Sony's Project Q is a handheld without the portability

 Project Q handheld for PS5
Project Q handheld for PS5

Another decade, another Sony handheld to keep an eye on. This time it’s Project Q, a peripheral to be used in conjunction with PS5’s Remote Play feature.

Project Q was announced at the tail end of May 24’s PlayStation Showcase. SIE boss Jim Ryan presented the device, stating it “enables you to stream any game from your PS5 console using Remote Play over Wi-Fi.”

Besides that, there’s precious little info around the device at present. Ryan added that Project Q will boast an “8-inch HD screen, and all of the buttons and features of the DualSense wireless controller.” According to a press release shared by Business Wire, that 8-inch display will be LCD and is capable of 1080p output at 60fps. Over Remote Play, though? That remains to be seen.

Lastly, there is one major positive in Project Q, and that’s its usage of the DualSense’s buttons and features. Likely, this means that Project Q will support haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. That’s nice, as many of the best PS5 games would certainly feel strange without them (looking at you, Returnal).

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The low hanging fruit when it comes to Project Q is its design. Admittedly, it does look a little ridiculous, what with its tablet-like display looking like it's been forcibly sliced a DualSense pad in half. Curiously, Project Q lacks the DualSense’s frontal touchpad, so one has to think the screen will have some form of touch capability.

Undoubtedly the biggest question when it comes to Project Q is, simply, who is it for? Unlike Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch, it can’t play games natively, instead relying on PS5’s Remote Play feature. There was no mention of cloud streaming support, either, which would be very welcome on a Wi-Fi enabled handheld.

At present, there’s also just far too many unknowns surrounding Project Q. How much will it cost? What’s the battery life going to be like? Will it be able to play games installed from PS Plus’s Classics Catalog? Does the PS5 need to be powered on for Project Q to make use of Remote Play?

We’ll know more in the coming months, but as it stands, Project Q was a bit of a damp squib in an already lukewarm PlayStation Showcase. I’d love to be surprised by the device when it does launch, but will it be the triumphant return to form for Sony’s handheld output? Probably not.