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Thoughts on a new Sony handheld


Would you want Sony to make a handheld in the future?  

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  1. 1. Would you want Sony to make a handheld in the future?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Maybe

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This is just my idea for what can be implemented in the future for Sony's new handheld (That is, If they ever release one)

To start off, the PS Vita is a great handheld console, possibly the best handheld console till date. The lack of good games and the high initial price of the Vita and the overpriced proprietary memory cards led to its early death.

The lack of well-known franchises like the GTA series, Call of Duty series (Not that crap game made by Nihilistic), Need for Speed, Fifa, Assassin’s Creed (multi-platform version), Battlefield series etc. also contributed to the Vita not being well known. It should have been marketed more. Some people would still mistake it for a PSP ! :shock: Believe me, this has happened to me.

For example, if the vita had multi-platform titles like Battlefield etc. then it would have been recognized more and would have resulted in more hardware sales.

My vision for Sony handhelds going forward is that compatibility should be the first and foremost priority. I will elaborate this further below.

Now according to my knowledge, the PS4 uses 2 separate custom graphic APIs - a low level GNM and a high level GNMX API. It also has Sony's shader language called PSSL (DX11.2/OpenGL 4.4 level). So basically the PS4 API is similar to DirectX and OpenGL.

This is where compatibility plays a major role. Now we know that Nvidia's Tegra X1 is compatible with Unreal Engine 4, DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, CUDA and OpenGL ES 3.1. Nvidia stressed the point that porting PC games over to the TX1 would be a piece of cake. Nvidia have successfully ported pc games such as Doom 3 BFG, Half Life 2 to their shield console with TX1 under its hood. They also demoed Crysis 3 running on TX1 hardware. So I’m confident porting won’t be an issue. The PS4 is also nothing but a PC right? It has modified APIs which the TX1 can theoretically support. So Tegra could run PS4 games right? No.

This is because the TX1 is not anywhere near the PS4s performance. It is around halfway between PS3 and PS4 performance. Nvidia claims it has around 1 TFLOPs FP16 performance. For reference Xbox One has 1.3 TFLOPs FP32 and PS4 has 1.8 TFLOPs FP32 performance.

In the future, say late 2017 when Nvidia release a Volta based Tegra SoC which is power efficient, doesn't need active cooling and can be capable of performance similar to the original PS4 (Not PS4 Pro), Sony can adopt this chip to design the new PS Vita 2 (or PSP3, whatever they name it) which can play PS4 games at a reduced resolution (say 720p).

Because truth be told, everyone would love to have a handheld which can play console quality games. Just look at when Sony announced remote play for the PS Vita with the PS4 which caused the vita hardware sales to increase.

So due to compatibility with DirectX and OpenGL, the PS Vita 2 can also use an API similar to the PS4. Due to this, the developers will have to just port a game properly to the new vita hardware. This will lead to all major 1st party and 3rd party titles being ported to the new handheld. Since all multiplatform titles will be available for the new handheld, there won't be a lack of games for it. And since games can be ported, the development cost is reduced.

And to the people who say it will hurt PS4 sales, it won't. In fact, people would use the new handheld when they're traveling for the same experience the PS4 offers. When people are at home, they would rather use the PS4 Pro on their 4K TVs. Sony could discontinue the PS4 Slim in 2018 when the new handheld launches and sell only the PS4 Pro which could by that time have a reduced price of $350 or something. Since the handheld will be able to play all the games at the level of the original PS4, Sony can price it at about $250. This price for a hardware that can ACTUALLY play PS4 games can be justified. Also cross buy could be implemented in a much better way.

This may seem impossible now but I’m predicting by 2018 it can be achievable. These are just some my ideas that I think could make the new handheld a success for Sony as well as for us, gamers.

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Eh, I'm not sure about it personally I liked the PSP, and I was ok with the Vita until I heard they practically abandoned it, I'm just not ready to waste my time/money with a new handheld console from Sony if I'm not sure whether, or not they'll actually support it during it's lifetime, I might just be happy with my HENkaku machine...

Then again if it turns out to be a great 1st party supported console after a year I'll consider it a possibility, personally.

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