The PlayStation Showcase, which took place on May 24, left mixed impressions. A minimum of interesting announcements and only one serious exclusive have already become the subject of jokes not only for players, but also for the Xbox PR department. But not only games were demonstrated at the event. Sony has introduced a number of new devices: headphones and portable console PlayStation Q Lite. And here the audience was left in complete bewilderment. Let’s analyze all the details known about the device and try to answer the main question: why and who actually needs it?
A bit of history
Portable consoles are now experiencing a real renaissance. After a long monopoly of the Nintendo Switch in the market, Valve has finally introduced its Steam Deck. You can argue for a long time about how high-quality the device turned out to be, but the fact remains: the novelty ignited, which brought portable devices back into fashion.
The ability to play full-fledged PC games from your Steam library anywhere is captivating. And now ASUS is releasing its own model of a similar device, and others will surely catch up. Only Sony did not enter the race for a long time. But not so long ago it was the PlayStation Portable (PSP) from the Japanese that was the main “handheld” toy every man in the yard dreamed of. Afraid of competition from the growing mobile gaming scene, the company decided to scale back support for the then-new PS Vita and focus on older devices. As practice has shown – very in vain.
Many years have passed and the circle has actually closed. Mobile games still cannot compete on an equal footing with portable console projects, and Nintendo has proven that the “camping” type of gaming is not only interesting to people, but also capable of bringing millions in profit – if there are games goods.
Have you watched PlayStation Showcase?
Advantages of wearable devices
Before we talk about the PlayStation Q Lite, it’s worth defining exactly what the average gamer expects from a handheld console – why people buy Switch and Steam Deck.
First of all, it is definitely convenience. Despite the impressive size of such devices, they are definitely more compact than the current generation of consoles. And no extra cables needed. You just press the activation button and that’s it. This way you immediately have the optimal screen, built-in gamepad and all your favorite games at hand.
The second point is the Internet. It doesn’t matter if you have it or not. The console’s memory allows you to install several games in advance, so that you are not dependent on external circumstances. Logical, because portability is necessary at times when someone has limited options. For example on the plane, on the beach, in a remote village with my grandfather.
And the third, of course, are games that are specially ported to such consoles so that projects feel as comfortable as possible. The same The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom squeezes all the juice out of the Switch. Steam has a separate section of games adapted for Steam Deck so you don’t have to worry about achievements and bugs. All this makes sense and is aimed at the comfort of the player, who has paid a lot of money for the same portability and should not experience any additional inconvenience.
So what about the PlayStation Q Lite?
What is Sony offering in response to competitors? Essentially, the PlayStation Q Lite is an adapter for the PS5. To work, you always need a high-speed internet connection, as well as an older console that comes with it. Only then can you run games from the library on the new “console” thanks to Remote Play technology. On the screen you can stream images in 1080p at 60 FPS and the built-in gamepad has all the functions that DualSense has. This is already enough to understand that Sony’s new product is far from being able to compete with the products of other studios, but let’s look at the details.
Remote Play technology has been around for quite some time. Anyone with a PlayStation 4 or 5 can try it out now. Its essence is simple – through a special application you turn on the screen replay of your console on any available device – PC, phone or tablet. Connect a gamepad to that via Bluetooth and you can play. The main console will work, of course, plus a good Wi-Fi connection is needed, but these are details. Technically, this way you can play your favorite projects with friends or in another city that doesn’t have a huge PS5 and a good monitor to hand.
But the technology has some limitations. The main one is the internet. The quality of the image is directly dependent on the connection speed, but even with a very good stream you will not achieve 4K resolution. The maximum is 1080p, but more often 720p. If you bought a PlayStation Q Lite, you cannot guarantee a good picture for yourself, because it does not depend on the technical capabilities of the screen.
DualSense, connected via Bluetooth to a third-party device, loses all the fashionable vibration functions and turns into a very ordinary gamepad. Maybe this was why you bought the PlayStation Q Lite, but it was there. After all, since the release of the demo game Astro’s Playroom, none of the developers have achieved the feel of different surfaces in their projects. The maximum that gamers get is the resistance of triggers and the effect of dripping water. The technology, which was one of the most important PS5s at launch, turned out to be little more than an advertising zilch in practice. Also in projects of Sony itself, the tactility, which was shown in Astro’s Playroom, is still not present. So is it worth paying a few hundred bucks for a gamepad judder? We think not.
The PlayStation Q Lite could have fired had Sony actively pushed its cloud gaming, but the PlayStation Now service, which was never officially released in Russia, was eventually axed in favor of a new subscription system. It is with the use of Now that the portable could be something worthwhile, but there is no news of the launch of new cloud services, but there is an announcement from the console.
The concept of the PlayStation Q Lite does not seem to be successful in the idea phase. It is not clear what the company is counting on by bringing such a device to the market. The high cost, which will be even higher in Russia, will not bring you anything. All the indicated functions can be implemented for free by simply downloading the application. This isn’t portability or convenience, but a strange decision by people who have apparently completely forgotten what their own PSP was good at. If you want to buy a “walking console”, look for devices from Nintendo, Valve or ASUS. Unfortunately, we do not buy Sony.
What do you think of PlayStation Q Lite?
Source: VG Times
Christina Moncayo is a contributing writer for “Social Bites”. Her focus is on the gaming industry and she provides in-depth coverage of the latest news and trends in the world of gaming.