Microsoft And Sony Need New Handheld Consoles, So Who Goes First? – Forbes

Microsoft And Sony Need New Handheld Consoles, So Who Goes First? – Forbes

Microsoft And Sony Need New Handheld Consoles, So Who Goes First? – Forbes 2048 1384 charlie

A Sony PS Vita hand-held games console, photographed during a studio shoot for PSM3 Magazine, … [+] January 4, 2012. (Photo by Joseph Branston/PSM3 Magazine via Getty Images)
At this point, I think the writing is on the wall for what needs to be the next hardware investment for the two biggest brands in gaming, Microsoft and Sony.

That last one actually has the Xbox logo at the end of it, implying we are likely to see Xbox Cloud Gaming come to that device, but the point remains, it feels like both Sony and Microsoft, and by proxy their Xbox and PlayStation brands, would be wise to start thinking about their own kind of handheld hardware. For me, it’s not a matter of if this happens, but when. And who will go first. And I have a theory.
Obviously Sony is the company that has actual experience making handheld hardware already between the PSP and PS Vita, which these days, feel like they were somewhat ahead of their time, given the resurgence of handheld play.
BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 21: Boxes containing the new Sony PlayStation Vita portable gaming … [+] device lie stacked on a table at the Sony Store during the official German launch of the new Vita on February 21, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Several hundred video gaming enthusiasts waited hours in line to be among the first to buy the new PS Vita. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
However, even if that was the case, and Sony has experience in this area, I question whether now is the moment to do this. Sony’s next big hardware investment is already happening, PSVR 2, which I would argue has a much more limited audience than a potential handheld would, but that’s what they’re doing. Plus, they already cannot produce nearly enough PS5s to meet demand, so adding on another device on top of that may prove to be too much, especially when you’ll be able to buy many PlayStation PC ports through Steam Deck. They are also not nearly as invested in the cloud as Microsoft is, which is a big part of devices like these.
To me, this feels like something Microsoft may be on the verge of building in the next few years here. Call it the Xbox Series M, or something, a mobile version of the Xbox that will no doubt be a device meant to play Xbox Cloud Gaming titles, though I would hope that Microsoft would lean more heavily into what Valve is doing with the Steam Deck, as playing natively still is ultimately the best experience, and cloud gaming still has a ways to go.
Series X/S
Microsoft, with its disparate Xbox Series X and S models that are different prices with different tech for different customers, seems the most likely to greenlight another piece of hardware like this. It seems very unlikely we’ll see Xbox Game Pass come to say, the Switch, so I do believe Microsoft will want to build its own device to try to capitalize on that kind of enthusiasm, what the Switch and Steam Deck both share. It’s true you can play Xbox games on normal mobile devices like phones or iPads and some of these new offerings, but a dedicated, mobile Xbox? It’s hard to imagine that not being a hit, especially if Microsoft sees Sony is tied up with VR and PS5 production and they can get there first.
Of course, they both could end up making a handheld, but I really don’t think neither of them will in the next few years here. Mobile gaming (not just phone gaming), is massive right now and only getting bigger, and I think these companies will develop dedicated hardware to reflect that.
Follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to my free weekly content round-up newsletter, God Rolls.
Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.


    Would you like to receive notifications on latest updates? No Yes