At the recent PlayStation Showcase, PlayStation President Jim Ryan attempted to surprise fans with the reveal of “Project Q” – the first handheld attempt from the company since the PS Vita. While still in development, the Q looks like a flat tablet with two halves of a DualSense controller strapped to it and – aw, what’s the point? You’re not going to buy this thing. If you were thinking of buying it, you need to reconsider immediately.
Thanks to some helpful on screen legalese, we know Sony plans on the Q requiring connectivity to a owned PlayStation 5. What that means, dear reader, is that Sony intends to sell you a handheld device exclusively for the purpose of the PS5’s remote play feature. Video games are full of bizarre decisions, especially in hardware, but this choice for the Q is up there with Google deciding to announce Stadia with a showcase of other industry failures.
Put aside the flat visual design in spite of the DualSense being pretty good and really think about this. The PS5 is at its lowest price point is $399, meaning that any price of the Q must also include that $399. None of that includes the price of games, which Sony conveniently led the way on increasing this generation. Even just as a means of accessing the streaming catalog in the higher PS Plus tiers, you would lose out on a ton of titles including most new games – provided Sony even lets you do that.
Most hilariously, Remote Play already works on (likely) what you are reading this on. Pretty much all iOS and Android devices can easily use Remote Play, and same goes for most computers. Hell, the Q’s predecessor, the Vita, also supports Remote Play. If you’ve already in the PS5 ecosystem, chances are extremely high you also have the ability to use Remote Play, you already have a Q.
Sony has famously always been particularly bad at handhelds, which was at least mitigated by the PSP and Vita being the only alternative to the Nintendo ecosystem. Now, it’s genuinely impossible to believe that every single person involved with the Q honestly looked at a landscape that contains the Steam Deck (which with some tinkering, also supports Remote Play) much less the Nintendo Switch and failed to ask if anyone would actually want one of those but with a three to four hundred dollar anchor strapped to it. It’d be sad if it wasn’t extremely hilarious to discover that Sony has managed to find all new ways to release a handheld no one wants to buy. At least the Vita has a fan base.