The PlayStation 5 is absolutely killing it right now. Record-breaking hardware sales? Check. A steady stream of popular and critically praised exclusives? Check. Customizable faceplates? Check, check, check. So of course it’s gearing up to release one of the most absurd handhelds ever to reach the manufacturing assembly line. Project Q, its recently revealed remote play handheld, has leaked out in the wild and it looks and functions exactly like you’d expect a DualSense controller with an 8-inch screen on it to.
Leaked footage of the device in action was shared online over the weekend by tech enthusiast account Zuby. Short videos and a few photos revealed what appeared to be an Android-based operating system as well as an inside view of some of its internals. But the thing I can’t get over is just how funny it looks. Project Q really is just a DualSense split in two with an LCD tablet grafted onto it. It’s 2023 and Sony, at the height of its gaming prowess, decided to make its own Wii U gamepad.
An endless barrage of memes made this exact point when Sony officially unveiled the PS5 accessory in a throwaway segment right before Spider-Man 2 took the stage at its May showcase. But actually seeing the thing in someone’s hands as they flick between home screen icons is like the difference between seeing the juicy 8-ounce sirloin on the Applebee’s menu and watching someone pick at it on their plate in a TikTok video (as many have noted, the final layer of UI is likely to be more PlayStation-ized by release).
Look, I love handhelds, and I’m excited to see what Project Q can offer. Can I stream Final Fantasy VII Rebirth at 60fps uninterrupted while in bed? Can I do that for under $300? Or more preferably, just north of $200? If so, I’m on board, no matter how silly the device itself seems, or how niche the market for it is. It’s not like I’ll actually be able to leave the house with it anyway, given the reported 3-4 hour battery life and generally terrible state of WiFi and mobile internet in the U.S.
Sony has said the device will launch later this year, though gaming insider Tom Henderson has pointed to November 2023 as the more specific target. Just in time for the “All I Want for Xmas is A Project Q” redux.