As a lifelong gamer, the anticipation of a new console is a feeling that never gets old. So you can imagine my excitement when Sony announced their new handheld device, the PlayStation Q, at the PlayStation Showcase this May. Now, as I sit down to share my initial thoughts with you, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia for the days when the PSP and PS Vita were all the rage. But this isn’t just another handheld console. No, my friends, this one is a bit different.
Sony, who has been out of the handheld gaming scene for four years, is making a comeback with the PlayStation Q. This isn’t just a device to play standalone games, but a device that allows you to stream your PS5 games. Yep, you heard me right. You need to own a PS5 console, the games, and then you can play them on your handheld over Wi-Fi. My fellow PSVR 2 owners, I should warn you, this device won’t be able to stream VR games. That’s a slight bummer, but then again, how many of us are really playing VR games on the go?
When it comes to the hardware, the PlayStation Q has some impressive specs on paper. We’re talking about an 8-inch HD screen here. That’s an inch more real estate than what you get with the Steam Deck or the Nintendo Switch. The screen looks like it could be 1080p with a 60Hz refresh rate, or so Geoff Keighley, the host of The Game Awards, tweeted. But I have to say, I was secretly hoping for a 4K screen. However, the fact that the device mimics the DualSense wireless controller’s buttons and features is a big win in my book. It provides a seamless transition for us PS5 players.
Now, let’s talk release dates and pricing. Sony hasn’t given us any concrete details yet, but there are whispers in the gaming community that we might see a release around Black Friday. That would be a savvy move by Sony to tap into the holiday season hype. As for the price, the guessing game is on! With the Nintendo Switch priced at $349 and the Steam Deck and PS5 at $499, I’d wager the PlayStation Q will land somewhere in between. But let’s wait and watch.
The PlayStation Q does raise an interesting question though. How does it stand out from the crowd, especially with Microsoft leaning on third-party devices for handheld gaming? Sony’s unique selling point here is the ability to play PS5 games on the go. But there’s a catch. You need to stream games from your PS5 up to the cloud and then back down to the handheld. Could this cause buffering issues? Maybe. And Sony will need to convince us why the PlayStation Q is a better choice than, say, an iPad paired with a DualSense controller, especially when Remote Play can already do this.
So, is the PlayStation Q the next big thing in handheld gaming? Only time will tell. I’m certainly eager to get my hands on one and see if it lives up to the hype.