Sony officially confirmed its new PlayStation handheld last night and now a fresh rumor claims the 8-inch device will arrive in November. The claim comes from Tom Henderson, the same reporter that originally detailed Sony’s Project Q handheld last month.
“Currently scheduled to release mid-late November 2023,” said Henderson in a tweet this morning. Sony hasn’t announced pricing or an exact release late just yet, only revealing that the PlayStation handheld will launch “later this year.”
Sony’s PlayStation handheld, known only as Project Q right now, will allow PS5 owners to stream games to an 8-inch LCD screen that includes controllers on either side that are very similar to the DualSense PS5 controller. Games won’t run natively on the device, meaning you’ll need to have them installed on a PS5 and have good Wi-Fi connectivity to stream them.
Sony hasn’t mentioned whether you’ll be able to use its PlayStation handheld outside of your home, but presumably you’ll be able to use Sony’s Remote Play technology to access your PS5 games on the go.
Sony is clearly responding to the rise in handheld gaming in recent years. Nintendo’s Switch has dominated modern handheld consoles and Valve’s Steam Deck has shown what is possible for PC gaming on the go. Whether or not the PlayStation handheld is a success will come down to if people are willing to spend money on a device that’s limited to just streaming PS5 games.
It’s already possible to stream PS5 games to PCs, Macs, and iOS and Android devices, so there are certainly questions around who exactly this device is for. The adaptive triggers are a nice touch, but it certainly looks like you could get the rest with many existing mobile devices and controller options.
Sony may well extend this PlayStation handheld to cloud streaming given recent job listings that hint at a new cloud gaming push, which would certainly make sense after PlayStation chief Jim Ryan teased “quite aggressive plans” for cloud gaming earlier this week. But even with cloud streaming options there’s still a big question mark over whether PS5 owners will want a PlayStation handheld that can’t play games without an internet connection.
Logitech has tried something similar at a hefty price tag, so Sony’s success may well come down to whether it’s ready to stream PlayStation games over the cloud and the price of this PlayStation handheld. Some people (including Verge managing editor Alex Cranz) argue a phone is terrible for cloud gaming and want dedicated devices, so we’ll see how the market responds.
Sony says we’ll get additional details about Project Q in the coming months.