Sony’s new Xperia gaming phone adds fresh dirt on the PS Vita’s grave

10 years ago, Sony made both smartphones and gaming handhelds Sony’s new Xperia gaming phone adds fresh dirt on the PS Vita’s grave; the Xperia and the Vita line co-existed and served different markets. Nowadays the Vita has been rendered largely obsolete by the power and utility of today’s smartphones. After 7 years on the market, Sony has decided that dedicated handheld gaming peripherals just aren’t worth it.

PlayStation was noticeably absent from Tokyo Game Show 2022, but Sony’s Xperia smartphone segment debuted an interesting device. The latest Xperia 1 IV Gaming Edition smartphone adds fresh new soil to the Vita’s grave. The Xperia 1 IV Gaming Edition packs on an extra 4GB of RAM onto the base Xperia 1 IV handset to deliver serious hardware specs and performance targets; outfitted with a massive 16GB of DDR5-3200MHz RAM, Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, and a 120Hz screen with 240Hz touch scanning, the new Xperia gaming edition was built specifically for pro players (namely F2P mobile games).

Sony's new Xperia gaming phone adds fresh dirt on the PS Vita's grave

Sony has also made a separate peripheral that comes with specially-designed Xperia Stream hardware–a portable handheld dock with a built-in cooling fan, LAN ports, and even HDMI out for streaming.

Designed in collaboration with professional eSports players, the Xperia 1 IV Gaming Edition combines Xperia Stream gaming gear, featuring a total cooling system, with customisable settings, live streaming and more.

High-performance gaming gear designed in collaboration with pro gamers
Total cooling system lets you play for longer
HDMI, LAN and USB-C ports for stable gaming
3.5mm audio jack for your favourite gaming headset
Game enhancer control optimises cooling automatically

PlayStation was noticeably absent from Tokyo Game Show 2022 Xbox Boss Commits To Current Console Prices, but Sony’s Xperia smartphone segment debuted an interesting device. The latest Xperia 1 IV Gaming Edition smartphone adds fresh new earth to the Vita’s grave. The Xperia 1 IV Gaming Edition includes an additional 4GB of RAM on the base Xperia 1 IV handset to deliver serious hardware specs and performance goals; equipped with a massive 16GB DDR5-3200MHz RAM, Qualcomm’s Powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoCand a 120Hz display with 240Hz touch scanning, the new Xperia Gaming Edition is built specifically for professional players (namely F2P mobile games).

Unveiled as part of IFA 2022, an annual tech show that takes place in Germany, the Sony Xperia 5 IV comes just a few months after its sibling. As is Sony’s way, this is a similar phone to the 1, but in a smaller package.

That means it has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a trio of 12MP cameras on the back and another 12MP one up front, 30W charging, and all the useful Sony apps that the Xperia 1 IV enjoyed a few months ago.

Like previous Xperia 5 mobiles, the Mark 4 is smaller with a display clocking in at 6.1 inches, and it’s not a 4K display, while the battery’s also smaller to fit with the shrunken frame.

If you follow Sony phones, you’ll know that this is par for the course – the Xperia 5 is always a smaller version of its Xperia 1 counterpart, and the upgrades that the Xperia 1 IV received over the Xperia 1 III, like a brighter display, the ability to record 4K 120Hz video on all four cameras, and the new Music Pro app, are all present here…

…except for one. And you already know what it is, because you read the introduction.

The Sony Xperia 5 IV has a 60mm telephoto zoom lens, which will get you just over 2x closer to a subject. That’s notably not the 85mm-125mm continuous zoom of the Xperia 1 IV, or even the 70mm-105mm adaptive telephoto of both Mark 3 phones that can jump to either of those two points.

It does make sense that the feature isn’t in the phone – it’s likely it takes up a lot of space, and that wouldn’t have fit with this small-form mobile – but it’s still a shame.

There’s even a quick shot of a gamer indulging in an intense bout of play while holding a mysterious Xperia smartphone in their hands, and, of course, this built up even more hopes that something like a PlayStation Vita 2 or new Xperia gaming smartphone was incoming. However, a lack of leaks, which would be untypical for such a major device launch, aroused some initial suspicion, and with some digging around it was soon discovered what the Sony “smartphone” actually is: A gaming gear cooling system for the Xperia 1 IV.

It appears when Sony actually launched the Xperia 1 IV back in May and even revealed the peripheral in the official announcement video (about 21:20 minutes in), almost everybody forgot about it. But a Twitter user called Maestrotaku pointed out the cooling system, which was in testing phase back in May with a promise to deliver it in autumn, was the likely teased device. A closer look at one of the scenes in the latest announcement video also confirms that this is the Sony Xperia 1 IV’s gaming gear cooling system, designed to boost gaming performance and live streaming. Of course, this sadly means no PlayStation 5 portable and no Xperia Play 2 or gaming smartphone is coming just yet.

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