Sony is killing it with the PS5, but it doesn't have the best track record when it comes to its smartphones. That hasn't stopped it from churning out its Xperia series though, with the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III being the most recent in the lineup. But what if the company released a device that was part-smartphone, part-handheld console? It might look a little something like this.
Designer Anesthétique Projets (opens in new tab) has mocked up a concept for the hybrid handheld (via Yanko Design (opens in new tab)). With dedicated gaming buttons, the handset is geared towards gaming, but is kitted out with features you'd expect to see on a smartphone. The renders don't answer all of our questions as to how it might work, but as a concept, we love this idea.
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As a portable gaming gizmo, the PlayStation phone — or PS5G — doesn't skimp on features. There's a D-pad, the PlayStation action buttons, a PS Home button, option buttons, share button, and two analog sticks. To top it off, the concept even includes two sets of shoulder buttons, to fulfil the functionality of the PS5 DualSense controller's L1/R1 and L2/R2 shoulder bumpers and triggers. There's no need for extra peripherals to get the PS5G gaming ready; it's good to go as is.
In terms of smartphone features, it's a tall, thin device, which is in keeping with Sony's Xperia range to some degree. It has a generously-sized panel, a five camera array on the rear and dual front-facing cameras. No one wants to compromise on key aspects of a smartphone, like the camera, so the Zeiss branded setup should sit well with the fictional users.
The PS5G sports a volume rocker and power button, as you'd expect, and in keeping with the gaming functionality, the charging port is situated along the length of the chassis, as opposed to the usual spot at the 'bottom.' So you can play while it's charging, and not be hampered by any cables jutting into your hand.
Of course, the 5G connectivity is great for both a smartphone and a portable console, facilitating on-the-go gaming.
Sony has seemingly thrown the towel in on portable gaming devices, stopping production of the PSP and the PS Vita in recent years. Taking into account its less than stellar success in the mobile market, branching out into making a hybrid between the two could be a move that would pay off for the company.
Microsoft has bypassed the need to make its own handheld thanks to Xbox Game Pass. Gamers have access to a huge library of Xbox games that they can access on a multitude of devices via the cloud, including smartphones.
Sony doesn't have anything to rival the Netflix-style cloud gaming service just set, which is fantastic value for money — especially if you've just shelled out for an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. Meanwhile, Nintendo is uncontested in the handheld field with the Switch and Switch Lite, so Sony could attempt to bridge the gap between itself and its competitors with something like this PS5G concept. For those of us who miss the PSP and Vita, the PS5G looks like a tantalizing prospect that we'd love to see become a reality.