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Rumoured Sony ‘Q Lite’ gaming handheld sounds too lame to be real

OPINION: Sony is rumoured to be working on a new gaming handheld for PS5 owners, but what’s reportedly in the works sounds like a missed opportunity.

According to a report from Insider Gaming, which had us checking the post date to ensure it wasn’t April Fools joke, Sony is working on a Q Lite handheld designed exclusively for PS5 Remote Play.

Remote Play has been around for ages and it allows gamers to hook-up to their console and play games when away from home, or unable to access the TV display.

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I admit I’m not really sure how widely the Remote Play feature is used, but proper cloud gaming independently of the main machine is all the rage now. Improved infrastructure on remote servers is enabling manufacturers to offer an experience comparable to AAA console experiences on devices boasting far less power.

Microsoft has stolen a march with Xbox Cloud Gaming via Game Pass, with apps and web apps on a massive range of mobile devices and smart TVs (and on the Meta Quest soon too). However, it doesn’t seem like Sony would bill this rumoured device as a riposte – as a sort of modernised Vita 2 with a new purpose.

According to the report, it won’t mirror the functionality of other cloud gaming handhelds, like the Razer Edge 5G, for example.

Strange, because Sony offers cloud streaming for PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers so what would be the harm in offering this perk on a device designed for handheld gaming?

Right now cloud streaming of PS4, PS3 and PS2 games are only available to stream on a PS5, PS4 or PC. Why on earth would Sony not expand that if it’s going to launch a dedicated handheld device for gaming, with the ability to connect to the internet? It makes zero sense at all.

Sony has the undisputed finest gaming library of the last 30-years at its disposal. An eventuality when you can get the best of PlayStation past, present and future on the go, powered by the cloud is hugely tantalising.

However, if this report reflects the reality of the situation, it would reflect a massive lack of ambition from Sony. The source behind piece reckons the device will effectively be a DualSense controller with an 8-inch tablet-like touchscreen display in the centre.

“The device sports adaptive triggers for haptic feedback and will include what you would come to expect from a handheld – Volume buttons, speakers, an audio input jack, etc,” the writer Tom Henderson adds.

While all this would be welcome, I just can’t see Sony putting the effort into developing and launching this device without catering for proper cloud gaming as we’ve come to know it. There’s Wi-Fi on it surely? All you’d need is an app!

Given skyrocketing energy bills around the world, why launch this device when it would have to rely on the user having a PlayStation 5 turned on (or at least in Rest Mode) to access Remote Play.

So, given all this, I’m concluding Sony will not launch a Q Lite as described in this report. Despite Sony trying to give PS5 Remote Play a little pep in its step, it just sounds too unambitious to bother with.

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