Sony teases portable AR PlayStation after dropping PSVR, PS Vita

sony ar playstation controller

A futuristic controller appeared in a video released by Sony during its corporate strategy meeting with hints that PlayStation controllers may someday have AR or even holographic controllers.

Sony is no stranger to experimenting with PlayStation controllers. Each new generation brings something new to the table. The PlayStation 5 controller has a touchpad, gyroscopic controls, a microphone, adaptive triggers, and haptic vibration. It makes sense that the company would look to emerging technologies when it comes to ideals for next-gen hardware.

Sony has already released a controller with a screen called PlayStation Portal to moderate success. The device is a controller split in half with a screen in between, capable of streaming PlayStation games from a PlayStation 5. There are no cloud streaming capabilities on the device, though, so players need a PlayStation 5 at home to stream games.

Sony teases AR PlayStation controller of the future

A sizzle reel for Sony’s future entertainment hardware showed what is seemingly a portable AR gaming device.

Sony defined its “Creative Entertainment Vision” and showcased its long-term technological goals. The pitch is effectively an ability to fold all forms of entertainment into portable devices that are integrated with one another. This plays out in the form of an astronaut character being shown across a futuristic tablet, smartphone, and gaming device.

The video imagines where the company “wants to be in 10 years, with an eye towards future technological advances.” However, technology isn’t mature enough to make feasible and practical holographic or projected screens. It’s also the sort of unfeasible excess that defines the modern tech industry.

Much like the “Metaverse” concept that sparked a gold rush by tech companies that never actually resulted in anything of value to consumers, Sony’s pitch technically already exists. Portable gaming devices are the norm in 2024. Cloud streaming allows gamers to play modern AAA games on the go, if they have a sufficient internet connection.

Sony has actually moved away from or failed to invest in the kind of tech it’s pitching here. PlayStation Plus lagging behind Xbox Game Pass in its cloud gaming offering. Sony decommissioned the PS Vita and PSP gaming devices and hasn’t indicated a return even as the market has become saturated by newcomers. That’s not the only tech that Sony hyped up here that it has a poor history with.

Is VR the next big thing for Sony and PlayStation?

Sony teased new VR and AR gaming technology months after laying off most or all of PlayStation’s VR game developers.

Sony aims to move toward wearable virtual reality headsets or goggles. Light and comfortable headsets could make the futuristic controller a reality, easily projecting a screen above the controllers. However, PSVR 2 won’t be the device to achieve the vision. 

Sony has a long history of launching great hardware and abandoning it after initial sales targets are unmet. While PSVR 2 isn’t dead yet, Sony is openly divesting from VR gaming. The PSVR 2 launched in February 2022 and has seen just three first-party exclusives since.

Maybe Sony aims to launch the sleek-looking headset in a decade. It just doesn’t actually have anybody to make games for it anymore.

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Written by Bilawal Bashir

Bilawal is a software engineer who loves video games, comic books, and anime. But he will never love pineapple on pizza. In over two decades of gaming, he has only broken two controllers. His work has also been featured by TheGamer and WhatIfGaming.

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