Well saddle up partners, because Sony’s taken the wraps off their new handheld gaming doohickey Project Q in a leaked promotional video this week. And it seems to be running some kind of modified Android OS under the hood (Sony’s Project Q Gaming Console to Run on Android OS: What to Expect) – which could end up being either a blessing or a curse for this gadget depending on how things shake out.
For you greenhorns just joining the party, Project Q is Sony’s attempt to bring PS5-quality gaming out on the go. It streams PS5 games wirelessly and even packs in adaptive triggers and haptic feedback thanks to the DualSense controller integration. So far so good, right?
Well, not quite buckaroos. Early impressions indicate Project Q has some glaring weaknesses that could hold it back from living up to its lofty ambitions.
First up – the streaming performance seems spotty if you don’t have strong, stable WiFi at all times. That means potential lag and graphical glitches that could really throw a wet blanket on those immersive AAA gaming experiences Sony’s touting.
Battery life also appears subpar, clocking in around 3-4 hours by early accounts. Compare that to the 5-10 hour averages of competitors like the Logitech G Cloud and it’s not looking too hot for Project Q on the longevity front.
And let’s be honest – the industrial design shown so far can be charitably described as “chunky” at best. This may not be the sleekest or most ergonomic handheld that ever moseyed across the plains.
But here’s where that modified Android OS could come into play. If developers can access the underlying Android layer, it opens up Project Q to run third-party cloud gaming services beyond just PlayStation remote play. That flexibility could give Project Q an edge over devices locked down to a single ecosystem.
Of course, that’s assuming Sony takes a more open stance this time around. But their insistence on only first-party PlayStation streaming suggests otherwise. And if Project Q turns out to be yet another walled garden, that strategy failed to bear fruit in the past for both the PSP and PS Vita.
So in summary – Project Q seems to draw heavily from Sony’s handheld glory days without necessarily evolving with the times. Unless they nail the fundamentals like battery life and streaming quality, all the PS5 horsepower in the world won’t count for much on a restricted device. Here’s hoping Sony can recapture that mobile magic before competitors continue to outpace them.