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I'm Still Wondering Who Sony's 'Project Q' Handheld Device Is Even For...

In an age where handheld gaming continues to rise in popularity, tech giant Sony is not lagging. The company has officially unveiled its ambitious PlayStation project, known as "Project Q", which aims to make PS5 games more accessible to gamers. The problem is, it's not really a device you can take on the go. It's just another 'option' to use around the house.

Screenshot of Sony's 'Project Q' Device
Looks cool enough... but the limited functionality is a major barrier.

Announced at Wednesday’s PlayStation Showcase, Project Q is designed to allow users to stream any game from their PS5 console using Remote Play over Wi-Fi, essentially transforming the handheld device into a portable PS5. PlayStation’s head, Jim Ryan, described Project Q as a specialized device equipped with an 8-inch HD screen and all the key features of the acclaimed DualSense wireless controller.

Promising to deliver high-end gaming experiences on a smaller screen, Project Q will have an LCD screen that supports 1080p resolution and a refresh rate of 60fps over Wi-Fi, as per Sony's press release. The device will also incorporate the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback mechanism of the DualSense, aligning it closely with the PS5 gaming experience. However, Sony has yet to announce the launch date or the price point for the much-anticipated device.

Sony's Project Q Handheld Problem

For some godforsaken reason, Project Q is not designed as a standalone gaming system akin to Steam Deck or a phone, nor does it stream games from the cloud. Instead, it requires PS5 games to be installed on the console itself, making Project Q more of a PS5 companion. It is specially crafted to leverage the power of PS5, offering a remote play feature for the gaming enthusiast who wants to take their PS5 games on the move... around their house.

While Sony has a significant stake in the cloud gaming arena, it currently appears to be reworking this service. Given this situation, it wouldn't be a surprise if Project Q is later equipped with cloud gaming capabilities, extending its streaming capabilities beyond just the PS5 console.

There have been questions about whether Project Q will support game streaming outside of a home Wi-Fi network, similar to Sony’s current Remote Play system that can connect via cellular data. Sony has yet to confirm this feature, only referencing Wi-Fi connectivity so far.

Initial rumors about the device emerged earlier this year following a report by Insider Gaming, which provided a remarkably accurate description of Project Q. The report highlighted its reliance on Remote Play, its lack of cloud gaming features, its 8-inch LCD screen, and its resemblance to DualSense, along with its resolution and frame rate capabilities.

While Sony's new handheld is still on the horizon, gamers don't have to wait to experience Remote Play with their PS5. This feature is currently accessible on various platforms including iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac, and even on the Steam Deck via a Linux app called Chiaki.

Project Q seems to be Sony's response to the growing handheld gaming market, which has seen significant success with devices such as Nintendo Switch and more recent additions like Valve’s Steam Deck and Asus’ ROG Ally. Unlike these devices, Project is limited to focusing on streaming games over Wi-Fi from the PS5, reinforcing Sony's commitment to leveraging its existing gaming ecosystem. For gamers eager for a handheld option that provides access to the latest PlayStation games, I guess Project Q is somewhat worth considering... but that in itself is a small segment of a segment.


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