The rise of smartphone gaming and the success of the Nintendo Switch may have Sony considering another portable device next generation. A recent Financial Times article shares rumors that Sony could be considering a portable component for its next PlayStation, but before you go telling your friends that we're getting another PS Vita, you may want to consider this rumor carefully.
According to the article, "...Sony might be planning a tablet that would connect to multiple devices as online streaming of games becomes more widespread and the company seeks to derive ever greater synergies between its games and movie divisions."
If you're thinking a PlayStation Vita 2.0, you're thinking too small. You'll notice that they didn't call this a gaming device, or even use the word "handheld," which brings gadgets like the 3DS and Vita to mind. They called this a tablet, which casts a very wide net. Tablets are multi-purpose devices. Yes, you can game on them, but they're where you watch Netflix, stream music, and catch up with your social media feeds.
Sony has a lot to gain, here. We already know that next-generation consoles are going to pack some next-level streaming technology in to their boxes. AMD is working with Microsoft and Sony on making seamless game streaming a reality, and just yesterday Microsoft revealed its new game streaming platform, Project xCloud (more on that here). Microsoft wants you to be able to play Xbox games on any phone, any tablet, any device that is connected to the internet. But what if Sony could market a device as made for streaming from its next-gen PlayStation?
What if Sony was able to produce an affordable tablet with proprietary wireless technology that took advantage of everything the PlayStation brand has to offer. Seamless streaming from the PlayStation 5, access to all of the programming PlayStation Vue has to offer, reliable game streaming from the PlayStation Now service... If this all came to a product on which you could also watch Netflix, stream music, and catch up on your social feeds, Sony may have a winner on its hands, and something that may appeal to its target, hyper-connected consumer.
Of course, all of this is guesswork on my part, and guesswork borne from a rumor that may or may not be based in reality, so keep your expectations in check. If we manage to learn anything new about Sony's plans for the coming generation of hardware, we'll update you straight away.