Where is The Sony PlayStation Handheld?

In the world of gaming, Sony has long been a dominant player, known for its innovative consoles and immersive gaming experiences. One area where Sony made quite a buzz in the earlier days of portable gaming was the release of the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

 However, with the current trend of portable gaming on the rise again, many are left wondering why Sony isn’t making any more handheld gaming devices. Let’s delve into the topic and explore the reasons behind Sony’s shift in focus.

The Rise and Success of the PSP

Sony didn’t release the PSP just because they wanted to. They recognized the growing demand in the portable gaming market and decided to capitalize on it. The official announcement of the PSP’s development was made by Sony at E3 2003, and in December of the following year, the PSP was officially released. 

Offering a console-like gaming experience on a small portable device, the PSP quickly became a hit, selling over 500,000 units in its first few days. By July 2022, it had sold over 80 million units worldwide, according to VG charts.

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Competition from Nintendo DS

While PlayStation was enjoying success with the PSP, they weren’t the only player in the handheld gaming market. Nintendo was also a major contender with its release of the Nintendo DS. 

The Nintendo DS proved to be a big success, giving tough competition to Sony’s PSP. Despite the PSP’s impressive graphical performance on a 4.3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 480 by 272 pixels, it couldn’t outsell the Nintendo DS.

The Challenges and Downfall of the PSP

Although the PSP reached the peak of success quickly, it didn’t take long for its fortunes to change. One of the significant challenges the PSP faced was piracy. Hackers found ways to exploit the PSP with unauthorized software, leading to a flood of pirated games.

 Sony released multiple firmware updates to combat piracy, but the hackers continued to find ways to exploit the system. Eventually, Sony realized that the battle against piracy was unwinnable.

The Introduction of PS Vita

In 2011, Sony released the PS Vita, their new portable gaming handheld. However, it didn’t achieve the same level of success as the PSP. According to VG charts, only 16 million units of the PS Vita were sold in total, which was significantly lower compared to the PSP’s numbers. Several factors contributed to its lackluster performance.

Reasons for the PS Vita’s Lack of Success

Various reasons have been attributed to the failure of the PS Vita. According to an article published by Make Use Of, here are some of the main causes:

  1. The dominance of Nintendo 3DS: At the time, the Nintendo 3DS was the favored handheld device among fans, which affected the PS Vita’s market share.
  2. Misleading Marketing: Sony marketed the PS Vita as a portable home console experience, positioning it as a premium device with a hefty price tag. This pricing strategy raised concerns among gamers, as it cost almost as much as a home console like the Xbox 360 or PS3.
  3. Expensive Memory Cards: The high-priced memory cards required for the PS Vita added to the overall cost, making it less attractive to potential buyers.

Sony’s Shift in Focus

As time went on, Sony shifted its focus to home consoles. The release of the PlayStation 4 marked a turning point for Sony, and they realized their potential in the home console market. The success of the PS5, which quickly became the best-selling gaming console on the market, further solidified Sony’s position in the home console space.

 Sony decided to discontinue their handheld gaming devices, such as the PSP and PS Vita, and concentrate on their core business of home consoles.

A Glimpse of Hope for Portable Gaming

While Sony may have seemingly abandoned the handheld gaming market, recent developments indicate a potential comeback. Last year, Sony partnered with Backbone to design a gaming controller for phones, featuring PlayStation 5 aesthetics. 

The controller, available only for iPhone devices, allows users to stream games directly from PlayStation, PC, or Xbox on their phones. This move hints at Sony’s interest in the portable gaming market once again.

The Future of Sony’s Handheld Gaming

At this point, it remains uncertain what Sony’s approach will be toward the upcoming handheld market. Only time will tell if they choose to re-enter the handheld gaming arena and tighten their grip on the industry once again. Until more information becomes available, we can only speculate on what the future holds for portable gaming handhelds.


In conclusion, the history of Sony’s handheld gaming devices, from the success of the PSP to the challenges faced by the PS Vita, showcases the complex dynamics of the gaming industry. Sony’s shift in focus towards home consoles and the tremendous success of the PS5 demonstrate their commitment to the console gaming market. 

However, recent collaborations and developments suggest that Sony’s interest in portable gaming may not be completely extinguished. The ever-evolving gaming landscape is full of surprises, and Sony’s future moves in the handheld gaming arena will undoubtedly be of great interest to gaming enthusiasts worldwide.

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