PlayStation Has No More Plans For Handheld Consoles
Sony has had a pretty incredible run when it comes to home consoles. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home-console of all time, with an incredible 155 million units shifted. The PS4 takes second spot with 102.8 million units sold worldwide, which is just ahead of OG PlayStation's amazing 102.5 million.
In fact, Sony has shifted an astounding 450 million units across its entire line-up of home consoles, from the first PlayStation all the way up to the PlayStation 4 Pro. If we're talking home consoles only, that puts PlayStation in first place by some way. Nintendo has 321.7 million combined home console units to its name, while Xbox comes in 'last' with 155 million.
Guinness World Records recently recognised PlayStation's dominance of the home console space. Earlier this month, the organisation officially awarded Sony with the honour of PlayStation being "the best-selling home console brand". It's a huge achievement, but a number of people rightly pointed out that if you were to factor handhelds into the equation, Nintendo comes out way ahead of Sony.
The might of the DS and Game Boy families ensure that Nintendo sits at over over 750 million combined units, compared to Sony's 537.5 million. If we take away the reported 450 million home consoles from Sony, that means that the PSP and Vita only managed around 87 million between them. For comparison, the Nintendo DS alone sits at over 154 million. The original Game Boy? Over 118 million.
While Sony's two forays into handheld gaming certainly have their fans, the underwhelming number above certainly seems to suggest that there's little point trying to compete with Nintendo in the portable arena - especially with mobile games increasingly vying for attention in the same space.
That's probably why Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan recently shut down the idea of a new handheld PlayStation console. Potentially for good. In a recent interview with Game Informer, Ryan responded to the rumours that PlayStation was planning a handheld device to complement the PS5 by completely shutting down the idea of a new portable machine from the company.
Ryan and various other Sony bosses previously blamed the rise of mobile games for the Vita's ill health. Of course, others would also point to the console's disappointing lack of truly must-play first party titles (hey! - ed) and off-putting price point (fair enough - ed). Clearly, the Vita failed for lots of reasons, rather than one big reason... but it was still a great bit of kit that deserved more.
Hopefully PlayStation finds a way to return to handheld gaming and make it work, one day. Just don't expect that day to arrive any time soon. For now, join me this weekend in raising a glass to the Vita and PSP. Those plucky bastards.
Featured Image Credit: Sony