Sony announces Switch-like handheld device for PlayStation gamers

This is what Project Q looks like: The handheld (right) with an eight-inch Full HD display streams games from the Playstation 5 (left). — Photo: Sony/dpa

BERLIN: Sony wants to launch a handheld device for streaming gameplay from the PlayStation 5 before the end of the year, with a controller and screen combo that allows you to turn off the TV and continue gaming from the couch, bed or anywhere else around the home.

The device, announced on Wednesday and still bearing only the name Project Q, has its own display with controllers left and right, and comes across somewhat like a Sony-branded version of the Nintendo Switch.

Unlike Nintendo's mobile console, however, Sony's device relies on the PlayStation 5, which it uses to instantly stream gameplay over wi-fi.

Looking like a chopped-in-half DualSense controller with a screen wedged in between the two halves, the streaming device will come with an eight-inch display with 1080p resolution. Unlike the latest Nintendo Switch models with OLED screens, Sony's device only comes with an LCD display.

Sony says the controllers will offer the same haptic feedback, shoulder buttons with dynamic resistance and overall layout as the PlayStation's DualSense controllers.

Although the device comes amid a boom in cloud gaming (which allows gamers to play games installed on remoted servers without the need for expensive hardware at home), Sony's device isn't independent of the PlayStation console.

Sony says the handheld device is designed to be used "when you’re away from your TV" and that the games need to be installed on your PlayStation at home.

Sony didn't specify if the device was designed for playing only around the house, or if it would also be possible to remotely stream a game on your PlayStation while travelling. Sony also hasn't named pricing.

The news comes after Asus also recently announced a handheld gaming device that will be available from mid-June. The ROG Ally is a stand-alone mobile console that runs on Windows 11 as the operating system.

Other handhelds that have been available for a long time include the Valve Steam Deck (since 2022) with the Linux-based Steam OS and, of course, Nintendo's Switch (since 2017).

Sony is also the latest brand to join the crowded market of wireless earbuds, and is positioning its counterpart to Apple's AirPods and Samsung's Galaxy Buds as the choice for gamers. Sony says its "first ever PlayStation earbuds" will offer lossless audio, low latency and "next-generation audio immersion." – dpa

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