Sony may have shown little to no interest in creating another handheld console following the launch of PlayStation Vita. However, we may see another one launched soon. A recently published patent from the game company revealing a handheld console that could be Vita’s successor.
Surprisingly, the device doesn’t look as elegant as its rumored predecessor. Rather, it looks eerily similar to Nintendo Switch. Could a Switch competitor be in the works at Sony?
Neogaf user ‘Ponpo’ who discovered the patent filed back in 2015 says it has just been publicized recently. Like Switch, the tech patented looks like a tablet with two controller pieces on either side. Although instead of Joy-Cons flanking the screen, the half-controllers on either side of the device resembles the handles on a DualShock 4. While it is not explicitly shown, they do look detachable as well.
Nintendo Switch-Inspired Console In The Works?
Now, this could be the next handheld console Sony may be working on for a future release. But it’s nothing to get too hyped up about yet. Considering it’s still a patent, there’s no telling if this project will ever come to fruition or not.
Tech companies file plenty of patents that usually never see the light of day. Last year, Sony has filed multiple patents for a glove controller and it has not yet announced nor discussed it in any official capacity. Despite the existence of Switch-esque patent, there is no assurance that Sony is indeed working on a handheld that looks like this to follow up the Vita.
Besides, the plausibility of the newly discovered project remains low at this point. Digital Trends notes the PlayStation Vita hasn’t sold well.
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) successor has only sold a total of 15.25 million units since its release in late 2011. That’s a remarkably poor performance compared to PSP’s 80.82 million units. Even when compared to the Nintendo 3DS which sold 63.82 million units, the PS Vita has not kept pace.
Regardless of what comes of the patent, Nintendo will launch the Switch in just a few weeks. The Guardian describes the device as “a hybrid of console and handheld”. The self-contained unit boasts up to six hours battery life and is chargeable with a USB-C cable.
It runs on the very same processing technology a tablet computer utilizes, too. This makes it more geared towards being portable compared to Wii U. The Switch will launch on March 3 in over 30 European territories, including the UK, Germany, Denmark, France, and Portugal. Russia and South Africa will get the console on the same date as well.
Potential buyers can pre-order the console from a number of retailers. But reports have it most, if not all, have already run out of their initial stock allocation.