We were one of the first to start reporting on the development of a new 5G PlayStation Portable (PSP) way back in 2018, and the rumors and speculation have been piling up since then – even if the handheld console has yet to be officially confirmed by Sony.
Surely Sony must have noted the huge success of the Nintendo Switch, a fantastic handheld console that has since been joined by a Switch Lite version – these handhelds have been flying off the shelves, which shows there's a market out there for them.
You're in the perfect place to learn all about the 5G PSP rumours right here: we've rounded up everything we've heard so far about the next-gen PlayStation Portable, from when we might see it launched, to the sort of design and internal specs it could bring along with it.
Sony PSP 5G: release date and price
One of the reasons Sony has stayed in the mobile phone business for so long is because it wants to "develop 5G technology as a competency that can be used across the Sony Group" – in the words of Sony itself – and we can't think of any better application of that 5G experience than in a portable handheld console.
With the PlayStation 5 now out in the world, there's no reason why Sony couldn't push out a smaller companion device, no doubt offering tight integration with the main console. It could easily tie into the PS Now game streaming service, giving the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S even more of a problem in terms of trying to grab market share from Sony.
In other words: the 5G PSP could launch at any time, though we would expect a few more leaks and whispers before it's actually unveiled for real. It's worth bearing in mind that the original PlayStation Portable launched at the end of 2004, and the PS Vita handheld launched at the end of 2011 – a gap of seven years. There was no new handheld in 2018, so we're now well overdue one... and when it does appear, don't forget that we were the first to start reporting on it.
We haven't heard anything specifically about pricing yet, but the PS Vita started at £230 / $250 / AU$350 all those years ago. Perhaps a better indication of what the PSP 5G might cost can be found in the pricing of the Nintendo Switch: yours for £280 / $300 / AU$410. We'd expect a Sony portable console to be a little bit more premium in terms of its internal specs and its external materials, so we might see something slightly above that price – the strong sales of the Switch suggest gamers could stand to pay a little more.
Sony PSP 5G: design
When it comes to the design of the PlayStation Portable 5G, we haven't seen anything in the way of leaked images of the actual product – but we have been able to get our hands on concept videos like the one put together by PHConcepts (which we've embedded below). It's certainly a stylish-looking concept, and we would be very impressed indeed if Sony managed to come up with something looking this good.
The device is very svelte, with a triple-lens rear camera on the back, and all the usual buttons and analog sticks you'll know from the DualShock and DualSense controllers that Sony has put out with the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5. There's an appealing matte black textured finish, as well as trigger buttons around the edges of the PSP 5G for more intuitive gameplay. It's actually quite phone-like, and we're big fans.
It seems as though the 5G PlayStation Portable might support game cartridges, at least based on a recently filed patent. That follows on from another Sony 2015 patent for a Nintendo Switch-style device, so it looks as though the upcoming handheld is going to be fairly conventional in terms of its aesthetics. At the moment, we haven't heard anything about the console being dockable so that you can game on the big screen, but we wouldn't be surprised if this was included too.
To some extent, there are only so many ways you can design a portable games console, and we think the 6.2-inch LCD screen sported by the Nintendo Switch is probably a good guide to what the PSP 5G is going to come carrying. It's worth bearing in mind that there's also a Nintendo Switch Pro in the offing (most probably), which the PSP 5G might have to compete with in terms of specs and features – that Pro model is expected to come with a 1440p resolution display, so the PSP 5G might follow suit.
Sony PSP 5G: specs
It's worth remembering that 5G connectivity and advances in game streaming technologies mean that the components inside the 5G PlayStation Portable wouldn't have to be necessarily top-tier – gamers could log into PS Now or stream games directly from their PlayStation 5, after logging into their Sony account. That said, it's almost certain that the handheld will have some kind of local game support as well, so it's going to have to be a relatively powerful piece of gadgetry.
5G is of course going to be one of the central specs – the next-gen Portable PlayStation is not going to make do with plain old Wi-Fi. Sony has actually gone on the record as saying that it wants to combine 5G technology and gaming technology – it hasn't specifically mentioned the PSP 5G by name, but the PlayStation 5 doesn't really need a super-fast cellular connection, so draw your own conclusions.
We know that Sony has the expertise in electronics, from screens to camera sensors, but it's not clear how this will translate to the specs of the Sony PSP 5G. Could the same Snapdragon 888 processor that's inside the Sony Xperia 1 III phone feature? It certainly supports 5G. Whatever the specs packed inside the handheld console when it arrives, we're sure that games are going to look sharp, crisp and fluid – whether they're running from a games cartridge or from a cloud server.
Patents have emerged that mention Sony's interest in "scalable game console CPU/GPU design", which could well be scaled down for something like the PSP 5G – processing power that adapts as the situation demands it. A powerful GPU is obviously going to be a must for a device like this, so expect to hear much more about the sort of specs that the PSP 5G is likely to come packing in the months ahead.