Sony Project Q hands-on video shows it runs on Android, but what does that mean?

Video and images of the PlayStation handheld have leaked online

Sony Project Q with PS5
(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Ever since Sony announced a forthcoming PlayStation accessory during its Showcase event in May - the handheld currently known as Project Q - many have wondered what it will be capable of.

The concept is relatively simple - it's a second screen for your PlayStation 5, one that you can use around the home to play games streamed from your own console. However, as it stands, it doesn't look like you'll be able to take it outside or on your travels so it's far from a Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck rival - it seemingly requires Wi-Fi connection to the same home network as the PS5.

That could change, though. A leaked video and images of the device in the flesh (posted by @Zuby_Tech on Twitter) show that Project Q runs on Android and that opens up other possibilities. For example, could it accept a SIM card or eSIM and therefore allow you to play over a mobile data connection, too?

Could it even mean the device will run Android apps as well as PS Remote Play?

What will Sony do with Project Q?

Sadly, we suspect that the answer to both of those question are more likely to be "no". The device is being heralded as a PS5 accessory, not a standalone handheld. It's just that it's convenient to use Android as the base operating system as there's already an app to stream games from a local PlayStation 5.

Indeed, you can already build your own Project Q using an Android phone - even an iPhone - and a supported gaming controller, such as a Razer Kishi or BackBone One. There's even an official PlayStation variant of the latter.

So attach one of those to your existing Android handset or iPhone, run the free PS Remote Play and you've essentially got the same thing. And, you'll still have access to millions of apps, plus other games and services.

In addition, considering the Project Q is tipped to cost anywhere up to £250 ($300), you might save yourself a bundle in the process.

Still, the Sony device is likely to include some of the features found on the DualSense controller, including haptics and force feedback for the triggers, in addition to an 8-inch display (much larger than an average smartphone), so there could be some justification after all.

But, even if the Android functionality is unlocked a touch, just don't expect it to run Xbox Game Pass.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.