Sony Project Q video leaks — and it seems to be running Android

Sony Project Q handheld console
(Image credit: Sony via YouTube)

When Sony officially revealed its upcoming Project Q handheld in May, the short sneak peak raised more questions than it answered. 

Yes, it confirmed the device would have an 8-inch HD screen and is designed for “remote play over WiFi”, but what were its internal specs? Would it have built-in storage? How much will it cost? What OS does it run?

The last of these questions now seems to have been answered, thanks to a video leak on Twitter by @Zuby_Tech. The somewhat grainy footage shows a plastic-wrapped screen with a basic version of Android being operated via touch, the analog sticks and the face buttons.

Those with long memories will be getting Sony Xperia Play flashbacks, but it seems unlikely that most users will actually see this backend. 

We’d expect something more polished mimicking the PS5 menu over the top, but the fact that this is running behind the scenes has intrigued certain parts of the community, excited by what this means for emulation outside of Sony’s intended usage.

Sony would be none too keen on that, of course, but if Project Q runs Android, there’s only so much the company can do to stop it — other than making it unappealing as an emulation device. A lot will hinge on the built-in processor and how much storage it has. If it’s just intended for streaming, Sony would have no reason to put much more than 16GB inside, after all.

Though a niche pursuit, that could still make Project Q a more appealing prospect to some. As a mainstream device, it’s a strange product: portable, but only usable on the same WiFi network as the $499 PS5. That makes it a bit like a 2023 Wii U control pad — an ominous comparison Sony surely wouldn't welcome. 

Price tag could be make or break Project Q

Therefore, a lot depends on Sony’s pricing — and that’s still something that’s entirely up in the air. In the Microsoft/Activision FTC filings, the Xbox maker predicts it’ll be under $300, which still feels like a lot of money for a device that doesn’t do anything you can’t already do via any smartphone, a controller grip and the Remote Play app. 

If it’s at the top end of that, then it’ll only be $100 less than the cheapest Valve Steam Deck — which will also run PS5 games via Remote Play as well as hundreds of PC games locally without the need to be on the same WiFi network.

Hopefully, Sony has some unannounced killer features to make Project Q a must-have accessory — with competitive pricing to match. Otherwise, it could join the Xperia Play, the PSP and PS Vita on Sony’s growing pile of bold but ill-fated gaming handheld experiments.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.

  • DepMon
    In what universe is selling 80 million PSPs "ill-fated"
  • YamsCity
    I still have my PSP. I like the design, albeit it is very different, from the other hand held, but I don't understand why you would only want to use the device on the same network as yout PS5? This device isn't something that you can take outside of the house to work, school, to the beach, etc. So what is the point??
    Who product tested this device? Sony did not get this logic out of thin air.
    Also, I know Sony is trying to get into the mobile space heavily, I wonder if in the future they will add their mobile game selection to the device?