In a move that surprised many, Sony announced it had a new handheld console in the works during its recent PlayStation Showcase. The device is called Project Q, and it’s designed to let gamers play their PS5 games on the go by streaming them from home over Wi-Fi.
As it stands, players can already access their PlayStation library from a mobile device by using the free PlayStation Remote Play app on Android or iOS. But the idea of a dedicated device seems to be appealing to some fans. But is it really worth purchasing one if you’ve got a perfectly good and reliable option already available?
A leakster by the name of Zuby Tech has reportedly gotten their hands on Project Q before it’s even officially released. They’ve posted pictures and a video online that reveal a lot more about the device than PlayStation probably wanted to reveal just yet.
The leaks show a fairly bulky handheld that looks a lot like the Nintendo Switch and Valve’s Steam Deck. It also appears to have a screen that’s slightly larger than the OLED screen on the Vita, the last handheld console from Sony. But the most significant detail is that it’s clearly running some kind of Android software.
It’s unclear whether that Android will be customized for the console or if it will just be a standard version. But the fact that it’s running Android means that gamers will likely be able to use their existing smartphone apps for their gaming needs, and that could make the device more appealing than it otherwise would have been.
If the rumors about the device are true, it’s clear that Sony is aware that there’s a demand for handheld gaming to fit more adaptably into people’s lives than sitting in front of a TV or PC. The success of the Switch proves that. So perhaps it’s a smart move by the company to get in on the action with a new portable gaming console.
Unfortunately, many fans aren’t convinced by the new console’s design or streaming-only functionality. In a discussion thread on Reddit, a few fans have been sharing their thoughts on the new handheld.
“The whole thing just feels like a big step backwards,” writes one commenter. “It’s just another box for the engineers to build and the marketers to sell, and it doesn’t add anything substantial to the experience that a simple smartphone or laptop wouldn’t have been capable of years ago.” Another user agrees, noting that the idea of playing PS5 games on the go is great, but that the fact that the handheld doesn’t play them physically makes it more of a hassle than it needs to be. Still, with a release date set for later this year, there’s plenty of time to change that opinion.