What just happened? It turns out recent rumors regarding Sony stepping back into the handheld game were correct. However, unlike the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita, the upcoming ‘Project Q’ device will be limited to streaming games rather than rendering them on its own.
At Sony’s latest PlayStation Showcase event, the company finally confirmed that it’s working on a new handheld. Internally known as ‘Project Q,’ it will allow users to stream non-VR games from their PlayStation 5 using Remote Play over Wi-Fi.
The Nintendo Switch has quickly become one of the best selling-consoles of all time, while the more-recent Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally come with potent hardware that can run even the latest PC titles. Sony’s Project Q isn’t a direct competitor to those devices, but the company is clearly intent on taking a share of the growing handheld market.
Details about the Q’s specs are scarce, but Sony’s press release does say that it comes with an 8-inch 1080p LCD screen with a 60Hz refresh rate. The short teaser video also mentions that it has all of the buttons and features of the DualSense wireless controller, including adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. That makes sense, considering that it looks just like an elongated DualSense controller with a small tablet slapped in the middle.
Unlike Sony’s previous handhelds, the upcoming Project Q won’t have any dedicated games. In fact, it won’t be able to play games on its own at all, as it’s purely a streaming device. Hopefully, the Q will allow users with a PlayStation Plus Premium subscription to stream older-gen games from the cloud as well, allowing it to be more of a standalone device rather than just a PS5 accessory.
Sony hasn’t revealed how much the upcoming Project Q handheld will cost or when it will release, but recent leaks have mentioned that it might launch later this year. If you can’t wait until then, a Backbone One gamepad coupled with an iPhone or Android device will get you most of the way there.