Sony’s next handheld system won’t be a successor to the PS Vita but a new cloud-streaming portable instead. While not official, the news could be disappointing to many since people like to play handheld games without worrying about the internet.
The news comes from insider Jeff Grubb, who claims to have heard musings about this new cloud gaming machine. Grubb mostly says that this won’t be similar to the Vita, which played physical cartridges and digital games, focusing on cloud gaming instead.
“I am traveling to Super Nintendo World, but I see the reports about a potential Vita 2, and I would definitely scope down those expectations,” says Grubb. “I've only ever heard about a cloud-streaming handheld.”
Considering how well the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck are doing, one would think that a PS Vita 2 would be ideal. Granted, the branding probably won’t be reused since the system bombed but that was more Sony’s fault than anyone else’s. Besides, Nintendo's Switch and Valve's Steam Deck have proven that portable gaming is more alive than ever.
As to why Sony would focus on a cloud-based gaming device, it’s likely so that it can incorporate the current PlayStation Plus library. Using cloud gaming, the device could theoretically play PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, and PS4 games. It might also be possible to stream powerful PS5 games, depending on the internet connection.
Should this prove to be true, we hope Sony backtracks on the idea since a proper handheld would be so much better. Maybe going the way of the Steam Deck would be better since the company has notoriously struggled with first-party handheld exclusives. While the PSP was supported pretty well, the PS Vita pretty much struggled after Persona 4 Golden came out.
Fans should still be able to buy a PS Vita through second-hand stores. Thankfully, the PS Vita online store is still open and home to a number of PSP and PS1 games.