Sony officially confirmed its new PlayStation handheld last night and now a new rumor claims the 8-inch device will arrive in November. The claim comes from Tom Henderson, the same reporter who originally covered Sony’s Project Q handheld last month.
“Currently scheduled for release mid-late November 2023,” Henderson said in a tweet this morning. Sony hasn’t yet announced pricing or an exact release date, revealing only that the PlayStation handheld will launch “later this year.”
Sony’s PlayStation handheld, currently known only as Project Q, allows PS5 owners to stream games to an 8-inch LCD screen with controllers on either side that closely resemble the DualSense PS5 controller. Games don’t run on the device by default, which means you’ll need to have them installed on a PS5 and have a good Wi-Fi connection to stream them.
Sony hasn’t said if you’ll be able to use the PlayStation handheld away from 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 capitalizing on the rise of handheld gaming in recent years. Nintendo’s Switch has dominated modern handheld consoles and Valve’s Steam Deck has shown what’s possible for PC gaming on the go. Whether or not the PlayStation handheld becomes a success depends on whether people are willing to spend money on a device that limits itself to streaming PS5 games.
It’s already possible to stream PS5 games to PCs, Macs, and iOS and Android devices, so there are bound to be questions about 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 could expand this PlayStation handheld into cloud streaming given recent job postings pointing to another cloud gaming push, which would certainly make sense after PlayStation chief Jim Ryan teased “pretty 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 want a PlayStation handheld that can’t play games without an internet connection.
Logitech has attempted something similar at a hefty price tag, so Sony’s success may come down to whether it’s ready to stream PlayStation games over the cloud and the price of this PlayStation handheld. Some people (eg Forget editor-in-chief Alex Cranz) claim that 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 on Project Q in the coming months.