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It looks like Sony is working on a new PlayStation Handheld

Unlike the previous reports, the most recent leak reveals that the next PlayStation Handheld isn't just a cloud streaming device.

Most gamers today probably aren't familiar with Sony's excellent run in the handheld gaming space throughout the 2000s.

It looks like Sony's upcoming handheld console isn't a successor to the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. But, it isn't a cloud-streaming device either.

A report by Tom Henderson at Insider Gaming describes Sony's "Q Lite" console as an accessory for the PlayStation 5 that's designed specifically to work seamlessly with the flagship console's Remote Play feature.

The same report notes that the handheld console isn't designed for cloud streaming.

The Q Lite is claimed to have or be capable of the following:

  • 8-inch LCD touchscreen
  • Adaptive streaming at 60FPS at 1080p
  • DualSense-like adaptive triggers

According to Henderson, the handheld is already in its QA phase and will launch before the PlayStation 5 Pro but after the new PS5 variant with a detachable disc drive.

Sony is probably feeling the financial sting of the PSVR2's lackluster sales at launch.

It feels like Sony is targeting the market for people who want cost-effective gaming hardware for streaming PS5 games. The Logitech G Cloud was supposed to solve this problem, but its $349.99 price tag is a big turn-off. But, at the same time, the Steam Deck feels overkill unless you plan on actually gaming and not streaming.

If Sony can price the Q Lite below the G Cloud, people might consider giving it a shot.

Unlike Logitech, Razer, and even Valve, as well as a slew of other companies trying to fill the market's need for a handheld that isn't a Nintendo, Sony actually has the credentials to make something that can rival the Switch.

Keep in mind that the original PlayStation Portable sold around 80 million units by the end of its run and even the "failed" PlayStation Vita enjoyed conservative estimates of 15 million units sold.

The only concern here is if Sony limits the Q Lite to streaming PS Remote Play exclusively. Unless it's priced at half that of the cheapest Steam Deck, which can support everything from Steam Remote Play to Xbox Cloud Gaming and even custom operating systems, among others, the Q Lite will be a tough sell. But, given Sony has become more open to cross-platform support in recent years, there's a good chance the Q Lite will support rival services.

While it's unfortunate that a PlayStation Vita successor isn't happening, a successful run for its rumored cloud-streaming device could encourage Sony to revisit the idea in the future.

A successor to the PSP and the PSVita might have to wait until after Sony sees the numbers from the upcoming device.

Ultimately, the success of the Q Lite all boils down to its pricing. The cheapest Nintendo Switch retails for $199.99 and can often be held for less. It's a portable handheld exclusively, but if you want a Switch variant that acts both as a home console and a portable handheld, you'll only need to spring a $100 more (and $150 more if you want the Switch OLED variant). Even though this still-unconfirmed PlayStation console isn't meant to rival the Switch, most will see it that way, which is why the pricing is important.

We're hoping Sony will learn from the underwhelming and over-priced PSVR2 and slot the Q Lite in somewhere around the $250 price range.

A non-standalone handheld console that's more of an accessory than a main system for $250 is already a tough sell, but it's cheap enough that people might consider it at this price point.

Ultimately, regardless of whatever price the Q Lite gets, we're hoping that we'll hear more about it sooner rather than later.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5901

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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