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Sony's Divisive Project Q Finally Has An Official Name And Price

Sony's Project Q has faced a bit of an uphill battle ever since fans first heard about it, but that doesn't seem to have slowed Sony down one bit. The company has just posted two detailed blogs digging into the handheld device's features, as well as its true name and what fans can expect to pay for it. On top of that, some industry pros have had a chance to check out the device for themselves.


Word of Sony's newest portable gaming device started to leak earlier this year, prompting the video game giant to officially announce it without a name or any pricing information. What fans did learn, however, is that Project Q was not the successor to the PS Vita that many had hoped. Instead, the odd-looking handheld will function as a Remote Play-adjacent device, allowing players to stream games from their PlayStation 5 console and onto the portable device. 

Almost immediately after the official announcement of Project Q, fans began jeering at the very concept. Some were disappointed that this wasn't a true dedicated handheld gaming device, as Project Q requires a stable internet connection and the ownership of a PlayStation 5 before it can be properly enjoyed. Others took issue with the product's design. A number of fans have noted that the system looks like a tablet sandwiched between two halves of a DualSense controller, giving the device an awkward and unwieldy aesthetic. Overall, Project Q did not get the warm reception that Sony probably had hoped for.


Even so, the company has continued development of the quirky device, and revealed today that its official name is the PlayStation Portal. Here's what we learned today about Sony return to handheld gaming, including its unexpected price point.

What PlayStation Portal has to offer

The newly-christened PlayStation Portal was properly unveiled in a blog post from Sony Interactive Entertainment's Senior Vice President of Platform Experience, Hideaki Nishino. Here, Nishino proudly touted the new system as the company's "first Remote Play dedicated device." He also noted, "PlayStation Portal is the perfect device for gamers in households where they might need to share their living room TV or simply want to play PS5 games in another room of the house." Regardless of how fans may feel about this concept, it seems to be something Sony is very proud to have accomplished.


A separate blog post from Tim Turi, Sony Interactive Entertainment's Content Communications Manager, describes the experience of going hands-on with the PlayStation Portal. Although this review comes from someone in the Sony camp, the description is still enticing, particularly when it comes to how responsive the system apparently is. "During my demo with the PlayStation Portal remote player, I was impressed by the responsive and smooth gameplay from the very first seconds. Precision platforming felt tight and responsive in 'Astro's Playroom,' as did landing critical shots and dodging enemy projectiles in 'Returnal.'" For any players who are concerned about input latency, particularly when playing fast-paced shooters like "Apex Legends" or the aforementioned "Returnal," this is great news. Other graphically intense games such as "God of War Ragnarök" also apparently look great on the screen.


The high-definition screen also doesn't disappoint, according to IGN's Bo Moore, who also went hands-on with the device. From dark horror environments to whimsical fantasy lands, it sounds like the PlayStation Portal's display is up to the task. The controllers are also a bit more detailed than they first appeared, featuring volume controls and other extras on the sides. Sean Booker of CNET was similarly pleased with the new device's versatility. However, Sony has confirmed a few other things about the system that fans may not be quite as excited to learn.

The downside of PlayStation Portal -- and the price

On the downside, Sony's blog posts reiterated that the PlayStation Portal will only work with a stable wifi connection. Hideaki Nishino's blog recommends a speed of 5Mbps as a baseline, but states that "a high-speed connection of at least 15Mbps is recommended" for a smoother experience. On top of that, the system is not compatible with PlayStation VR or VR 2, nor any peripherals outside of official PS4/PS5 controllers. On top of that, PlayStation Portal is not compatible with Bluetooth technology. You can either use wired headphones with the PlayStation Portal, or else pair your wireless headphones with your PS5 or home sound system. And perhaps most perplexing of all, particularly for a remote-based device: You cannot stream any of PlayStation Premium's cloud-based games on the device. 


The PlayStation Portal retails for $200, Nishino revealed. Depending on how you feel about the device's specs, this price is either a steal or an absolute death knell to a product about which many were already on the fence.

Fans in the blogs' comments section are mixed on this first look. While some are excited about the prospect of being able to lay up in bed and play PlayStation 5, others are confused by the lack of Bluetooth and confused about who exactly this system is for. Other fans are waiting until release to decide if they're going to plunk down $200 for the PlayStation Portal. The handheld still doesn't have an official release date, but it's expected to arrive later this year.