Sony has finally lifted the veil on its much-talked-about PS5 handheld device, Project Q, at the latest PlayStation Showcase. However, it seems the revelation has met with a lukewarm reception from expectant fans.
Sony’s past endeavours to conquer the handheld market, much like its home console domain, have not exactly been fruitful. The PSP found moderate success, while its successor, the PS Vita, despite becoming a cult favourite among collectors, failed to spark widespread interest. Currently, in an era where devices like the ROG Ally and the Steam Deck are garnering attention, Sony’s PlayStation handheld finds itself pigeonholed as a mere Wi-Fi streaming device.
PlayStation’s president, Jim Ryan, outlined the handheld’s key features during the event, describing it as a “dedicated device enabling streaming of any game from your PS5 console using Remote Play over Wi-Fi.” Project Q boasts an 8-inch HD screen and incorporates all functionalities of the DualSense wireless controller.
Slated for launch later this year, the device will feature an LCD screen that streams PS5 games at 1080p and 60fps over Wi-Fi. However, it’s not a standalone handheld console, raising questions about its intended audience, given that Remote Play already allows game streaming to tablets and mobiles, a functionality that devices like Backbone One offer.
Playing games on Project Q requires prior installation on a PS5, making it evident that this isn’t a handheld console capable of natively playing games like the Nintendo Switch or retro consoles such as the Evercade EXP.
Despite the initial skepticism, Sony’s PS5 handheld might just be the first step in its bid to contend with Microsoft and Nvidia in the booming cloud gaming industry. If future iterations of Project Q permit cloud-based gaming, it may find broader application.
Sony remains tight-lipped about the UI that this PlayStation 5 handheld will use. But expectations are high that it will closely mirror that of the PS5, ensuring seamless integration between the two, an aspect currently lacking in Remote Play.
Project Q, amidst mounting speculation and years of Sony cultivating fan loyalty with its PS5 design and top-tier accessories, feels like a potential stumble. It remains to be seen whether Sony has correctly anticipated the trajectory of gaming’s future. As Sony treads cautiously, rivals such as Nintendo, rumoured to be launching a Switch Pro next year, could seize the opportunity. The next major showdown in the ‘console war’ might well be in the realm of cloud gaming.
This news is based on an article published on creativebloq.com.