Handheld systems have seen a rise in popularity in recent years, with devices such as the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck having global success in the gaming industry. It was thought that PlayStation might follow suit with the announcement of the PS Vita 2 — which many fans of the original handheld system were excited about — however, this may not be happening. Instead, PlayStation has confirmed that they are working on a handheld device focusing on cloud gaming, requiring a PS5 and Wi-Fi.
The new venture is known as “Project Q,” which will have an HD screen that is 8 inches in size, allowing you to play any of your PS5 games on your device from anywhere as long as it is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your console. The handheld device has the same controls and buttons that you would find on a standard DualSense wireless PS5 controller, meaning it won’t take much practice to get used to the system. Project Q can run all of your favourite PS5 games at 60fps and 1080p and features the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller.
The new handheld device from PlayStation will be released to the public later this year at at a projected price of £199. It is essential to know that Sony has said that if you want to use the Q to play games, they must first be installed onto the PS5. The handheld device won’t function like the PS Vita or other systems, such as the Nintendo Switch, but will instead act as a companion for the PS5. The Q will enable players to enjoy a vast range of PS5 games on a portable system, from online games for beginners to more advanced titles demanding a higher skill level. This device will be accessible to people of all ages and experience in gaming.
Although Sony has not said whether or not the Q will have cloud gaming capabilities, the tech giant is one of the most prominent companies that have significantly invested in the cloud gaming space; therefore, this may occur sometime in the future. Sony has also only said that the Q works over a Wi-Fi network; however, it may be possible to use the new handheld device over a cellular connection. This would require connecting the Q to a mobile device and using a hotspot, which would make it possible to use the Q while on the go and away from the console.
The Future of Handheld Gaming Devices
Many have commented that Sony’s focus on a handheld device requiring a Wi-Fi connection is somewhat confusing. Although the PS Vita did nowhere near as well as Sony had hoped in terms of sales, it is clear that even ten years after its release, there is still a substantial market for portable handheld gaming devices. The Nintendo Switch is the most obvious example of this, which has seen tremendous success since its release in 2017. It could be argued that the Switch is the best gaming hardware in recent years. With other companies attempting to break into the high-end portable market, such as Steam with their Steam Deck, it is surprising that Sony isn’t also trying to compete.
One possible reason Sony has decided to go down the route they have chosen is to carve their own space in the highly competitive market by providing gamers with a different handheld device. If the Q cannot be played without a Wi-Fi connection, it will be seen as a disadvantage by some; however, its ability to play some of the most popular PS5 games from a portable device is undoubtedly attractive. In addition, if the Q can run these blockbuster games at a high standard, there is a good chance that many ardent fans of the PlayStation will want to get their hands on this handheld device.
However, One should note that PS5 remote play allows players to use their mobile device as a remote, and if you use PlayStation’s Backbone controller, you already have the Q device. There is a chance that this will turn people off investing in this new handheld device if they feel like they can already experience it with their mobile phone.
It is unclear what the future of gaming will look like for Sony and the new PlayStation devices they will release, but if the rumours are true, we could be in for an exciting period of tech innovation. Although Sony has made it clear that they are keen to continue pursuing cloud gaming, the release of the Q shows a new approach to how the company wants to continue in the gaming industry.