The PSP is long dead. The Playstation Vita too. But long live Valve’s Steam Deck, a handheld that’s just around the corner, and thanks to Sony’s new PC gaming push, will finally make the dream of playing the company’s biggest blockbusters on a small portable device a reality.
While the initial units aren’t set to start shipping until December, developers have already been getting their hands on the Steam Deck and tweeting pictures of it running their games. The latest person to partake in the media blitz is none other than Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s head of independent development.
Today he tweeted out a picture of the device running Horizon Zero Dawn. We still have no idea how it will play in action, but it looks beautiful for a photo of a screen condensed by Twitter dot com. It’s also what PlayStation portable fans have been dreaming about for years.
The promise of the PS Vita was that it would let players take big blockbusters on the go. So Sony launched it with an Uncharted spin-off, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and followed it up with adaptations of its other big franchises at the time, like Resistance: Burning Skies and LittleBigPlanet PS Vita. A couple years later Killzone: Mercenary followed. Sony even convinced 2K Games to try and put Borderlands 2 on it. And of course there was that Vita Bioshock game that never got off the ground. The experiment was a failure, leading many to believe it was doomed from the start, a theory disproved years later when Nintendo released Breath of the Wild on Switch.
Now it looks like Sony is getting another unlikely bite at that apple thanks to the intersection of two surprising new trends: Valve getting into handhelds, and Sony getting onto Steam. Valve is currently busy making sure every game in its catalog can run on the Steam Deck, and in the meantime Sony seemingly reaffirmed its commitment to porting its console-exclusives to PC this week with the discovery of a PlayStation PC brand, first reported on by VGC.
The company recently announced God of War would come to the platform in January 2022, joining Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone, while the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves collection will follow later in the year. More are on the way, GQ reported in an interview with SIE CEO Jim Ryan in February, with 2018’s Spider-Man being the next logical choice (it came out just a few months after God of War). References to last year’s Sackboy: A Big Adventure were also recently discovered in Steam’s database.
This means a lot of things, one of which is that pretty soon Steam Deck owners will be able to finally play many of Sony’s biggest games on the go. Hopefully with smooth frame rates and no crashes. I suddenly feel like less of an idiot for pre-ordering one. Who knows, it might even bring Helldivers back from the dead.