for its first year (which is almost up)! That's fine - but what comes after that? The PS4 continues to struggle in Japan as the nation is portable obsessed.

Also, the Vita will soon be three years old. If it isn't selling as a Remote Play machine (25% of very little is still very little), that doesn't mean its a bad idea.

UPDATE: If Sony won't others will, check out this Japanese portable unit that takes a Vita TV, gives it a neat 7-inch screen, four triggers and all the buttons needed to create a proper Remote Play experience.

So, then, the logical solution and conclusion for both markets - PlayStation 4 Portable.

There are two options here, the cheap one, or Sony could go the whole log and try and cram a PS4 into a portable case, but that would probably bankrupt the company. So, let's go with the budget option:
  • A full-HD 6-inch screen (as found in the latest phablets). 
  • The DualShock 4's controls built around that screen. Big, but should be do-able (the Tegra X1 perhaps, or ARM A15).
  • Inside, updated around the existing Vita technology with processor clock boosts to handle the higher resolution screen.
  • Used and sold as a PS4 Remote Play device.
  • Vita backward compatible, true Android support
  • "Vita Plus" HD games and better streaming media support.
  • Priced around $250/€199/£160 to start
That way, Sony can still sell a portable to the rabid Japanese market, but also drag the PS4 along with it. The west gets the Remote Play machine it deserves and Vita owners can upgrade, with devs able to create better Vita games in HD, if the market picks up. If it doesn't folks play Android or back catalogue games when Remote Streaming isn't an option. 

Of course, Sony lacks the money to launch a rubber band at the moment, but in the big scheme of things, if there is to be another portable, perhaps this is it. 

2 comments:

  1. its as if you havent seen Sony's PreTGS show this year. Sony Japan sure as hell is making games for the vita.

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  2. Third parties are, but Sony are not - where was Gravity Rush 2 or any new title?

    The last title Sony Japan produced (not developed) was Murasaki Baby. Before that, Soul Sacrifice and Freedom Wars were largely developed by third-parties that Sony coordinated.

    Sony has so few first party studios left that there's no resources for new Vita games, it all has to come from outside.

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