There is a new PlayStation handheld console in development. But before you get your hopes up, there are some problems we’ve got to talk about.
Reported by Insider Gaming, this project (codenamed Q Lite) is set to be the next portable gaming system from Sony, which relies on a constant internet connection and remote play. And therein lies the problem.
What do we know so far?
On paper, this all sounds pretty sweet — an 8-inch 1080p 60FPS LCD touchscreen display, a PlayStation 5 controller-inspired ergonomic design with full adaptive trigger and haptic support, and all the usual suspects of a handheld (volume controls, a headphone jack and more). Cool, right? So what’s my reservation?
Two words: game streaming.
You see, according to the leak, this is a device that will require owners to own a PlayStation 5. Not only that, but it’s not true cloud streaming — instead opting to use the remote play functionality. So if anything, the functionality is more restricted than the already pretty bogged down version of the Logitech G Cloud (yikes).
Don’t get me wrong, remote play when your partner is using the TV to watch Great British Bake Off is a godsend, but when you’re out and about, it becomes quite an awkward affair. You’ll need your console to be turned on at all times, you can’t guarantee a strong Wi-Fi connection when gaming on the go, and without a direct connection to the game via a cloud server, you will fall victim to some latency.
These were the experiences I had when using the Backbone One PlayStation Edition, and unless there is some wizardry at work behind the scenes (or the leak turns out to only be half-true, and this is an actual cloud streaming device), these problems will persist.
Regardless, we may not have to wait too long to see what Project Q Lite will be like, as the device has entered its QA testing phase, and is set to release before the supposed PlayStation 5 Pro (even though that’s in doubt).
So, as a Vita owner (and lover), you can imagine my excitement at the potential of this being a thing. I’m a little nervous about it being a streaming device that revolves entirely around remote play. But in reality, this could be PlayStation’s equivalent of a portable Xbox Game Pass machine — launched before Microsoft even thinks about this golden ticket opportunity!
This will form a part of what leakers are calling the “second phase of PS5,” which includes such new hardware as the PS5 with a detachable disc drive, and the upcoming slate of games like Spider-Man 2 and the upcoming Last of Us multiplayer game.
Would you be interested in a remote play-connected PlayStation Portable? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter!
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Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.