Another week has just passed by and, once more, we have seen rumored information spill out about both the Nintendo Switch Pro and Sony PSP 5G.
First we had the discovery that back in 2019 at a 'Sony x 5G' event Sony's Wireless Network Research Department chief said that 5G unlocks many advantages in terms of gaming, with its ultra-reliable low latency called out.
This, in light of the fact that Sony is now a master of 5G technology, with it proliferated all the way through its product areas from phones to professional film cameras, highlighted how the Japanese firm could easily use the technology in a gaming application and that it had been thinking about it for at least two years. The theory suggests that considering the PS5 does not use 5G, that means it could only be used, in a gaming application, in a new piece of portable gaming hardware.
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A PSP 5G equipped with the ability to stream games from PlayStation Now as well as from a gamer's own console, as T3 noted recently, would have a massive impact on Microsoft and its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.
Then came the bombshell leak that revealed what gamers soon dubbed the 'Super Nintendo Switch'. A verified tipster on the ResetEra forum, which is well known for being the location of many accurate tech leaks in the past, spoke about how from the information that he had seen a Nintendo Switch Pro console was in the works and that it would be as powerful as a PS4, have a native resolution of 1440p, and that it would use Nvidia's DLSS 2.0 AI tech to deliver even higher resolutions and framerates.
Suddenly Sony appeared to have a very potent new adversary coming down the pipe, and Microsoft appeared to be heading toward a situation where its two fiercest rivals were going to have a handheld gaming console in their armories, while it would not. And that's saying nothing of Sony's PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality hardware, either.
The truth is, though, that regardless if both or only one of the Sony PSP 5G or Super Nintendo Switch Pro get released over the next few years, they will have a big impact on the PS5 vs Xbox Series X console war. And this is why.
The current console offering from both Microsoft and Sony is very evenly matched, with both firms offering a flagship console and a digital-only option. Nintendo, meanwhile, offers two consoles in the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite that offer superb gaming software experiences in terms of gameplay and fun, but cannot match Sony or Microsoft's consoles for power and performance, as well as in-game visual fidelity and scope.
However, in a landscape where a Super Nintendo Switch exists, suddenly the pressure will really be on both Sony and Microsoft to match the gaming experiences it delivers, as the tech it will have on board will be markedly closer than before to its rivals systems. Gamers could be playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at a 4K resolution, for example, and that would really hit the ball back into Sony and Microsoft's court.
Meanwhile, if Sony does release a PSP 5G then it will be a game changer for both Microsoft and Nintendo. Nintendo, who has had the handheld console market wrapped up for years will suddenly have incredibly potent competition, with the Sony handheld allowing gamers to stream AAA games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Horizon Forbidden West on the go. Nintendo will have to up its game in terms of quality titles being released, as otherwise heads will be turned to the gaming ecosystem offered by Sony.
Finally, if either of these consoles hit the market, then Microsoft is really going to have to deliver some outstanding gaming experiences on the Xbox platform, as well as value for money, as with no handheld console offering they are going to be the odd one out in the market. And, simply put, why would gamers game on Xbox and feel trapped at home when they could enjoy maximum gaming freedom with Nintendo or Sony?
Nothing is certain yet in terms of whether we will see a Nintendo Switch Pro or Sony PSP 5G console. But one thing is clear – the competition they would bring in the marketplace would be brilliant news for gamers the world over, no matter their allegiance.
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