Sony Project Q — Everything we know about the PS5 handheld console

 Sony Project Q handheld console
Sony Project Q handheld console

Four years after discontinuing its last handheld gaming console, Sony is making a return with Project Q, a new 8-inch device that's designed to stream PS5 games.

Sony first announced the new console at its PlayStation Showcase on May 24; here's everything we know about the new console so far.

Sony Project Q: Expected price and release date

Sony said that the Project Q would be released later this year, without providing a more specific time. Also unannounced: just how much Project Q will cost.

We would imagine that Sony would try and get the console out by Black Friday in November to make it the must-have present of the holiday season. Here's hoping Sony won't encounter PS5 restock-like issues.

Considering the Nintendo Switch costs $349 and that the Steam Deck and PS5 both cost $499, we'd wager that Sony's new handheld will be priced somewhere between those two.

Sony Project Q: Specs

During the PlayStation Showcase, Jim Ryan, the head of PlayStation, said that the device would have an 8-inch HD screen, and that its buttons and features would mirror those of the DualSense wireless controller.

That's an inch larger than the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch, but we hope that Sony will have the foresight to give its handheld an OLED display.

However, that screen looks like it could be 1080p with a 60Hz refresh rate, according to a tweet by Geoff Keighley, the host and creator of The Game Awards. While the displays of the best phones tend to target the WQHD, aimg for Full HD rather than that resolution or 4K, should mean less bandwidth is required to stream graphics to Project Q. And we'd argue 1080p is fine for an 8-inch screen.

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The limited information that Sony announced confirmed some earlier rumors about the handheld device.

Sony Project Q: Features

Sony Project Q handheld console
Sony Project Q handheld console

In essence, the Project Q device will let you stream games from your PS5 to the handheld console using Remote Play over Wi-Fi. That means you'll have to own a PS5 console as well as the games in order to play them — no PS Vita redux here.

However, the ability to play PS5 games through the cloud will help Sony better compete with the Xbox Series X, which already has cloud gaming for its console. Given the list of titles — both current and upcoming PS5 games — that should be plenty to hold us over. However, somewhat obviously, it won't be able to stream VR games, so bad luck for PSVR 2 owners.

Sony Project Q: Outlook

Having its own dedicated console that would allow you to play PS5 games on the go would give Sony a unique selling point over the Microsoft, which relies on third-party devices such as the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally.

However, because the Project Q will require you to stream games from your own PS5 up to the cloud and then back down to the handheld, it could cause more buffering issues than a game that was streamed directly from a server in the cloud.

And, you can already use Remote Play to stream your games to other handheld devices, Sony will have to make a case as to why Project Q is a better alternative than, say, an iPad paired with a DualSense controller.

We'll continue to update this story as we learn more about Sony's new device, and see if it's worthy of being included as one of the best handheld gaming consoles.

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