Rumors are swirling all over the internet about the leaked report of a new PlayStation handheld being in development. If released this would be the successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation Vita. While the PSP was relatively well received, the Vita was not. If the new system is actually in development, there are a few features I would like to see. Let’s dive into the wish list for the new Sony PlayStation handheld.
PlayStation Handheld Wish List
Starting things off on the software side of the new handheld, according to various leaks the new handheld will be exclusively remote play. While this is far from confirmed and many things can change, this has been a controversial feature since the leak hit the internet. If the reports are true, the new handheld will require a constant internet connection to function. Gamers will be able to remotely play games they have on the PlayStation 5 but will not be able to run games independently on the new handheld.
While remote play is a great feature, and we have seen advancements in the form of mobile phone controllers such as Backbone, Razer Kishi, Gamestir, and others, having a PlayStation handheld for just PlayStation remote play seems like a waste of a handheld release. While having the ability to game on the go and pick up right where you left off on the PlayStation 5 is an appealing concept, it is going to need some other selling points to make the handheld worth the cost.
Four Full Bumpers/Triggers
As someone who owns both a PSP and PlayStation Vita, I was happy to see the second analog stick added to the hardware of the Vita. Although the PSP was a solid handheld, having the second analog stick added to the Vita made it a much smoother play.
Neither the PSP nor Vita had an equivalent to the L2 and R2 buttons. The PSP had the L and R triggers similar to the L1 and R1 on the Sony controllers. The Vita retained the L and R triggers and added a touchscreen backing to the handheld. The back touch screen plate acted as the L2 and R2 triggers, especially when it came to playing PlayStation 2 ports. Although it was better than nothing at all, I personally had a lot of issues with it. The hot spots could be hard to find, especially if trying to hit the triggers quickly, such as changing hover zones in Jak 2 or 3.
Adding back triggers similar to what the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite have done would make for a much better gamer experience. Even if a back touchscreen plate is used for other interactive features, designated triggers would make for a much smoother experience.
One of the enjoyable parts of the PSP generation was spin-off games of well-known PlayStation franchises such as Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, God of War, Syphon Filter, and others.
The PlayStation 4 and 5 have a batch of new exclusives such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider–Man, remakes and new releases from the Final Fantasy franchise, Astro’s Playroom, and a continuation of the God of War franchise with a brand-new story ark, there is plenty of material to choose from for a PlayStation handheld. Having spin off and side stories in big open worlds like Horizon or Spider-Man would generate some excitement for the new handheld.
On the other hand, it would be fun to see some classic PlayStation franchises such as Metal Gear Solid, Jak and Daxter, etc. make a portable return on the handheld.
Handheld Library from PlayStation Consoles and Old Handhelds
One key selling feature of the Vita was the ability to buy PSP and PlayStation games on the PlayStation marketplace. In addition, some PlayStation 2 classics were ported over to the system both physically and digitally.
If a new handheld is developed, I would love to see an expanded digital library of legacy Sony handheld and console games. The updated PlayStation Plus rolling out includes a backlog of games from various PlayStation consoles that are available to subscribers at the higher paid levels. Integrating this into the new handheld would be a great selling feature for the handheld and help boost subscriptions to PlayStation Plus.
This also goes back to the remote play feature where gamers could save at one point on a PlayStation Plus game on the console version and pick up on the mobile version. Bundling all of this together would help PlayStation on multiple fronts.
If the handheld is powerful enough to run PlayStation 3, 4, and 5 games, there is even more incentive for gamers to pick up a new handheld and subscribe to PlayStation Plus.
PlayStation Handheld Wish List: In Conclusion
There is plenty of potential for Sony to develop a new PlayStation handheld. There is a lot to learn from mistakes made with Vita, and plenty of new avenues to explore for Sony to make a worthwhile successor to the PSP and the Vita.
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A ps5 handheld system sounds wonderful. Just don’t know if they have resources for such a thing