Go to Reviews.org US Edition
During this morning’s PlayStation 2023 Showcase, the video game console giant took a moment from announcing games to reveal two new hardware projects in development: a pair of lossless PlayStation wireless earbuds and Project Q, a new handheld gaming accessory designed to work with the PlayStation 5.
The reveal of Project Q was slim on the nitty-gritty technical specs of the device but, importantly, any hopes for a true Switch or Steam Deck competitor were immediately dispelled. Project Q is a handheld device built with an 8-inch display and all the controller features of the DualSense PlayStation 5 controller, but it needs a PlayStation 5 console to operate.
In short, Project Q is a streaming accessory to the PlayStation 5. The upside is you’ll be able to play your entire PlayStation 5 library from a handheld device with a generous display, but you will need a running PlayStation 5 console and, we’d imagine, an incredibly reliable internet connection in order to stream games to the Project Q accessory.
So what is Project Q and what is it not?
PlayStation’s Project Q is not a handheld console. That might disappoint those who bought into the rumours that Sony was working on a fully-fledged Nintendo Switch competitor slash PS VITA successor but that’s not what Project Q is. Project Q is an accessory to the PlayStation 5 in the truest sense. Rather than running games natively, Project Q will stream games from the user’s PlayStation 5 over a WiFi network using the same Remote Play feature currently available on smartphones (and PS VITA).
So you need to already own a PlayStation 5 (and have a pretty robust internet connection) in order to make use of Project Q.
Project Q tech specs: What we know so far
Until more light is shed on exactly what Project Q is, the brief video tease seems to showcase a pretty lean device. Hopefully, that’s reflected in the price. What we do know is that Project Q will sport an 8-inch display capable of playing games in 1080p at 60 frames-per-second (fps). For the sake of comparison, the Nintendo Switch is capable of 720p resolution at 60fps in handheld mode, though the two devices aren’t comparable.
Display aside, Project Q looks to imitate the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller and will offer “all the buttons and features of the DualSense Wireless Controller,” according to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan.
Lastly, there were a few more caveats revealed in the Project Q tease. Games must be installed locally on the user’s PlayStation 5 (rather than streamed via PS Now) and, naturally, doesn’t allow you to play PSVR2 titles. The images of Product Q also aren’t final, so the device we see might not be a totally accurate representation of the final product. Which might be for the best. The current design kind of looks like a bad Photoshop job of an imagined PlayStation handheld console.
PlayStation Project Q release
The final piece of concrete information we have about Project Q is the release year. According to the announcement, Project Q will be released sometime in 2023. Considering we’re almost halfway through 2023 already, we’ll surely get more information soon.
How much will PlayStation’s Project Q cost?
That’s the question everyone should be asking. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a benchmark to compare it to. The closest comparable products are the Logitech G Series Cloud, which retails at US$349.99, and the Razer Edge, which retails at US$399.99. Unless Project Q is packing some heat, those devices are still likely more advanced and therefore more expensive. It would be hard to imagine Sony charging upwards of $500 for a device that’s useless without a PlayStation 5 but then again, the DualSense Edge, PlayStation’s “Pro” controller, already retails at $349.95 in Australia.
We’d estimate Project Q landing somewhere between $400 and $450 in Australia at a guess. But even that will test the limits of PlayStation fans’ loyalty.