Next consoles will be portables?


#1

With Switch sells doing so well, with many of it reason for it good sells is it portability, will Sony and Microsoft next consoles will be completely portable or has a way to make some part of the system portable?


#2

When the Wii came out Sony and MS fell over themselves trying to make a motion controls system themselves I feel they got burnt enough to maybe not try and match Nintendo again…

Buttttt considering how they’re going whole hog into VR I wouldn’t be surprised if they started making a Vita 2.


#3

Ye, I would expect potential steps forward to portability (in the primary console unit) to avoid making “a tablet, but too expensive, and no Nintendo games to drive that very specific market adoption”. Rather a path might be making stuff that works as cable-free VR/AR (with a base unit that provides a TV experience and possibly wirelessly drives the portable thing for higher-fidelity experiences when at home). And even that path (not just releasing a new box with a UltraHD drive and a ~$200-class GPU inside) is far from assured considering VR has yet to take off (and you’ve got to pay for the portable unit).

I can’t see anyone chasing Nintendo towards lower fidelity games as the GTA Vs and all the other billion dollar sellers on the main platforms continue to chase ever-greater fidelity (basically rolling with a “good enough” GPU mixed with the least money you can viably spend on a CPU and RAM to feed it - hence why the consoles often leave it to the final minute to decide on total RAM as they look at prices and how little they can get away with; the skimping on CPU side is a slightly more modern thing as they’ve become “good enough” for a lot of gaming needs).

The Switch doing as well as the PS4 definitely doesn’t indicate the PS4 is doing anything wrong (and would presumably do even better if the XB1 wasn’t eating at least some of the platform sales for a set of devices that are approximately the same in market niche they fill and not exactly like the Switch).


#4

I think this all depends on whether AMD can shrink down their current architecture to fit in a portable format. My understanding is that the Switch and other portable devices are on an ARM architecture, which is different from the Intel/AMD paradigm. Seeing as Sony and Microsoft have both finally settled on essentially off-the-shelf PC components for their platforms, I highly doubt that they would want to make a change for some time. Now, once the components shrink enough to fit into a reasonably priced (<$500 US) laptop, then yeah, why not release a portable version. But until that happens, expect the PS4 and Xbox to remain tethered to your TV.


#5

I want soooooo badly for you to be right…I would love a Vita 2 :sob:


#6

Not unless portable tech catches up in a big way while also remaining as affordable as a traditional console. Soooo… no.

We’re not very many months out from some very important people at Microsoft saying that all the market wants is higher resolutions and higher frame rates, and I don’t think the success of the Switch is going to change their mind much there. I still don’t think Sony and MS consider Nintendo as competition; they’ve been out of that whole tech arms race for years.

I could see a Vita 2 at some point, but it would be independent from the PS5 or whatever.


#7

While I don’t think (including the screen) there are many x86 SoC options with worthwhile GPUs right now that could run as low as 9 Watts, I wouldn’t be shocked if the 7nm shrink of the current stuff (that 15W is just the SoC, not the total device) couldn’t at least get reasonably close to an affordable (but not exactly budget) portable PS4 or XB1 (not Pro or X, certainly not close to when in portable mode rather than running active cooling and hooked up to the mains).

If we’re chasing 1.3-1.8 TFLOPS (the theoretical max floating point maths calculations per second a GPU can do, which is the bulk of what they’re doing when calculating 3D graphics so we’ll call it close enough to gaming rendering - at least giving us an idea of the right tier required) then that Ryzen 7 2700U with Vega 10 is actually capable of bursting up to 1.7 TF so right in the zone we’d want. Of course, holding that level of performance without overheating or eating the battery (bursting well over the TDP) isn’t currently possible (your laptop chips can’t run full-out with these ultra-mobile TDPs and they need to clock down from that 1.3GHz peak) but maybe give it a couple of years and for 7nm to shrink everything down (maybe get more units that can run slower for the same total but less power due to various square laws) and maybe they’ll be able to sustain that performance without blowing the power budget. Now that’s a PS4 in your pocket (just about).


#8

I understood approximately 25% of what you said, so have a like. :wink:


#9

Don’t know enough about tech and architecture to have a valid mechanical opinion, but I imagine MS is probably pretty content with their current system and probably looking to expand on it. If they eventually have enough parity between the two that xbox games and windows that they might just expand into their windows tablets. It’s not as tidy as a switch, but it gets the job done to a degree. I think Sony has been bitten on handhelds often enough and they’re currently on top that they’re probably a bit wary to dip into those waters again.

It would be a weird pivot to me for both Sony and MS to be fighting tooth and nail for that hardware edge and “the most powerful console ever” to immediately backpedal and try to go full portable.


#10

As much as it hurts to admit, I pretty much agree with what you said at the end. But a man can dream right? Right…?

EDIT: Actually, I didn’t realize you said “full portable”. I can’t see that happening, but maybe just another shot in the market? Even though they primarily focus on the heavy-hitter TV console, Sony does tend to experiment in other markets with their own weird/interesting takes on it (3D/Simulview, handhelds/remote play + rear touch capabilities, VR, etc.)


#11

I think the switch is as great as it is because it’s the only one I have. Granted I’m a single console gamer for the first time since the NES, but with the PC and the switch I feel like I get more or less everything I want and I can mostly live with the occasional Bloodborne or Yakuza.

Back in the day with the PSP/DS, it always felt like a competition between the two and the PSP lost most of the time. When the switch came out, my 3DS got shelved indefinitely and only got broken out to play Metroid. It also had a phenomenal year in terms of games, most of which I haven’t totally finished yet. Imagining a handheld from MS or Sony that’s going to convince me to leave my switch at home the next time I’m on the go is… difficult.


#12

Why would they plenty of people still want the PS4 style console (More then people want the Switch actually if you count both the Xbone and the PS4 even with the overlap between them I assume) and the Switch Eshop is already a pretty big mess so by the time they could get a Switch style console out the bubble will have somewhat burst on the software sales front anyways and it’s not like Sony as fixed that issue on the PS4 so I don’t think they’re the solution there and I’m not sure how interested in trying they would be. At most I can see them putting out a Vita 2 for people like me who don’t want to drag around something as cumbersome as the Switch and trying to fill the gap in the more traditional handheld market the Switch is leaving behind

Microsoft could maybe do something with the surface tablet line and strapping some cheap pieces of junk to the sides of those ala the Switch but that would cost two to three times more than the already over priced Switch so I don’t see that taking off at the moment


#13

The PS4 is selling really well though. Even the Xbox One seems like it is doing pretty well after Microsoft tried to bury it. It’ll be interesting to see. A few years ago people were wondering if home video game consoles would even be a thing after this generation. And now it seems like we’ve got a thriving console generation.