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PlayStation Q is Sony’s take on handheld gaming for the streaming generation

The news: Sony is going after the Nintendo Switch and the Valve Steam Deck with its own take on a handheld mobile console, the PlayStation Q.

At the PlayStation Showcase event, Sony previewed the PlayStation Q as well as wireless earbuds and a slew of game updates coming in the next few months.

What is the PlayStation Q? The system is built around an 8-inch display and DualSense controllers that focus on Sony’s Remote Play feature, which can stream non-VR games from a PlayStation 5 over Wi-Fi to the device. It’s expected to be available at the end of the year.

What it isn’t: Unlike the Switch and the Steam Deck, which are standalone gaming devices, PlayStation Q cannot play games on its own—it needs to be connected to a PlayStation 5. It’s essentially a remote controller with a dedicated display.

Zooming into the handheld gaming console market:

  • The Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 and has sold 122.55 million units as of February 2023, per TechSpot.
  • While Valve doesn’t disclose Steam Deck sales, the device, which was released in February 2022, has sold over 3 million units, per Omdia.
  • Sony’s PlayStation 5 has sold 38.4 million units as of March 2023, per IGN.

Does a streaming handheld even make sense? The PlayStation Q seems like a half-measure for Sony. It is not the PlayStation Portable or PS Vita successor many had hoped.

  • Depending on the cost, the PlayStation Q could be seen as an expensive peripheral for a console whose games are designed to be played on a big screen.
  • Sony could be cannibalizing sales of the PlayStation VR2 headset, which costs $550 and has sold 600,000 units in its first six weeks.

The problem: Remote Play compatibility is the PlayStation Q’s key feature. However, millions of smartphones, tablets, and PCs can already connect remotely to PlayStation consoles using an app.

Our take: The PlayStation Q isn’t a threat to the Nintendo Switch or the Steam Deck, both of which have a dedicated fan base and large game libraries. But it does show Sony’s commitment to game streaming and building peripherals for existing consoles.

(Source: Sony )