At Sony’s PlayStation Showcase 2023 event, they showed off a new handheld device built for game streaming on PlayStation 5. That’s a pretty cool idea. Especially considering that we haven’t had a PlayStation handheld since the PS Vita. Considering that the Vita is now a dedicated emulation machine for most people, it’s about time that Sony tapped into the market. However, there’s an issue. One, if you check back to their introduction of the device, formerly known as Project Q, they say that it’ll only stream over Wi-Fi.
That means you need to use this device in your home, from your own PlayStation 5. Which is well and good, but that sure sounds a lot like the WiiU. And that was not a successful home console. Besides that, the WiiU also had special gimmicks built into using the gamepad, which added to the overall experience. Here, it looks like Sony took a mini-tablet and glued a Dualsense controller that they cut in half to it.
Just who is this product for? We’re in a crowded market for handheld PC gaming with the Steam Deck, AyaNeo, Odin, ASUS ROG Ally, Retroid Pocket, Ambernic devices, and plenty of others. Those machines all allow you to play games on the go, use apps, have pretty affordable costs, and provide plenty of power under the hood. As for this new Sony device, we just don’t know enough about it. Can it be used for other streaming like Netflix? For the more nefarious people out there, is it hackable? Does it have onboard storage?
It’s pretty foolhardy to announce a product like this and just give everyone the “we’ll talk to you more about this later” right at the end of their presentation.
Price? Use Case? What About The Audience?
How much is this thing gonna cost? Looking at other similar devices that don’t have DualSense controllers stuck to the side of it, that can do 1080p resolution, you get into some pretty heft costs. Also for the use, it really depends on how much this thing costs. If you’re just going to be able to use it to stream PS5 games and that’s it, that doesn’t really have a functional use. So a DualSense controller costs $70 out of the box. And the innards and screen for a 1080p streaming device aren’t going to be cheap either. Sony isn’t known for cheaping out on their products.
So, what’s the price point that would be sensible? $150? $200? $300? I don’t know.
The other big question is what’s the audience? Is this for people who have roommates or parents that like using the TV? Maybe it’s for people who want to play PS5 in bed, but not have to look at the actual console? That does seem like a cool use for something like this.
So it’s not all negative when it comes to the formerly known as Project Q, it just leads to a lot more questions than answers right now. We’ll have to see how much it costs, and what other things it can do besides just playing games.
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