Is it time for Microsoft and Sony to enter the handheld consoles market?

Should Sony and Microsoft make handhelds consoles?

  • Yes, they totally should make handhelds

  • No, they shouldn't make handhelds

  • Only Microsoft should enter the handheld market, I don't think Sony would be good enough

  • Only Sony should enter the handheld market, I don't think Microsoft would be good enough


Results are only viewable after voting.
Switch is obviously a great success but far below Nintendo at their peak where Wii and DS sold 250 million units combined.
That’s not a good way to evaluate the market. I’m willing to bet that there is huge overlap between Wii and DS owners. When I queued up all night for my launch day Wii, that was the only time I used Pictochat, with many others in line who also had a DS. I bought four DSs and a Wii, but only two Switches, but my gaming budget is more than before. Which brings me to a much better way to decide whether Nintendo are above or below their “peak” - profit. Isn’t the Switch by some margin their most profitable console ever?
 

Kdad

Member
The only reason the Switch has success is because it is the only place to play new Nintendo games...it isn't just the form factor driving sales...it's the content.

With MS and SONY pivoting over the coming generation to putting thier exclusives on other platforms, there is zero incentive to get into low margin highly competitive market like Steam Deck. SONY putting a locked down portable player limited to SONY store only isn't going to fly unless they regress and cut off Steam Deck.
 

pasterpl

Member
Sony maybe. MS I doubt they will go into another gaming hardware anytime soon. To be honest with steam deck + gamepass + Sony 1st party on steam, not sure either companies will go into handheld market.

Btw. I love my steam deck.
 

Kikero

Neo Member
Mobile + PC + Streaming + VR + Console = Next 10 years for Sony and Microsoft.

Mobile and PC overlap with “handheld” rendering a dedicated device redundant. Also, keep in mind their console, PC, and streaming games are just ports of one game. Only mobile and VR truly require their own dedicated games (and not always on mobile). Nevertheless, their plate is plenty full without diverting resources to a low-power dedicated handheld device.

They could try to mimic Switch and have a handheld/home console hybrid for their next gen consoles a few years from now but, considering how high fidelity games are their bread and butter, it probably won’t work out like it has for Nintendo.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
Would be the most gigantic waste of time in the industry. Even Sony's VR punt is a better idea.

Microsoft should be working with Valve on native Game Pass app integration with SteamOS. Sony's games are already coming to Steam individually.

Doesn't make any sense at all, what exactly would the down side be for ms to launch a hybrid that played series S games? It wouldn't fragment anything, it would open up a huge new market for them. As much as people say Nintendo is so great, at least half the reason the switch has sold 100 million consoles is that it's portable and as a bonus can be used docked.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
The only reason the Switch has success is because it is the only place to play new Nintendo games...it isn't just the form factor driving sales...it's the content.

With MS and SONY pivoting over the coming generation to putting thier exclusives on other platforms, there is zero incentive to get into low margin highly competitive market like Steam Deck. SONY putting a locked down portable player limited to SONY store only isn't going to fly unless they regress and cut off Steam Deck.

This is completely wrong, A huge part of nintendos success is the handheld factor.
A huge part of sales/users don't even use it on a tv. Are you going to say with a straight face that the switch launched as a regular console it would have sold 100 million units? You'd be lucky if they had hit 20 million on that weak hardware.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
Ew. No.

The last thing Sony needs is to spread its talent between 2 completely different pieces of hardware. And honestly? The way things are going it makes no sense anymore. Even Nintendo got that since 2017.

They wouldn't have to spread anything, a 3 or 4 tf machine with modern amd architecture could quickly and easily port existing games and new ones.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
There is no dedicated handheld gaming market. There's the Nintendo Switch niche market and there's the mobile phone gaming market. Microsoft and Sony would rather focus on the latter.

It's not 2001 anymore. That ship has sailed. Give it up. No more on this.

Lol a niche gaming market of 100 million units sold.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
I've tried my hand with handhelds (sick) and that is Deck... and while cool I admit that handhelds are not for me and I just can't play real big games on it. Everything is too small and I am not comfortabe enough.
And it's too big for simpler games...
Handhels should be good for games like platformers, nintendo games, enter the gungeon and so on... So Smaller handheld with simpler games - yes.
But as they would do it to compete with deck? no

I agree with this to a point, but for every one of us who generally prefers our aaa games on a big screen, there's a customer that is fine with playing it on the handheld.

The deck doesn't succeed at a console yet. Too may things don't work, too many games don't run right, and it's not being marketed right either. For steam deck to become mass market, it would need to be on retailer shelves. Maybe steam deck 2, but they have some work to do. And even then it's uphill as it isn't featured as a hybrid even though it can be, and it's lacking aaa exclusives.
 

Woopah

Member
This is completely wrong, A huge part of nintendos success is the handheld factor.
A huge part of sales/users don't even use it on a tv. Are you going to say with a straight face that the switch launched as a regular console it would have sold 100 million units? You'd be lucky if they had hit 20 million on that weak hardware.
They are not wrong though, content is by far the most important fact. People will only buy a gaming platform if it has games they want to play.

It would be like saying that a huge part of Sony's success is the console form factor.
 

BootsLoader

Member
I think steamdeck is already playing Sony games so no need for a Sony handheld here unless they invest time and money on it to make unique experiences. On the other hand Sony is laser focused on Home Consoles so….no, no need for handhelds.
Not sure about MS though. Is steamdeck compatible with MS Gold memberships? I mean the list of games you can download for free. Cant remember its name, sorry. If steam deck is compatible with that then there is no need for MS to make a portable console, otherwise they could benefit from their services.
 

Mr Reasonable

Completely Unreasonable
I would buy a local, not streaming, Gamepass handheld immediately.

The times I'd use it would be when I am travelling - I can't even read GAF at times on my commute because the cell service is so bad let alone stream games.
 
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UnNamed

18+ Member
There are no true nextgen games on PS5 and XSX for now, just dozen of PS4/XBO titles upscaled with a better framerate. And the SteamDeck can run all of them, since you can easily port a 2160p/60fps game in a (sub/reconstructed) 1080/30 game.

There would be no such thing as "splitting resouces" on a portable PS4. Actually there are maybe more issues to port a Playstation game on PC than a portable device where Sony can rely on the same kits, libraries, driver, etc.

Also, how many games are released on PS4 so far and how many there will be during the PS5 era since the console is retro compatible and not all the games on the platform have to compete with Cyberpunk? Many developers will release games on PS4 anyway, so it's just a matter of rebranding the PS4 as PS Mini or PS Portable.
 
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Two things, I like handhelds but I don't like their current ecological footprint. Batteries should be removable, like with PSP or the Wii U controller. Or at least be officially supported to be replaced by the user.

Second, Market is not big enough for both of them right now, so I would prefer Sony to go into it - This said, Sony's "current" strategy is the worst for it to take off, as they want to charge premium for everything, see PSVR2. Making PSVita premium was how they flunked that ship.

They just need to match Nintendo's price and surpass their specs a bit. The rest is timing, they get everything Nintendo gets that isn't made by Nintendo and get better versions at that, win-win.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
They are not wrong though, content is by far the most important fact. People will only buy a gaming platform if it has games they want to play.

It would be like saying that a huge part of Sony's success is the console form factor.

It was always a combination of both. If the ps4 is half the power of a xbox one, even with its excellent software, it doesn't do as well.

And there's a wildcard here not at play with regular consoles since they are offering a feature not found in consoles at all.

So of course great software matters, but we both know if the switch launches as a console only it would have straight up failed.

Hardcore Nintendo fans would have bought it, but people looking for the latest and greatest in graphics and casuals following trends would have hard passed. And we all saw how that worked out for the wii U.
 
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Fafalada

Fafracer forever
Nope.
We don't need weak hardware.
I just picked up one of the new 6800U based handhelds. It's powerful enough to run a recent Series exclusive (Scorn) at 60fps at 1080p.
It's all relative, but mobile chips can be surprisingly capable today.

Though I do agree that pure mobile play wouldn't make much sense - a hybrid with a GPU-dock would be a much more interesting product to offer (something Steam deck can't do - but other smaller brand handhelds can). But I'm not sure this really fits with either company strategy.
 
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feynoob

Member
I just picked up one of the new 6800U based handhelds. It's powerful enough to run a recent Series exclusive (Scorn) at 60fps at 1080p.
It's all relative, but mobile chips can be surprisingly capable today.

Though I do agree that pure mobile play wouldn't make much sense - a hybrid with a GPU-dock would be a much more interesting product to offer (something Steam deck can't do - but other smaller brand handhelds can). But I'm not sure this really fits with either company strategy.
The issues is managing the games between 2 systems.

Some developers and gamers are crying about xss. Imagine a handheld device with ps5 and xsx. That won't sit well with these people.
 

Fafalada

Fafracer forever
Some developers and gamers are crying about xss. Imagine a handheld device with ps5 and xsx. That won't sit well with these people.
I totally agree - but the whining doesn't change the fact that this has been the new reality since 2016, and it's here to stay.
Switch is two HW Profiles built-in, XBox is 4 until they finally kill off support for previous gen, and PS is 3 for same reasons.
Basically Series S only adds 1 profile to the total of 7 (+ PC which is as complex as all of the consoles combined to support properly) already needing support for an average multiplatform developer.
So yes - more HW profiles from handheld would further add to complexity - but at this stage only incrementally so.

Also to point out the obvious - the *only* time in history of console multiplatform development that things were ever 'better' - was the 3 years between 2013-2016 when we only had 2 leading consoles to worry about + PC.
Going further back you had the mess that was Wii+PS3+XBox (+ occasional handheld ports that were a complete nightmare), and farther back the differences between consoles were only more complex to manage.
TLDR - for multiplatform developers, this problem always existed, but thanks to hw-standardization - porting between platforms often boils down to settings/configuration tweaks today - where as in pre 2013 era, it involved a lot of specially-built code and workflows for each individual platform to even run on. So things have only gotten better there - not worse.

1st parties/exclusive developers are the only ones that got it worse today - as they no longer have a single target to worry about.
 
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No. I think the industry is very well positioned where all the major players are right now. Nintendo focused on the hybrid experience, with a niche for handhelds. Steam deck allowing options for indie games on handheld in the same library as your big games on a full fledged desktop. Sony with their exclusives on console (and later PC) and focus on VR. Microsoft with their platform agnostic approach to subscription based gaming and cloud streaming.


It wouldn’t make sense to Microsoft to get involved since they want to be on any handheld that already exists. Sony tried and failed, the market for handhelds isn’t well suited to the games they tend to make - it’s more about smaller games in scope or visual quality, indie releases, pick up and play puzzle games and such.


The Steam Deck will keep Nintendo honest in the handheld space, and considering a bunch of other companies have rumored plans to release PC gaming handhelds I think the space will become overcrowded with most platforms failing to attain a sizable userbase.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
Doesn't make any sense at all, what exactly would the down side be for ms to launch a hybrid that played series S games? It wouldn't fragment anything, it would open up a huge new market for them. As much as people say Nintendo is so great, at least half the reason the switch has sold 100 million consoles is that it's portable and as a bonus can be used docked.

I don't know what people aren't getting about this, Microsoft are ALREADY pushing into the mobile space with xCloud on phones, that's their entire strategy and they've been very clear about it. They've had something like 10m users. They save all of the cost, time and resource allocation in researching, developing, manufacturing and shipping dedicated hardware in the process. I know Microsoft have a magic money pool but they're still a business, they don't do things for the sake of doing them.

xCloud already has over 10m users. The Switch is successful because it's the ONLY place you can play those games legitimately and they've been the handheld kings for 33 years. My old mum still calls my Switch my Game Boy because it's so ingrained into culture. Microsoft are already on console, PC and phones. Adding a new portable to that is just ridiculous. They haven't done it in 21 years and they aren't going to start.

And no, before you say it, there isn't a huge untapped market of people who specifically want to play Xbox games portably but not via streaming. That's GAF's sheltered video game message board idea and it's nonsense.
 
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coffinbirth

Member
I almost wonder, then, if MS planned to use Van Gogh in Project Keystone? I mean why else order AMD to make such a GPU? Unless they have plans for a future Surface device featuring AMD in it.



Okay, so maybe the power is there, and the means to have that performance deliverable in a portable format that can stay persistent in the level of performance is also there, or getting there, and we can maybe see something of a Series S-type spec soon in the handheld portable space, be it from Valve with a SteamDeck 2 or some other company...at least in terms of TF.

But there are other components to overall performance to consider. You mentioned the Phoenix APU; clearly it has more TF than Series S. But does it have a comparable pixel fillrate? Texture fillrate? Geometry culling and rasterization rate? Those are things that would be influenced by amount of ROPs, TMUs, and the clock speed of the frontend, respectively (though RDNA 3 increased prims/clock to 12, and shaders are now dual-issue instead of single-issue like RDNA 2, so clocks can be more modest or even lower and still provide comparable or higher TF and geometry culling/raster performance to an RDNA 2 design with notably higher clocks, to be fair).

Then there's other things like what memory configuration would they be able to fit in such a device. Chances are, they won't use GDDR6 or GDDR6x, and HBM-based memories are probably too expensive not to mention, RDNA 3 GPUs may not be designed with HBM interfaces in mind to begin with. So they are going to be stuck with LPDDR5x or LPDDR6, and I don't think a SO-DIMM design gets them the memory bandwidth they'd need to provide comparable performance to a Series S in a portable device targeting 2025 or even 2026.

Dell have their new CAMM memory designs that are meant to supersede SO-DIMM; it's an interesting design that would address the bandwidth limitations that could impact future laptops and other portable devices, while being simpler to integrate vs. soldering the RAM onto the motherboard. But it's also proprietary, limited in product usage (currently) and not JEDEC-standard. There's a chance a company like Valve could license a CAMM design out from Dell for a Steam Deck 2, but it's a limited chance.

Any such portable would also need sufficient decompression I/O; IIRC the Steam Deck doesn't actually have a dedicated decompression I/C chip like the Series systems, although it probably supports faster SSDs than Series S or X's expansion cards do. That isn't necessarily enough to resolve the typical bottlenecks of storage I/O, and while things like DirectStorage are meant to address those, they do it in a hardware-agnostic fashion with mostly software-driven solutions, so some amount of hardware overhead on the device utilizing it will determine the overall effectiveness of the DirectStorage routines and functions. A portable handheld targeting a mass consumer market isn't going to have the type of built-in hardware to both provide sufficient gaming performance on the go AND overhead for I/O data decompression, and while I don't think the decompression chip in Series systems (or even the decompression I/O system of the PS5) cost that much to produce, the R&D associated with them is probably not cheap. Do companies like Valve spring for that R&D in a Steam Deck 2 targeting something like Series S performance as a baseline? Who knows.



That reminds me of the EverCade retro handheld. The one where they've gotten actual publishers to release flash cart compilations of retro games to run on the system, it's a pretty neat idea and helps clean up the muddiness WRT the legality of those types of devices, by working directly with the publishers owning the games those devices are meant to play, and locking down the medium to a format that only provides authenticated access.

Sony putting out a retro-themed portable for PS1/2/3/PSP/Vita games they can sell for a profit on its own (since it's targeting a specific niche that would be willing to pay more), they can even design with shells mimicking the classic consoles (adds collectability incentive), a locked-down media format for physical games released in packs (and maybe a storefront fork from PS Store for digital versions of individual games), functional controller ports for legacy PS peripheral devices...that could be a pretty decent market to appeal to.
I mean, there are no games on Xbox Series that can't currently run on Steam Deck, and that's with Zen2 and RDNA2, so I imagine with the sheer horsepower of something like the Phoenix APU, the difference between it and Series S would be likely trivial. Stepping up to 8 cores alone would be a major uptick in performance, not to mention actually matching current gen console CPU standards.

It's also worth pointing out the Steam Deck uses the same M.2 NVMe drives as Xbox Series currently, and the I/O gulf between PCIE4 and current consoles is seemingly NBD thus far. Phoenix utilizes PCIE5, so there is a chance of parity there. I'm unsure of its actual GPU specs, but the roadmap thus far has been 2x performance upticks while continually managing lower power draw. Keep in mind these are both ZEN APU consoles, so it seems somewhat logical that AMD would begin to look at portability this many years in. This all goes without saying Valve could just baby step and go for something like Rembrandt, Zen3+RDNA2, and that would be lame.
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
I don't know what people aren't getting about this, Microsoft are ALREADY pushing into the mobile space with xCloud on phones, that's their entire strategy and they've been very clear about it. They've had something like 10m users. They save all of the cost, time and resource allocation in researching, developing, manufacturing and shipping dedicated hardware in the process. I know Microsoft have a magic money pool but they're still a business, they don't do things for the sake of doing them.

xCloud already has over 10m users. The Switch is successful because it's the ONLY place you can play those games legitimately and they've been the handheld kings for 33 years. My old mum still calls my Switch my Game Boy because it's so ingrained into culture. Microsoft are already on console, PC and phones. Adding a new portable to that is just ridiculous. They haven't done it in 21 years and they aren't going to start.

And no, before you say it, there isn't a huge untapped market of people who specifically want to play Xbox games portably but not via streaming. That's GAF's sheltered video game message board idea and it's nonsense.

The mobile space on cloud is not the same market as the switch. You don't have to own a phone, and it comes with a dock to hook up to your TV. It has a built in controller and it has it's own battery.
It's not even close to the same market, Nintendo has proven that with the switch. If you are right, the switch only sells 20 million consoles, but we know that didn't happen.
The switch is not just popular because it has Nintendo games. So you can say they already doing this till your blue in the face, it won't make it match with reality.

As far as them not doing it in 21 years, that means nothing. I guarantee you they were totally on the fence as to launching the series S vs a lower powered hybrid handheld and that there are already multiple prototypes that have been made.

There is a huge market period for a handheld hybrid, again, Nintendo has proven that. No need to argue about streaming or xcloud, even though you are very wrong if you think the average consumer is ready for that at the level you are saying. The "10 million users" you are quoting likely is 8 million who tried it once and found it too laggy or drained their phone battery, or they didn't have a controller handy (the touch controls are a poor substitute for most games). Or they had a controller and no clip, so they are juggling their phone and their controller.
And I'm a person who likes cloud gaming to a point and wants it to do well. But it has it's time and it's place, and it isn't going to replace regular mobile gaming any time soon, it will only take a small part. If you were right about cloud gaming being a real competitor, since it has no entry fee, there would be 500 million people using it right now. "free handheld, get yours here!"
Not really.

The so-called research and development of a modern hybrid console is nowhere as expensive as you are eluding to, they can use basically off the shelf AMD parts and port games over in a month. This isn't the VITA, the architecture is available now and is easily built and ported to.
 
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Boy bawang

Member
With a dedicated console, they'd get wrecked. Also they would have to go ARM which would mean a different development pipeline as their home consoles. Which means either making a 100% portable console, which then would compare unfavorably with whatever switch is available at that time, especially as the latter are friends with Nvidia; or making an hybrid console, which means competing against their own home console albeit with something comparatively underpowered. There's not much path to success, in that context, and Nintendo has pretty much this sector covered, unless they severely fumble the next switch which I doubt.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
The mobile space on cloud is not the same market as the switch. You don't have to own a phone, and it comes with a dock to hook up to your TV. It has a built in controller and it has it's own battery.
It's not even close to the same market, Nintendo has proven that with the switch. If you are right, the switch only sells 20 million consoles, but we know that didn't happen.
The switch is not just popular because it has Nintendo games. So you can say they already doing this till your blue in the face, it won't make it match with reality.

As far as them not doing it in 21 years, that means nothing. I guarantee you they were totally on the fence as to launching the series S vs a lower powered hybrid handheld and that there are already multiple prototypes that have been made.

There is a huge market period for a handheld hybrid, again, Nintendo has proven that. No need to argue about streaming or xcloud, even though you are very wrong if you think the average consumer is ready for that at the level you are saying. The "10 million users" you are quoting likely is 8 million who tried it once and found it too laggy or drained their phone battery, or they didn't have a controller handy (the touch controls are a poor substitute for most games). Or they had a controller and no clip, so they are juggling their phone and their controller.
And I'm a person who likes cloud gaming to a point and wants it to do well. But it has it's time and it's place, and it isn't going to replace regular mobile gaming any time soon, it will only take a small part. If you were right about cloud gaming being a real competitor, since it has no entry fee, there would be 500 million people using it right now. "free handheld, get yours here!"
Not really.

The so-called research and development of a modern hybrid console is nowhere as expensive as you are eluding to, they can use basically off the shelf AMD parts and port games over in a month. This isn't the VITA, the architecture is available now and is easily built and ported to.

Go and look at the best-selling games on Switch. What do you notice? They are ALL Switch exclusives. Now do the same for Playstation and Xbox. Sure, Sony has lots of great exclusives - that are now all coming to PC, same as Xbox games - but there's plenty of multiplats in both lists, mostly games that simply don't work on Switch like The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk. The Switch sells off the fact that it's a Nintendo handheld and they've been controlling the handheld device market with an iron grip since the 80s, with a supreme catalogue that you cannot play legitimately on any other device. There are ~16,000,000 people who buy mainline Pokémon every time and there has been ONE place to do that since 1996. That's one title. The Vita didn't ship that many units in its lifetime with its entire catalogue.

If they were on the fence and made prototypes and decided not to release them, it only proves my point further, I don't know what angle you were going for there. If that's the case then they clearly decided it simply isn't worth it - which it isn't. They will continue to target the mobile phone audience along with Sony and be infinitely more successful. GAF has so many armchair experts that have decided how easy and cheap and fortuitous it would be to just slap something together using parts off the shelf and yet for some reason, the brains behind the two trillion dollar company haven't figured it out yet. Astonishing.
 
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Kdad

Member
This is completely wrong, A huge part of nintendos success is the handheld factor.
A huge part of sales/users don't even use it on a tv. Are you going to say with a straight face that the switch launched as a regular console it would have sold 100 million units? You'd be lucky if they had hit 20 million on that weak hardware.
I said "its not JUST"
You said "a huge PART"

We are not disagreeing.

As for your question...if the ONLY way to get nintendo games was on a console and they didn't produce a handheld...you'd have another Wii and I'd have zero doubt they'd sell 100 million...
 

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
Go and look at the best-selling games on Switch. What do you notice? They are ALL Switch exclusives. Now do the same for Playstation and Xbox. Sure, Sony has lots of great exclusives - that are now all coming to PC, same as Xbox games - but there's plenty of multiplats in both lists, mostly games that simply don't work on Switch like The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk. The Switch sells off the fact that it's a Nintendo handheld and they've been controlling the handheld device market with an iron grip since the 80s, with a supreme catalogue that you cannot play legitimately on any other device. There are ~16,000,000 people who buy mainline Pokémon every time and there has been ONE place to do that since 1996. That's one title. The Vita didn't ship that many units in its lifetime with its entire catalogue.

If they were on the fence and made prototypes and decided not to release them, it only proves my point further, I don't know what angle you were going for there. If that's the case then they clearly decided it simply isn't worth it - which it isn't. They will continue to target the mobile phone audience along with Sony and be infinitely more successful. GAF has so many armchair experts that have decided how easy and cheap and fortuitous it would be to just slap something together using parts off the shelf and yet for some reason, the brains behind the two trillion dollar company haven't figured it out yet. Astonishing.

So what if the best games on the system are switch exclusives. The only reason there are mutiplatfrom games on Playstation list and xbox list vs switch is that they AAA games are actually coming out day and date on the consoles, on the switch this is not happening for the AAA titles. You can't ignore this fact.
Your completely missing the notion that it's combination of 2 things, games and hardware. The cloud doesn't do this. Quoting the VIta as a comparison doesn't negate this.

You said they were not even considering a handheld, that's not true. The fact that they decided to hold off doesn't mean there is no market, it means they decided it wasn't worth the risk. That doesn't mean they made the right choice. I bet they still second guess this to today and are still considering a handheld right at this second. Same with Sony. (but sony is being distracted by VR for some reason, must be someone's pet project, since you can't tell me the VR headset is less of risk than an easy to port for handheld)
For a company with two trillion dollars and many dedicated engineers, it really is nothing to put together a handheld with today's parts/architecture. Very few custom parts, an off shelf screen, an off the shelf APU, an off the shelf set of RAM, the list goes on and on. There's a reason why there is 10 smaller Chinese companies launching a new model of handheld every month - it's easy.
You make it sound like they would have to develop a customer cell processor or something to make it happen with billions in R&D. We are talking next to nothing here for a company like MS.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
So what if the best games on the system are switch exclusives. The only reason there are mutiplatfrom games on Playstation list and xbox list vs switch is that they AAA games are actually coming out day and date on the consoles, on the switch this is not happening for the AAA titles. You can't ignore this fact.
Your completely missing the notion that it's combination of 2 things, games and hardware. The cloud doesn't do this. Quoting the VIta as a comparison doesn't negate this.

You said they were not even considering a handheld, that's not true. The fact that they decided to hold off doesn't mean there is no market, it means they decided it wasn't worth the risk. That doesn't mean they made the right choice. I bet they still second guess this to today and are still considering a handheld right at this second. Same with Sony. (but sony is being distracted by VR for some reason, must be someone's pet project, since you can't tell me the VR headset is less of risk than an easy to port for handheld)
For a company with two trillion dollars and many dedicated engineers, it really is nothing to put together a handheld with today's parts/architecture. Very few custom parts, an off shelf screen, an off the shelf APU, an off the shelf set of RAM, the list goes on and on. There's a reason why there is 10 smaller Chinese companies launching a new model of handheld every month - it's easy.
You make it sound like they would have to develop a customer cell processor or something to make it happen with billions in R&D. We are talking next to nothing here for a company like MS.

Sony have decided it's not worth the risk, but are still putting out a premium VR setup "for some reason". It would cost Microsoft "next to nothing" but it's not worth the risk, they are instead banking almost entirely on a subscription strategy. Do you hear what you're saying in the same breath? This is not them deciding something is not worth the risk, this is them knowing that it's a waste of time. The ship has long sailed. With the Vita Sony realised they simply couldn't put their big hitters on a system like that and it completely died on its ass without a dedicated library. The PSP had a full dedicated exclusive library that took the budget far, far beyond just R&D of hardware and is an entirely different conversation.

The advantages of the Switch cannot be replicated by Sony/MS. A Switch Lite is $199, that is impossible for the other guys from a business standpoint. Switch games look a generation behind because they have to run on that thing, there's nowhere else for the games to go. Sony aren't going to compromise on their AAA approach in that way and again, if you're talking about a handheld with an entirely different library like the PSP then it's a whole different ridiculous conversation, MS can't even get their core games out fast enough, let alone a 2nd library. That ship has also sailed.

We've had this thread annually for X years and you can feel free to make it again next year, nothing will have changed. I've said my piece, there will always be those who live in a different reality and think this is a possibility and I won't change their minds, but you're wasting your time waiting for something that will never come. The companies have literally told you that they're entering the mobile space with streaming and actual mobile games but you don't want to hear it because you live in a video game message board bubble where nobody likes those things and normal people have an attachment to dedicated hardware and hate rubbish mobile games. It's just not true. Nintendo have not proven there's a market for dedicated hybrid handhelds, they've proven that they still control the dedicated handheld market over 30 years later.
 
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BbMajor7th

Member
If either were going to do it, cutting edge tech is not the way to go. Sony in particular put big emphasis on production values and wow factor and any attempt to squeeze God of War or Horizon Forbidden West onto a smaller device is going to take something away from that. Take a leaf out of Nintendo's book and go for innovation and appeal over grunt: a lower cost, quality-built handheld which focuses on core design and concept over high-end graphics.

If you're Sony - say - you use it as a proving ground for new IPs and ideas and let small teams within your bigger studios work on fun, smaller-scale projects for the handheld, or re-develop well-known IPs in bold new ways. Maybe you end up with a 2D metroidvania take on the Returnal universe, a WipeOut-themed management sim or a Ratchet and Clank kart racer. You make the low level API a close match for PS4 and plenty of indies can be quickly ported across for a fun on-the-go edition.

I know I'd buy something like that.
 
Sony has Zero idea how to Run a portable Console.

So no.
If Sony had simply put a TV output on the Vita and had it use regular SD cards, they would have made the Switch almost 6 years before Nintendo came up with the idea of a device that could be played as a handheld and connected to a TV.

It was later revealed there was an unexposed TV output function on all Vitas, that was how Sony repurposed the Vita hardware for the short-lived Vita TV. Sony basically didn't have the vision or the courage to put a TV output on their handheld because they feared cannibalizing their regular Playstation consoles. Sony withdrew from the handheld market after the Vita failed to gain any traction against the cheaper 3DS.

Nintendo would go on to produce the Switch and sell 115 million units so far with no end in sight to it's lifespan.

Neither Sony nor Microsoft know how to make a handheld anyone wants. It's not cramming as much hardware as they can into a handheld form factor, that's the Steam Deck and it's a super niche hardware product.
 
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THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
Sony have decided it's not worth the risk, but are still putting out a premium VR setup "for some reason". It would cost Microsoft "next to nothing" but it's not worth the risk, they are instead banking almost entirely on a subscription strategy. Do you hear what you're saying in the same breath? This is not them deciding something is not worth the risk, this is them knowing that it's a waste of time. The ship has long sailed. With the Vita Sony realised they simply couldn't put their big hitters on a system like that and it completely died on its ass without a dedicated library. The PSP had a full dedicated exclusive library that took the budget far, far beyond just R&D of hardware and is an entirely different conversation.

The advantages of the Switch cannot be replicated by Sony/MS. A Switch Lite is $199, that is impossible for the other guys from a business standpoint. Switch games look a generation behind because they have to run on that thing, there's nowhere else for the games to go. Sony aren't going to compromise on their AAA approach in that way and again, if you're talking about a handheld with an entirely different library like the PSP then it's a whole different ridiculous conversation, MS can't even get their core games out fast enough, let alone a 2nd library. That ship has also sailed.

We've had this thread annually for X years and you can feel free to make it again next year, nothing will have changed. I've said my piece, there will always be those who live in a different reality and think this is a possibility and I won't change their minds, but you're wasting your time waiting for something that will never come. The companies have literally told you that they're entering the mobile space with streaming and actual mobile games but you don't want to hear it because you live in a video game message board bubble where nobody likes those things and normal people have an attachment to dedicated hardware and hate rubbish mobile games. It's just not true. Nintendo have not proven there's a market for dedicated hybrid handhelds, they've proven that they still control the dedicated handheld market over 30 years later.

VR is clearly a pet project by sony, or someone high up has convince the executive that it's the future. If you go by PSVR sales, it's certainly not a big money maker. Certainly, far, far less than a handheld would generate in terms of sales. Your going to sit there with a straight face and say that PSVR 2 would make more money than a 2-4 FL portable with a dock that plays all PS4 games, and would take only weeks to port PS5 games to? You think they "know" it's a waste of time, meanwhile a large competitor in the PC space launches a mobile unit......value must be clueless too?

As to the Vifa, you bringing that up vs the current market just shows how little you know about the past. There are a TON of reasons why the Vita failed that simply would not apply to a new machine today. If you don't know what they are, I suggest doing some research. At the very, very core of why it's different now is the architecture would allow them to port a game like GOW Ragnorok in about a month, vs having to develop games from scratch with separate teams for the VITA.

Switch lite is not the target audience for a Sony or MS portable, it's the $299 price point of the regular switch, and the fact that it's a hybrid. Your saying they could not port to this handheld and yet they can make a PS4 version? It's weak processor and GPU say hi. Please.

As to MS "Telling us" they are entering the mobile space, you aren't listening, they have literally said they wanted to be in as many spaces as possible. You just don't want to hear that it might be something in addition to cloud/mobile.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
VR is clearly a pet project by sony, or someone high up has convince the executive that it's the future. If you go by PSVR sales, it's certainly not a big money maker. Certainly, far, far less than a handheld would generate in terms of sales. Your going to sit there with a straight face and say that PSVR 2 would make more money than a 2-4 FL portable with a dock that plays all PS4 games, and would take only weeks to port PS5 games to? You think they "know" it's a waste of time, meanwhile a large competitor in the PC space launches a mobile unit......value must be clueless too?

As to the Vifa, you bringing that up vs the current market just shows how little you know about the past. There are a TON of reasons why the Vita failed that simply would not apply to a new machine today. If you don't know what they are, I suggest doing some research. At the very, very core of why it's different now is the architecture would allow them to port a game like GOW Ragnorok in about a month, vs having to develop games from scratch with separate teams for the VITA.

Switch lite is not the target audience for a Sony or MS portable, it's the $299 price point of the regular switch, and the fact that it's a hybrid. Your saying they could not port to this handheld and yet they can make a PS4 version? It's weak processor and GPU say hi. Please.

As to MS "Telling us" they are entering the mobile space, you aren't listening, they have literally said they wanted to be in as many spaces as possible. You just don't want to hear that it might be something in addition to cloud/mobile.

Again, if they think it's a good value proposition to them, and amazing idea that simply must be done - why aren't they doing it? Where is it? It's been 11 years since the Vita and MS have never done one. The Switch has been out 5 years. Where's their competitor? Nothing has even been remotely hinted at. Tell me exactly what it is you think they're waiting for. Valve have literally released a laptop with their OS wrapper around it and a built-in controller, it boots to Linux and you can do whatever you want with it out of the box. Microsoft already do that. You can buy a Windows laptop and play almost all Xbox games on it with a Bluetooth controller and it's just as portable. You've never actually held a Steam Deck, have you? It's the size of 3 Switches stacked together. The carry case has a damn handle on it.

I already said that about the Vita, that much is obvious. But again, to run games like God of War natively on that thing at an acceptable level you're going to have to release something almost as big as a Deck and it's just not attractive to the general consumers who's used to Switches and sleek phones. I love the Deck but it's always going to be a niche machine, Valve have not created it to try and compete with Nintendo in any way. You just conflate a "market for hybrid gaming" with the Switch's unique success. And even IF the other guys release something - why is anyone going to buy it over a Deck? Because their old library is in there? Sony can't even be fucking bothered to put the PS1 ROMs I bought on PS3 on their PS5, they sure as shit aren't doing it on a newer device - and their games are now coming to PC (Deck) anyway. They are already making money in the "hybrid space", just not much of it. Microsoft are all-in on Game Pass which you can already use in a hacky way on a Deck and native support is a handshake away if they want to do it, negating any reason to do it themselves.

This conversation is getting really old, people have it every single year and then nothing happens because it's a shitty idea. You haven't figured out a magical money maker or even an innovative experiment for these companies, and you can continue to post "any day now!" all you like, but I'll see you again in another 12 months when absolutely nothing has changed as usual. Let it go.
 
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cireza

Member
If this is only to push TV games on a tiny screen, then the answer is no.

If you make a handheld, make a proper console. Not actively cooled. With a battery that last long. A low resolution and games built with a handheld experience in mind.
 

ksdixon

Member
I don't care how popular touchscreen mobile gaming is elsewhere; or about streaming games. I think we're seeing the re-seperation in people's minds of mobile gaming/streaming, and the idea of portable gaming.

When I'm on bus travelling, am I gonna have the wifi or mobile data or battery life to remote play games from my phone? Unless Sony flood android/ios stores with locally downloadable games, re-packaged-up for mobiles, efforts towards remote playing/streaming gaming becomes handcuffed to those signal strengths. That seems completely stupid.

Simillarly, I think the games industry costs and persuasions of modern game design, forego the idea of a seperate games library handheld like the old PSP/Vita. However, there's a vast difference between the idea of a companion handheld device to extend your console gameplay on real games, with your save data and stuff transferred over, with all the needed buttons... and the measures Sony seem to be half-heartedly shitting out for mobile OS's & apps. That stupid fucking phone cooling-fan with HDMI out and no fucking buttons or sticks leaps the mind immediately.

I think most people recognise this. That's why we say we want a 'Portable PS4', with the shared games library to PS4/remote playing PS5, streaming PS+ games, that that entails. But it'd be a PS4 SKU chopped-up into a new form factor (like normal vs slim vs pro, they're all 'PS4's' to the back-end). Hell I'd take a Portable PS5, but I doubt where anywhere realistically getting that. But given Sony's PC/PS4 focus, lets take advantage of that more by introducing the portable aspect.

I want a way to continue my gaming, so that I'm not feeling chained to big TV in living room. Sometimes I'm in bed, bath, back garden, or actually travelling on bus/train etc. I'm sure its simillar for others whom have spouses and kids, who can't always be on the main TV.

If I really have to sink like £1500 into a GPD Win 4 (essentially PC stuffed into improved Vita housing shell) as a stand-in device for Sony's ineptitude, I'll do it. But by that point I'll long be past putting up with Sony's shit and stupidity.
Like instead of waiting for them to deem my previous PS3 digital purchases of PS1 games to be ready to put up on PS+ and expect a monthly fee, I'll have RE2 PS1 lined-up next to RE2make and I'll never look back. I really feel like Sony don't know their customers anymore.

Besides MS, who da fuck asked for game streaming (outside the possibly related context of remote play/shareplay?). Sony followed them over into their playground instead of focusing on their own strengths.
 
I'd consider a cheap Sony handheld that could do remote play and stream all the PS+ streaming games. I got 4 years of Premium stacked so even if it was wifi-only, I'd get use out of a device like that for around $100.
 

20cent

Member
That's a niche market for people who grew up with a Gameboy (or nds/psp).
I play my Switch in handled mode, but never met anyone else irl who does that.
 
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