At the recent online PlayStation Showcase, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced Project Q, a dedicated device launching later in 2023. Project Q is a portable device with an 8-inch LCD screen that will allow users to stream and play games installed on their PlayStation 5 using Remote Play over Wi-Fi. Price was not announced.
There had been rumors that Sony would launch a portable device so this announcement was not a surprise. Unfortunately, Project Q seems like a minor effort to jump into the trend to release portable streaming devices.
Sony had previously made major efforts in the portable game space with the launch of the PSP (2004) and Vita (2012). Both systems underperformed outside Japan. Unlike the PSP and Vita, Project Q is not an independent game device. It is a simply a screen with an attached PlayStation controller.
PlayStation Q is a streaming device. Games need to be installed on the users’ PlayStation 5 and are streamed via Wi-Fi using Remote Play. What is uncertain is whether it will just be Wi-Fi or whether users can also stream using a mobile broadband connection.
What makes this news less than exciting is that Remote Play has allowed users to play PlayStation 5 games on portable devices for some time. The tag line for the service is “Stream your PlayStation games from your console to your phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, PS5 or PS4 consoles.” The main advantage of Project Q will be having PlayStation controllers. Price will be crucial in determining how attractive the system will be to consumers.
Overall, the Project Q announcement was a typical low-key Sony hardware announcement. With the quiet launch of PlayStation VR2 early this year it is clear that Sony is not really bullish on its future in hardware peripherals. Instead, the company is focused on building the software lineup and core PS5 user base.
The Showcase focused on upcoming PlayStation 5 titles. Most titles are from third party publishers with the one big PlayStation exclusive being Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Newly acquired developer Bungie also announced a new sci-fi shooter, Marathon. However, Marathon, which is a revival of Marathon games created in the 1990s for Apple computers, will also be coming to Xbox Series X/S.
A full recap of announcements can be found on the PlayStation Blog.