Sony Reportedly Plotting New PlayStation Handheld Made For Remote Play

Sony could be making a comeback into the handheld gaming console space. A recent report by Insider Gaming has hinted at the likelihood of Sony launching a new PlayStation portable device in the near future. If the news turns out to be accurate, it will mark a handheld return for Sony — a space it had famously exited with the discontinuation of the PlayStation Vita a few years ago. While this upcoming handheld gaming device doesn't have an official name yet, it is internally known as the Q Lite, the report adds.

The PlayStation Vita was on sale for over eight years before Sony stopped making it in 2019. While the Vita continues to have a loyal fan base among handheld gaming enthusiasts, the Vita was a commercial failure that frequently fell short of meeting its worldwide sales targets. 

Apart from being unable to match its chief competitor in the Nintendo 3DS, the Vita also faced stiff competition from the ever-growing popularity of smartphone gaming. As smartphones got better at gaming with each passing generation, there was lesser demand for a dedicated handheld gaming console.

Given Sony's unpleasant run with standalone gaming consoles like the PSP and the Vita, it might surprise many that the company is considering re-entering the segment. Interestingly, Sony seems to be taking several steps to make sure that this upcoming handheld doesn't meet the same fate as its predecessors.

Not a PlayStation Vita Successor

A key takeaway from the Insider Gaming report was the likelihood of this under-development console being very different from previous Sony handheld consoles. To begin with, the report states that the Q Lite is being designed to work with PlayStation's Remote Play feature, which lets users remotely control their PlayStation consoles and stream content from them.

The Q Lite will act more like an accessory to the PS5, and not an independent gaming platform like Sony's older handhelds. The report also indicates that Sony doesn't intend to promote the Q Lite as a cloud streaming device, meaning the device is likely to stay in close proximity to the consoles compared to dedicated streaming handhelds.

In addition, the report also gives a glimpse of what to expect from the Q Lite in terms of hardware specs. The device is rumored to feature a large 8-inch, 1080p LCD panel and will support gaming at 60fps. The report adds that the device will also need to remain connected to the internet at all times. 

While stopping short of mentioning a launch date, the report mentions the possibility that the Sony Q Lite could reach consumers before the end of 2023. The product is said to be in its QA phase right now, and could be launched shortly after Sony takes covers off the rumored detachable drive PS5. The Q Lite is likely to be launched before Sony announces a PlayStation 5 Pro in 2024, the report added.