Aside from showing off new and upcoming PlayStation 5 and PlayStation VR2 games, Sony also had some hardware news to share at its latest PlayStation Showcase on Wednesday. Confirming rumors of a new handheld PlayStation device, Sony unveiled “Project Q”, a device that looks like two halves of the PS5’s DualSense controller glued to an iPad mini and left the internet utterly confused.
Unlike other handheld gaming devices, Project Q neither plays games on the device itself (like Nintendo’s Switch) nor from the cloud (like Valve’s Steam Deck) but can only be used to stream games from a PlayStation 5 using Sony’s Remote Play. To make things even more confusing, it requires a Wi-Fi connection to work, making it less capable on paper than any iOS or Android device capable of streaming PS5 games via Remote Play on 5G networks. Aside from saying that the device will feature “a vibrant 8-inch LCD screen capable of up to 1080p resolution at 60fps” and “all of the buttons and features of the DualSense wireless controller,” Sony kept things vague, leaving the gaming community wondering what exactly Project Q would do better compared to existing devices.
That is not to say that there is no demand for mobile gaming devices. The success of Nintendo’s Switch and the ever-growing popularity of smartphone gaming speak for themselves in that respect. As the following chart shows, gamers clearly have an appetite to play anytime, anywhere. According to Statista Consumer Insights, Americans play games on a myriad of devices, with the ever-present smartphone the clear number 1. Considering this, Sony’s decision to tie Project Q to a Wi-Fi connection is slightly baffling, as it instantly takes away one of the greatest benefits of handheld gaming devices: playing anywhere.