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Sony slip-ups: ahead of the PS5, we look back at the PlayStation tech that just didn’t work

As we move into the next generation of consoles, Sony currently owns all the cards and will seek to build on the monumental success it found during the current generation. Sometimes it's easy to forget how well the PlayStation 4 has sold, with over 102 million sales worldwide, making the system the second-best-selling console of all time (not including handheld computers). .

Also, as we get closer to the launch of PlayStation 5, it's always fascinating to see what new products and devices Sony will invent, for better or for worse. After all, Sony loves to get a little weird. Who can forget the infamous DualShock "Boomerang" unveiled at the PlayStation 3 conference? Although the controller was never released, it has become enormously memorable … for all the wrong reasons.

That's why we've put together a list of PlayStation innovations that never caught the landing, and while some should be applauded for their bold and brave experimentation, others leave him questioning boardroom decisions and bizarre strategy moves.

PlayStation Classic

PlayStation Classic

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We start with one of Sony's most recent glitches: the PlayStation Classic. The Japanese firm sought to capitalize on the huge appetite for nostalgic pushback consoles, thanks to Nintendo proving its worth through its popular NES and SNES Classic. Yes, the PS Classic seemed like an easy victory. That is until the game lineup was revealed.

Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Castelevania, Tomb Raider, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and many more were missing due to license fees. Not to mention poor emulation of selected titles, it meant that the PS classic felt undercooked. Originally launched at the price of $ 99 / £ 89.99 / AU $ 149.99, the system quickly went down and found its way to multiple sale containers in stores around the world.

PlayStation Eye – The Eye of Judgment

Eye of judgment

(Image credit: Sony)

A package game can do wonders. You just have to look at the success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Nintendo Switch to see that a game can make a difference. Now take the digital camera peripheral known as the PlayStation Eye. Did Sony use one of your most beloved pets to help introduce the new technology? How about Solid Snake? Kratos? Or even PaRappa? No, instead, he opted for The Eye of Judgment, a turn-based trading card game featuring generic fantasy monsters.

In addition to the reported interface issues, the game struggled to find an audience, as many found that playing without all the gadgets actually produced a better experience. While the PlayStation Eye itself became a hit (succeeded by the PlayStation Camera for the PS4), The Eye of Judgment blinked and was discontinued less than three years after launch.

Play Station Vita

play Station Vita

(Image credit: Barone Firenze / Shutterstock.com)

After dominating the console space, Sony triumphantly launched into the world of handheld computers. The nifty and powerful PlayStation Portable racked up over 80 million sales and received positive reviews from both critics and fans, but its successor, the PS Vita, failed to beat the 16 million mark by most estimates.

Headed by a passionate fan base (Vita Island Forever), the handheld suffered tremendous third-party support, exorbitantly priced memory cards, and a frustrating exclusivity deal with AT&T. Furthermore, Sony's marketing of the product was lacking on all fronts, along with the most damning nail in the coffin that first-party support quickly disappeared. At another time, in another place, the Vita could have been a completely different story. At least, it became a comfort home for the indies.

PlayStation TV

PlayStation TV

(Image credit: Sony)

Another victim who had so much potential, PlayStation TV could have lived up to Netflix and Apple today, if it were better implemented. Offering compatibility with the original PlayStation, PSP, various PS3 titles, and the Vita, the concept seemed golden. Handheld computers on the big screen at last. This was the dream.

Sadly, the reality was a shaky 720p output with a very limited number of truly playable Vita games, starting the device off on the wrong foot from day one. Sony's support was similarly weakened and anyone who dared to jump was once again put off by the same expensive memory cards that plagued the Vita.

PlayStation mouse

PlayStation mouse

(Image credit: Tom Gaudasinski / Wikipedia)

It's hard to imagine Sony launching a mouse for its hardware these days, but when it entered the market in December 1994, the PlayStation Mouse made its debut. With home computers now synonymous with homes far and wide, leveraging the peripheral to work in tandem with a home console made perfect sense.

However, Sony's lack of support (we're starting to see a trend here) equates to just 70 more accessible games. Therefore, sales of the PS Mouse declined and the company ran away from the idea ever since.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (PlayStation phone)

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (PlayStation phone)

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Sony makes phones. Sony manufactures game consoles. Why isn't Sony making a gaming phone? Well, actually the company did it in April 2011 with the launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play or, as it was infamously known, the "PlayStation Phone".

Powered by Android, the mobile phone came with its own PlayStation Store, but it wasn't the full gaming phone promised by the manufacturer in early promotions. While the drop-down gamepad proved popular, the emulation suffered, and subsequently sales were lower than expected, though Sony never let it go.

"No worries, it is a revolutionary device, it is shaking the market, we are very happy with it," said Sony Ericsson's head of market development Dominic Neil-Dwyer on May 12, 2011. Less than two weeks later It was announced that Xperia Play would not receive an update to Android 4.0, citing "stability concerns".

PlayStation now

PlayStation now

(Image credit: Sony)

Launched in the wild at the start of the PS4 lifecycle in 2014, the PlayStation Now cloud gaming subscription service has never reached its true height. In beta for nearly half a decade, Sony's handling and launch of one of the next generation's biggest draws has been glacial.

Coming more than three years later, Xbox Game Pass and its focus on backward compatibility has embarrassed PS Now in almost every way, due to the latter's need for a constant and stable internet connection. As consumers' hunger for on-demand games increases, the flaws in PS Now may become more crucial with the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The hindsight can be a wonderful thing.

Staff Team

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