The Steam Deck took the gaming market by storm in 2022 and now Sony plans to challenge that supremacy, with new reports suggesting an in-development PlayStation handheld could surpass the popular Valve console.
Sony has already contracted AMD and “money has been exchanged” for a possible PlayStation handheld, reliable industry leaker Moore’s Law Is Dead suggested this week. His sources state work on the project has already begun, but is still in the High-Level Design phase. In regular terms, this means Sony could still pull the plug on this device before it launchs. Aside from this potential obstacle, the concept for Sony’s next handheld sounds very exciting, with the designs shooting for a functionality similar to Steam Deck.
Spidey is just as eager as us to game on the reported PlayStation handheld. Image via Insomniac Games Unlike its previous attempts at a handheld, this time around Sony is aiming to create a device that would be fully compatible with its primary consoles, namely the PlayStation 4 and next-generation PlayStation 5. The reports go on to claim the new PlayStation handheld, which has been dubbed the “Vita 2,” will have the same number of compute units as the PS4, effectively acting as a handheld version of Sony’s last-gen console.
This does not mean the so-called Vita 2 will not have any PS5 games in its library, but the expectation is that the handheld device will not be able to host every single PS5 title and will have to rely on compatibility ports.
Another scenario given by Moore’s Law Is Dead’s sources is that the Vita 2 will actually launch a lot later and come as part of the PS6 family, which would alter both the newly reported hardware specifications and the suspected release date of Sony’s next handheld.
In either case, this project isn’t likely to result in a product launch in the immediate future. Moore’s Law Is Dead estimated it would come a minimum of two years from now, so 2026 at the earliest. This prognosis aligns with the typical six-to-seven-year window between generations, which leaves speculations around the “Vita 2” wide open for the time being.
While mostly speculation, MLID’s report claims one thing to be a guaranteed fact—there is a new PlayStation handheld in early development and AMD is handling both it and the PlayStation 6. If everything else in this February leak proves to be true, Steam Deck could face legitimate competition on the handheld market, though by the looks of things, Valve will enjoy its dominance for at least a couple more years.