There were a ton of awesome things we got to see at PAX East and while there have been a ton of cool previews and news we’ve covered in the aftermath, there’s been something new leaked by those who had a better connection to Sony. I imagine this information was shared in confidence, but somebody, somewhere online has spilled the beans and I have to admit this could change the handheld gaming marketplace for the better. Those who know me will know I am a huge fan of the Vita, so when word of a new portable Playstation machine hit the net, I literally jumped for joy. This is the Playstation Versa.
Now, we can take these leaked images with a bit of salt, as the final product will surely change quite a bit over the production of the unit. However, the general idea is certainly exciting. A gorgeous 6.4 inch LCD will show games in at least 720p, if not more. Considering the early success of the Nintendo Switch, Sony may shoot for 1080p. There’s also the possibility of a more expensive unit with an OLED screen launching alongside it.
Of course, the big advantage with this new unit is the ergonomics of the unit, mimicking the PS4 controller for a more comfortable hold. This could be a huge advantage for Sony in the handheld space, as one of the biggest flaws of the Switch is its controllers. The Versa also includes the much needed R2/L2 plus clickable analog sticks for R3/L3. Rumor has it the Versa will also have the same motion controls of the Dual Shock 4, as well rumble and the ability to use it on the PS4 as an extra controller. Truly, this is the Vita we should’ve gotten years ago!
As far as ports go, we will be getting a couple USB ports, an HDMI out, an ethernet adapter, plus backwards compatibility with Vita cartridges. It even looks like there are two game card slots, which means the new cartridge could be more comparable to the Switch’s cartridges. Having that backwards compatibility is a welcome change for Sony’s rather short lived go at handhelds. Nintendo usually has some sort of way to play older games on their handhelds, so having Vita games adds to the library on the first day. It would also be interesting if the PSVR could be hooked to the device, but surely that’d be too much trouble than its worth. Having a portable VR unit though? That’d be bonkers.
All in all, this definitely seems like a logical progression for the PSVita, one that will hopefully create some healthy competition against Nintendo.
Surely by now Sony is aware of this leak and I can only imagine their groans at the news. Yet, all of the rumors and hype ended up helping the Switch and consoles before it, so this could lead to a wave of excitement across the industry. Let’s hope development is streamlined as well to get those third party titles going. There’s also no word on whether services like Playstation Now are compatible or not, but its likely that they will be.
Personally, I couldn’t be more pumped for the Playstation Versa, or whatever they end up calling it. Hopefully, we get the bonus of access to the PSN library at large. Can never have too many ways to play Final Fantasy IX.
Update: This was, of course, an April Fools joke. While we would love to see Sony actually step back into the handheld market, there has been no word of such. The Versa concept was created by Jose Tuzon.