#134: Sony’s out of the Handheld Business

TODAY: Capcom reveals two new Resident Evil games — What do you get if you mix Mr. Mime with Waluigi, apart from nightmares? — Firewatch developers are now busy with Half-Life: Alyx

Top Story

PlayStation Portable and Vita likely Sony’s only handhelds as PlayStation turns 25

25 years has passed since the very first PlayStation burst onto the gaming scene and upended the old Nintendo and Sega rivalry as well as arguably burying competitors like Atari, 3DO and others under a sudden torrent of texture-mapped polygons, compact discs and memory cards.

Game Informer is marking the occasion with a huge feature about PlayStation, revealing amongst other tidbits that Sony was reluctant about entering the handheld market, and that the PlayStation Portable almost didn’t happen. Even after Nintendo successfully launched the Switch Lite without cannibalizing its flagship Switch, Sony seems reluctant to follow up the Vita.

The PSP only went ahead after “a lot of arm-twisting” from the marketing and sales side of the PlayStation business, according to former Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House.

Former chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Ken Kutaragi was convinced that there would be a “convergence between all forms of media” in a single communications device – and that it would not be a PlayStation. In short, he predicted the rise of smart phones a few years before the iPhone launched.

PlayStation’s first handheld was actually the PocketStation, exclusive to Japan in 1999

As we all know, Sony did go ahead with the PSP in the end, and did pretty well – particularly in Japan. However, Nintendo DS still outsold the PSP by about 50 million units and the Vita fared even worse, selling an estimated 16 million units against 75 million 3DS units.

Will there be any more Sony handhelds? Current president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan says “clearly it’s a business that we’re no longer in now,” so it looks like PlayStation is portable no more.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which banned video game eventually spawned Wu Tang: Shaolin Style?

  • Power Stone
  • War Gods
  • Thrill Kill
  • Mace: The Dark Age

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be!

News Bits

New Resident Evil cover art on PSN

Looks like Capcom has heard our prayers and is working on a Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake! Both the international and Japanese cover art has appeared on PlayStation Network, while Project Resistance has indeed been confirmed to be a Resident Evil spin-off: The 4v1 multiplayer game is now called Resident Evil Resistance.

Persona 5 Royal will be out in the west for PlayStation 4 in March 2020

Atlus has confirmed that Persona 5 Royal will grace our PlayStation 4s with its regal presence early next year. Persona 5 Royal is a PlayStation 4 exclusive enhanced version of the game which originally launched in Japan on October 31st. The latest trailer heralds its Western release on March 31st next year, so get ready for more punk-tinged occult teenage drama!

Daily Fact

Pokémon Sword & Shield – where camping is rarely rewarded

In videogame parlance, ‘camping’ is generally considered rather a rather unsporting tactic: Just hunker down in some hard-to-see location and wait for your opponents to walk into your scope. But in Pokémon Sword & Shield, it allows you to kick back and take it easy, play with your Pokémon and do some cooking under the stars.

Not only is it a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the wilderness of Galar, there is even a (small) chance that wild Pokémon will spot your cozy little camp and ask to join you! The Pokémon won’t just run off with your marshmallow supply either – it will count as ‘caught’, just as if you battled and caught them in the wild.

You can discuss today’s fact on Facebook and Twitter!

Daily News

Artist creates the ‘Mariokédex’

Think you’re the world’s biggest Pokémon or maybe Mario fan? Well, think again: There’s an artist mashing up each of the original 151 Pokémons with something from the Mushroom Kingdom!

The results of the passion project are posted on the aptly named ‘Mariokemon’ instagram account, with the artist teasing that the “Kanto region and Mushroom Kingdom begin to merge.” Some of the creatures are pretty cute, while others are outright terrifying!

Ever wondered what would happen if Bellsprout crossed with a Fire Flower? Well, wonder no more! What happens if you combine an Exeggcute and a Shy Guy? The mystery has been cracked! Do you lack a pathological fear of street performers? The unholy union of Mr. Mime and Waluigi will help you with that! If that’s not dreadful enough for you, then maybe this mix of Ghastly and Boo will scare you into submission?

If peanut butter and jelly can mix in a sandwich then…

While there’s over 120 posts on the account so far, there are still a few more unlikely combinations on the way. Let’s hope the suits responsible for Mario and Pokémon take note and bring us the official crossover we so richly deserve!

Bungie spills the beans on Season of Dawn for Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

A new Destiny 2 season is just around the corner, and Bungie has started revealing what’s in store for the Guardians. It appears the Red Legion is resurgent, as time itself has been turned into a weapon to change the course of history!

“With the Vex Invasion now defeated, Osiris calls upon you to face a new threat. Stop a council of Cabal Psion Flayers from manipulating time and undoing our victory against the Red Legion.“

In order to stop this assault on time itself, you will need to defend the Sundial from an onslaught of Cabal Psion Flayers in a 6-player event. There’s also an opportunity to save Saint-14 from his frozen state – and recover his legendary weapon, Perfect Paradox!

Guardians will “walk the corridors of time”

You can complete Timelost weapon frames to earn season pass weapons, and if you already have a season pass you will receive the exotic scout rifle Symmetry. All players will be able to unlock seasonal gameplay mods for The Lantern of Osiris.

The new content will be released on December 10th, but you can take a closer look at the new stuff in a Twitch livestream today if the new trailer isn’t enough.

News Bits

Nintendo Switch outperforms last year’s Black Friday sales in UK

Black Friday is over for now, and the trampling hordes of holiday shoppers have spoken: They want those sweet, sweet Switches at a lower price! While Xbox One was the big winner in this year’s sale, the Switch was very close behind and earned more money than Microsoft’s heavily discounted console. The new Switch model with Neon-colored JoyCons was the most popular choice.

Campo Santo puts In the Valley of Gods on hold to work on Valve projects

Firewatch creator Campo Santo was recently acquired by Valve, and has shelved In the Valley of Gods in favour of new projects for Valve – including Half-Life: Alyx. The team will also be working on Dota Underlords and the Steam platform, as well as other projects. While In the Valley of Gods is on ice for now, it “certainly feels like a project people can and may return to,” according to studio co-founder Jake Rodkin.

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which banned video game eventually spawned Wu Tang: Shaolin Style?

Answer: Thrill Kill

A lot of videogames never see the light of day, but only a few become famous for exactly that reason. Thrill Kill is probably the most famous cancelled videogame ever: A four-player fighting game so violent and sexualized that its publisher refused to release it.

The game engine lived on however, and was used to create a Wu Tang fighting game based on their album 36 Chambers. While Thrill Kill is only really famous for being too hot to handle, it is also extremely tame by today’s standard.

Yesterday's Quiz Answer

Which of these is NOT a name for one of the ill-fated CDi Zelda games?

Answer: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Quest

Nintendo was pretty careless about licensing its characters in the early 90s, resulting in a batch of infamous Philips CD-i games. Several Mario and Zelda games were developed for the ill-fated console, and they were all terrible.

Particularly the Zelda games stood out in their awfulness, thanks to good, old-fashioned bad game design and some of the worst cut-scenes ever directed. Look them up on YouTube if you want a hearty belly laugh, but don’t try to play them unless you want to die from cringe.

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