Here’s Why The Q Lite Is the Perfect PlayStation Handheld

Yesterday, Sony officially announced the long-rumored “Project Q” (also known as the Q Lite) handheld, and to nobody’s surprise, the rumors were true. Instead of a dedicated handheld like the PSP, Vita or Switch, the Q Lite is a Remote Play device. You’ll need to have a PS5 on the same network in order to play its games on the Q Lite around your house. And this is the perfect modern PlayStation handheld.

But… WHY?!

Because PlayStation doesn’t care about handhelds. They had a runaway success with the PSP, and then the Vita came along and they dropped it like it was poisonous. Despite fantastic hardware, an incredible attachment rate (how many games each console owner bought) and a rabid community, PlayStation did everything they could to bury it.

That’s why I’ve written before that I don’t want PlayStation to build a Vita 2. It’d be akin to wishing that abusive parents were given another child to raise. I know that’s a bit harsh, but as far as you can take that analogy to a gadget, Sony’s done that and then some to the Vita and its community.

What Is The Q Lite and Who Is It For?

The Q Lite is a dumb terminal, basically. A portable TV so that you can enjoy your PS5 games around the house with some lag.

How is it for? Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t think PlayStation knows. I think the Q Lite is the result of stockholders putting pressure on PlayStation to do another handheld due to the success of the Switch and the Steam Deck. And Sony, to their credit, have found the absolute least they could do to get into the handheld market.

I think it’ll be a huge commercial flop, and is intended as such, so that PlayStation can tell Sony stockholders: “See? We tried to build a handheld but the market just isn’t there/it’s saturated. Let’s focus on PS5 and PSVR 2”.

A Potential Light at the End of the Tunnel

There’s one potential saving grace for this whole Q Lite debacle. The easiest way for PlayStation to build it (and we know they want to put as little effort into this as possible) is to have a Razer Edge or Logitech G Cloud-type device. They already have the technology to add Remote Play to Android, and hardware is readily available.

They will probably just buy some off-the-shelf Android parts, add their controller, run a skinned version of Android and call it a day. Which means it’ll run Android, an operating system that’s widely hacked.

So once more, fans of PlayStation handheld devices must turn to homebrew developers to be able to enjoy their latest and greatest. If developers find a way to crack open the bootloader on this, and add more functionality, I think it’ll be an interesting device.

If it’s running a processor similar to the G Cloud (like a Snapdragon 720G), it’ll be able to do some light Android native gaming. And the physical controls will probably be quite good.

Should You Buy It?

For the love of God, no! Unless this is a sub-$150 device (and knowing PlayStation, it probably will be twice that at launch), there’s absolutely no reason to buy what is, essentially, a glorified PS5 controller with a screen.

But in about 2 years, let’s re-visit the conversation. We were all there when Amazon was selling PSTVs at $15 a pop in that Lego bundle. It’s only a matter of time, isn’t it?

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About Marcos Codas 384 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee: