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Project Q leak confirmed all my fears about the PS5 handheld

Published Jul 24th, 2023 4:18PM EDT
Project Q is a new PS5 game streaming handheld.
Image: PlayStation

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Earlier this year, rumors about a new handheld PlayStation console began making the rounds. Any hope for a new PS Vita was dashed when Insider Gaming reported that the portable would be dedicated to streaming games from a PlayStation 5 rather than playing its own games. I was less than thrilled 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, but a recent leak showing off Project Q in action is making that rather difficult. On Saturday, self-described tech enthusiast Zuby Tech shared a video and three images of Project Q on Twitter. The device is indeed an Android tablet sandwiched between two halves of a DualSense controller:

The video reveals that the device is running on Android and will feature a touchscreen display. It’s highly unlikely that the user interface will be the same when it starts shipping to consumers, but the UI isn’t what concerns me. At the end of the day, I’m just not the target audience for the version of this product that Sony produced.

Gaming handhelds are having something of a renaissance at the moment, from cloud-focused machines 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 describes Project Q as “a dedicated Remote Play device that lets you stream compatible games installed on your PS5 console over Wi-Fi.” In other words, it falls in the same bucket as the Logitech G Cloud. This category of handheld tries to strike a balance between affordability and functionality, but for my money, sacrifices too much in the process.

Price is obviously going to be a factor, but how much would you pay for Project Q? $200? $300? If you want a powerful, well-supported, ergonomic handheld that can stream your gaming library, the Steam Deck starts at $399 and was recently on sale for $359. Not only can the Steam Deck stream PS5 games over Remote Play and Xbox games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, but it can also play thousands of PC games natively.

Now, the Steam Deck isn’t for everyone, nor am I advocating for it specifically, but why would I spend hundreds of dollars on a handheld that only has a fraction of the functionality? For some PS5 owners, simply having a portable PS5 they can bring with them from room to room will be enough, but I’m really not sure how big that market is.

The fact that Sony tossed the Project Q announcement into the end of a live presentation and has yet to say anything else about it certainly gives me pause, but it’s clearly coming out sooner than later. During the PlayStation Showcase, Sony said that Project Q would launch before the end of the year, so we’ll presumably hear more soon.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.