The PS5 rumours have got out of hand recently, whether it's speculation over a PlayStation 5 Pro, a new PS5 handheld or, just in, a PS5 DualSense Controller that will heat up and cool based on what a game is depicting. So, what can you believe?
More often than not a Sony leak or rumour turns out to be true in some way. The leaked reports of the DualSense Edge Controller turned out to be true, and when it comes to new skews of consoles Sony has a track record with the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim.
The bug rumour this week is how Sony is planning to launch a new handheld, one that will work with PS5 and could release this year. Before we get int what the rumoured new PS5 handheld would be, I'll say what it isn't, it's not PS Vita 2. (Sorry to bring bad news.)
Speculation of a new Sony handheld isn't new, last year we were wowed by Andrea Gallarini and Nicola Pezzotti's concept renders for a PlayStation Portable. What is new, is the recent rumours have come from Tom Henderson, a well-connected leaker who gets more right than wrong. And the rumoured specs got some fans so excited they whipped up a render over night (abvove) and shared it on Twitter (below).
The new PlayStation Handheld ▶️ Release date possibly early - mid 2024 ▶️ 1080p 60 FPS ▶️ LCD Screen ▶️ Remote Play only device - PS5 | Playstation pic.twitter.com/ZrLnXFt2NmApril 5, 2023
His article for Inside Gaming revealed some key facts that suggest this new PS5 handheld is a real thing Sony has in the locker. Codenamed the Q Lite, this new portable console isn't what people really want – it's not a PS Vita 2 and it's not Sony's answer to Steam Deck, or indeed the newly announced ROG Ally.
The Q Lite is said to be a Remote Play handheld that connects to a PS5, so you need a PlayStation 5 and an internet connection. In this light the render created by TCMFGames feels a realistic approach; it's clearly the PS5 DualSense chopped in half and a display added in the middle. I'd imagine Sony has something a little more thoughtfully crafted in mind (if it's indeed real); a device that echos the curves of PS5 and the recalls the Backbone One, for example.
Fans are already proposing what the Q Lite would look like (above), but the actual PS5 handheld sounds like a mixed bag to me, as it will offer mobile PS5 gaming but not genuine portable gaming, like a Nintendo Switch. Sony's rumoured approach does, however, mimic the way Microsoft views gaming; its Game Pass and Xbox Beta cloud services have proved incredibly popular.
The rumoured device's early specs are good, if true, but also expected. It could feature a 1080p resolution 8-inch display at 60fps, for example. The design will need to match PS5 in style and technology, so Henderson's suggested specs, which include adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, would be realistic.
New PS5 Pro specs?
The speculation over a new PS5 handheld comes at the same time as more rumours of a new PlayStation 5 console have emerged. We've covered the rumoured PS5 Pro elsewhere, but with news of the Q Lite PS5 handheld comes under a broader rumoured plan from Sony called, kind of unimaginatively, the 'second phase of the PS5', as leaked by industry insider Jeff Grubb.
Leading this second phase would be the PS5 Pro, which could launch as early as 2024. Another update to the current PS5 would see a model launch this Christmas with a detachable disc drive, making it an odd mix of the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition. The drive would connect via USB-C to the rear of the console but also fit into the design of PS5 – the upshot is Sony can make its new PS5 slimmer and lighter.
Back to PS5 Pro and there could be a need for a new console in 2024, as both Nvidia and AMD (which supports PlayStation) are pushing new graphics cards and technology. AMD is set to support 8K at 60fps (and even 10K at 30fps) with its new GPUs while Nvidia showcased its move to path tracing tech at GDC 2023 – this is a more advanced ray tracing approach that renders light and colour as the eye sees it in real life.
Speculation from Grubb and others, including RedGamingTech, suggest the PlayStation 5 Pro's GPU could offer double the performance of the PS5 and feature NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) tech, bringing supersampling exclusive to the PS5 5 Pro.
A 'frozen' PS5 controller…
Finally, this rumour is a little odd, and maybe file under 'fun but unrealistic'. According to GamerRant Sony filed a patent for a PlayStation 5 controller that would be able to change temperature as you play, reflecting the on-screen events in a game. If you climb a cold mountain in Horizon Forbidden West your hands will 'freeze' and then descend into a desert you fingers will warm up.
Sony pathed the way for more immersive gaming with the use of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in the PS5 DualSense Controller, and the new patent proposes using a deformable elastic sensor or gel-like material that could transform and warm up or cool down. Personally, I think this is one of those wild design ideas that will never come to pass, but then this is the console brand that had the Namco NeGcon, so anything is possible.