Sony Project Q: price, release date and specs for the PS5 handheld
The PlayStation Project Q from Sony will launch before Black Friday and cost between $199 and $299, according to the latest expert analysis
Update: The Sony Project Q price prediction has narrowed given our closer look at the official specs announced, and there are new details about the release date of this PS5 handheld. The Shortcut will continue to report on Project Q as news breaks.
Sony Project Q is the PS5 handheld that will play PlayStation 5 console games via Remote Play using a reliable WiFi connection – think of it as a DualSense controller with an 8-inch screen wedged in the middle. Sony’s PlayStation Showcase on May 24 2023 was where to get a glimpse of the portable PS5, but we’re getting in brand new information about its price, specs and release date, so here’s an update.
The Project Q price is between $199 and $299, according to early estimates of its currently known bill of materials. The latest update pins the Project Q release date to mid-to-late November, with pre-orders starting sooner, according to Sony’s history of launching new PlayStation hardware and accessory sales months in advance. The ideal pre-order timing would be in September or October to make that the November release date plausible.
Just know that Sony Project Q is a handheld gaming device that requires Wi-Fi for Remote Play and a PlayStation 5 console. Although we have yet to review Project Q or have a final name of the device, we can already tell you it’s not for everyone. It won’t play games natively like the 2005’s PlayStation Portable or 2012’s PS Vita handheld consoles. Instead, the late 2023-bound Project Q taps into Sony’s streaming service instead – Sony’s handheld won’t utilize cloud gaming via 5G, at least not yet.
Sony Project Q price analysis
The Project Q price is between $199 and $299, according to early estimates of its bill of materials. Sony has yet to officially announce how much Project Q will cost to buy and we’re still months away from knowing the final price. This PS5 handheld will be coming later this year.
Project Q will be more expensive than buying a $100 PlayStation Edition Backbone One controller attachment for iOS devices – or the Android BackBone One that just launched in May 2023. We know this because the officially licensed DualSense-themed smartphone accessory doesn’t come with a screen, while Project Q has an 8-inch screen in between two halves of a DualSense controller.
Because Project Q doesn’t handle games natively and relies on Sony’s Remote Play feature, it doesn’t have to be as robust or pricey as something like the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally. It’s more akin to the Razer Edge without the ability to work over a 5G connection. That’s good news for undercutting the competition, but bad news for anyone who wants to play PS5 games on the go outside of reliable Wi-Fi.
Project Q specs
There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the Project Q specs. But we know it will have an 8-inch LCD HD screen, run at 60fps (frames per second), and have all of the buttons and features of the PS5 DualSense wireless controller. You’ll be able to stream compatible games from your PS5 console using Remote Play over Wi-Fi.
📺 Display: 8-inch HD LCD screen
⏩ Frame rate: 60fps
🗓️ Release: Late 2023
💰 Price: $199 - $299 (rumored)
🎮 Controller layout: DualSense
📶 Connections: PS5 and WiFi for Remote Play required
Yes, those are the few Sony Project Q specs so far. There’s a lot we don’t know about the PS5 handheld, including the chipset behind this handheld and the battery life. All of this matters and so do the Wi-Fi specs that were only briefly touched on by President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan.
Project Q should work outside your home, but your experience will vary greatly depending on your Wi-Fi connection. You’ll be able to stream games from a PS5 via Wi-Fi, and your console will have to be in Rest Mode so it can be activated remotely. While this provides a pseudo-portable PS5 experience, it isn’t the same as playing on something like a Nintendo Switch OLED.
Games will need to be installed on the PS5 console to get them to work on Project Q via Remote Play, according to Sony’s fine print, and PSVR 2 games won’t work on the handheld (for obvious reasons). The good news is all of your PS Plus free games should work, and come cheap if you grabbed our PlayStation Plus discount code.
So far, Sony is labeling Project Q as a PS5 accessory along with new PS5 wireless earbuds, so this may not be the PlayStation Portable 2023 you’ve been waiting for. It’s one of three major PS5 hardware additions this year, joining the PSVR 2 headset and PS5 DualSense Edge controller.
Project Q release date
Officially, Sony did offer a release window for Project Q: later in 2023. That’s rather vague, but I suspect that Project Q will be released right before Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November. For reference, the Black Friday date is November 24, 2023. And, sure enough, Insider Gaming, the original source for “Project Q Lite” rumored months in advance of Sony’s announcement, predicts that the Project Q release date will happen in mid-to-late November.
Sony doesn’t want to launch too early before production of the Project Q handheld can meet the demand – it doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of the PS5 restock saga. But it’s also going to want to give PS5 gamers a reason to buy a new device in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas 2023.
Project Q pre-order date
There’s actual hardware evidence of the Project Q price and rumors from reliable sources about its release window. The pre-order date is left up to speculation.
But judging from Sony’s history of releasing PlayStation hardware, you can fully expect Project Q pre-orders to happen months in advance. The ideal time frame is going to be between September and October. PS5 Disc and Digital pre-orders happened two months before the console was released, while gamers had three months to pre-order PSVR 2 before it actually started shipping from Sony Direct.
That’s my next big question: where will Sony launch Project Q pre-orders? The company has been selling hardware and accessories through its official PlayStation Store exclusively at launch – everything from PS5 plates to the PS5 DualSense Edge to the PSVR 2 – before giving GameStop, Walmart, Amazon, Target and Best Buy a chance to generate sales. It’s a power move, but it also stunts hardware Sony’s sales.
Project Q name
Sony hasn’t given us an official name for its Project Q handheld. That’s still its internal name and it’s surprising that it was even publicly announced with the “Project” label still attached. It would still end up being called PlayStation Q, although this may be the most unknown fact about Project Q. It’s all speculation out there, while there’s some solid reporting and analysis on the price, release date and pre-order time frame. Don’t expect it to be called PS5 portable, though since this is PlayStation 5 Remote Play technology that’s more of a second screen than a fully-fledged gaming handheld.
We’ll have more Sony Project Q news as Sony continues to release information about its price and specs. New PlayStation hardware is always exciting, although Sony has a lot of competition and needs to price this thing correctly if it wants to drive demand.
Remember in The Last of Us, when your flashlight begins to flicker. And a screen prompt appears. To shake the controller. Vigorously. With one hand.
I believe I'd rather save up for a limited edition Spidey 2 Venom DualSense.
Let's hope it has better battery longevity than the $200 "wireless" controller they tried selling us as a "fix" to their stick drift