It’s official. A new, handheld Playstation console is coming. While tongues have been wagging about a potential PlayStation Pro or Slim, the Project Q device was officially announced on 24 May during the Playstation Showcase.
The handheld device makes it possible to play Playstation games downloaded to your console on the move. As we saw during the showcase, that will soon include Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, a Metal Gear Solid 3 remake and Alan Wake 2. But can Project Q handle those huge titles? Here’s everything we know about it so far.
What is Project Q?
The project formerly known as ‘Q-Lite’ began life as an exclusive report from Insider Gaming. On 5 April, the publication caught wind of a purported new handheld PlayStation device in the works at Sony. This device? The Q-Lite, so went its codename.
We now have confirmation that Q-Lite, or ‘Project Q’ is coming. And, as Playstation said in a tweet, Project Q is designed for playing games already installed on your PS5.
What can we expect?
The next evolutionary stage in handheld gaming? A worthy successor to the Vita or PSP? A vessel for playing your favourite games on the move, but without an internet connection? Not quite. Project Q is designed primarily for the PlayStation’s Remote Play feature. That means it won’t do cloud streaming. And much like the PS VR2, you’ll also already need a PS5 to use it.
Sony says it has already started testing its cloud capabilities. The company stated that it is tinkering with cloud streaming for PS5 games, and there are plans to add this to its PlayStation Plus Premium tier. This will allow gamers to play games without having to download them. It will also be available to players using PS Remote Play.
Project Q comes with an 8in LCD touchscreen that will deliver “crisp visuals and smooth gameplay streamed from your PS5 when you’re away from your TV,” says Sony. That’s certainly an improvement on the Switch’s 6.2in screen, and even beats the Steam Deck’s 7-incher. It’ll run games at up to 1080p and 60fps over Wi-Fi, plus it’ll have all the features of a DualSense controller, so expect both adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.
Leaked videos and pictures of a prototype unit have revealed Project Q runs Google’s Android OS, albeit with a bespoke Sony UI sat on top. It’s not clear right now if you’ll be able to download other streaming services via the Google Play Store, or if it’ll be locked down to PlayStation content exclusively. Modders and tinkerers will also be keen to see if they can use it for emulation, and it’s not impossible to imagine we’ll see one running Xbox Cloud Streaming in the future.
The device also looks like a DualSense controller, albeit one cut in half with a giant screen in the middle of it. Until we get our hands on one, it’s hard to determine comfort factor or playability. We’ll update this article with that information as we get it.
Will it always need Wi-Fi?
Project Q isn’t entirely a standalone device. Rather, it’s a sidekick for your PS5. But yes, this device would require constant connectivity to the internet, with Sony recommending a minimum connection speed of 15Mbps. Remote Play can work when connected to phone Wi-Fi, and can be used outside of your own home. We’re not sure yet if Project Q shares these features, but we hope it does.
From what we can gather, Project Q will only be able to play games already downloaded on your PS5 at first. But Sony has made its intentions clear in being the foremost cloud streaming service, so a later update to Project Q isn’t totally out of the question.
When will it be released?
Sony hasn’t officially announced an exact date yet, but for now we can go on the findings of Tom Henderson from Insider Gaming, who first unveiled Project Q’s existence in May. According to Henderson, we’re to expect a “mid-late November 2023” release date.
What’ll it cost?
At this moment in time, there isn’t much to go on in terms of price. Keep in mind, though, that the PS VR2 costs more than the PS5 itself. We can’t foresee Project Q being close to the $600/£550 mark. It’ll need to compete with the Nintendo Switch after all, but we’ll have to wait and see if that will come at a premium.