It appears that along with the PS4 Neo and PS4 Slim, Sony will have a third hardware announcement. We might just see another iteration of the PS Vita or possibly a new handheld altogether.
According to popular gaming forum NeoGAF, FCC filings pertaining to a new iteration of the handheld have been unearthed. This follows Japanese blog Hakano reporting that Sony has registered two wireless modules with the FCC. These are AW-CB262 and J20H091 and they match up to the model numbers for modules pertaining to the PS4 and PS Vita respectively.
While the existence of the PS4 Slim and PS4 Neo have dominated most of the headlines, a Foxconn employee claims that in addition to the PS4 Slim being manufactured, a PSP-like device is in the works as well. Other blogs such as Esuteru are labelling it as the PlayStation Fantasy while others speculate it could be the PS Vita PCH-3000 - indicating it's simply an iteration of the existing Vita that sports the 2000 model number. Nonetheless, some of the specs listed by Esuteru include a 1080p, 5.5-inch screen, a camera, rear touchpad as well as functionality for L1, R1, L2, R2, as well L3 and R3 triggers and buttons. Along with this, Vita and PSP games would work on it in addition to FIFA 17, God of War 3, and a new Assassin's Creed are apparently in development for it too. Apparently it ir will be out in 2017 and supports a maximum of 32GB of storage.
We'd take this rumour with a grain of salt considering that Sony has stopped making games for the PS Vita. A new model, if at all, would probably be a strategic move until the company shores up its mobile game plans in totality.
"The installed base is much smaller compared to any other console," said the erstwhile PlayStation India head Atindriya Bose in an interview with Gadgets 360. "While it's nice to say it's a handheld console, it strikes the price point of the PS3, so which one should you have between the two?"
Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios echoed these comments last year.
"That's a tough question," he said when asked about a PlayStation Vita 2 at the Eurogamer Expo (EGX 2015). "People have mobile phones and it's so easy to play games on smartphones," Yoshida said. "And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start.
"I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. Touch-based games are fun - there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons make things totally different."
"So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."