Earlier this year, rumors about a new handheld PlayStation console started making the rounds. Any expect a new PS Vita was rushed when Insider Gaming reported that the portable would be committed to streaming video games from a PlayStation 5 rather than playing its own video games. I was less than delighted about this prospect at the time, and the unveiling of Project Q at its PlayStation Showcase in May did little to quell my fears.
I'm trying to reserve judgment until I get my hands on one, however a recent leak displaying Project Q in action is making that rather challenging. On Saturday, self-described tech enthusiast Zuby Tech shared a video and three pictures of Project Q on Twitter. The device is certainly an Android tablet sandwiched between 2 halves of a DualSense controller:
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The video exposes that the gadget is operating on Android and will include a touchscreen screen. It's extremely not likely that the user interface will be the same when it begins shipping to consumers, but the UI isn't what concerns me. At the end of the day, I'm just not the target market for the version of this item that Sony produced.
Video gaming handhelds are having something of a renaissance at the moment, from cloud-focused devices like the Logitech G Cloud to retro portables like the Miyoo Mini and Retroid Pocket to handheld computers like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally.
Sony explains Project Q as "a devoted Remote Play gadget that lets you stream suitable games installed on your PS5 console over Wi-Fi." To put it simply, it falls in the very same container as the Logitech G Cloud. This classification of handheld shots to strike a balance between affordability and functionality, however for my cash, sacrifices too much while doing so.
Cost is obviously going to be an aspect, however just how much would you spend for Project Q? $200? $300? If you want an effective, well-supported, ergonomic handheld that can stream your video gaming library, the Steam Deck begins at $399 and was just recently on sale for $359. Not only can the Steam Deck stream PS5 video games over Remote Play and Xbox games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, but it can also play countless PC games natively.
Now, the Steam Deck isn't for everybody, nor am I advocating for it specifically, but why would I spend numerous dollars on a portable that just has a portion of the functionality? For some PS5 owners, merely having a portable PS5 they can bring with them from room to space will suffice, however I'm truly uncertain how big that market is.
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The reality that Sony tossed the Project Q statement into the end of a live discussion and has yet to state anything else about it definitely provides me pause, but it's plainly coming out earlier than later. Throughout the PlayStation Showcase, Sony stated that Project Q would launch prior to the end of the year, so we'll probably hear more quickly.