Sony's PS5 handheld sure looks like an Android tablet with DualSense attachments

Screenshot of the PS5 and the upcoming PS5 handheld cloud gaming device.
(Image credit: Sony)

What you need to know

  • Leaker @Zuby_Tech posted video and screenshots of Sony's upcoming cloud gaming handheld device.
  • Video of the Project Q prototype shows Android's famous 3-button navigation bar, revealing that it runs off of some version of the software. 
  • Project Q will let you Remote Play PS5 games. It has an 8-inch 1080p display, supports 60FPS, and has the same grips and functionality of a DualSense controller.

We're currently seeing an influx of mobile game streaming consoles like the Logitech G Cloud and Razer Edge that run on Android. Sony's upcoming mobile gaming device isn't like these, since it isn't designed to play Android games. But it does use the Android operating system. 

A recent tweet from "tech enthusiast" @Zuby_Tech on Twitter (or X, as it's called now) shows a leaked version of Sony's Project Q gaming handheld. In the video, it shows a touchscreen interface and Android's trademark three-button navigation bar. 

The software shown in the video is obviously not meant for consumer eyes, and the final version should show a more polished, consumer-friendly UI that prioritizes your PS5 game library. 

It's no surprise that Sony would use Android for a mobile device, given its years of experience selling Android phones like the Xperia 1 V. Although their mobile and PlayStation divisions likely don't have much overlap, Sony can still pull from its own resources rather than build a new operating system from scratch.  

This leak has gamers speculating on whether or not hackers will be able to access this software in order to sideload other games and apps on Project Q, not just PS5 Remote Play games. We'll find out when the device launches in late 2023 (based on current Sony projections). 

But as this device is designed to run games from a PS5, which will handle most of the computing from afar and stream it to Project Q, it's unlikely that this tablet will have much internal processing power for any other apps. 

The device itself looks a lot like Sony split the DualSense controller in half, then attached either end to a small Android tablet. A lot of the best Android game controllers mirror this design, sliding open and enveloping Android phones so you can hold them like a Nintendo Switch. That includes the official Backbone One PlayStation Edition controller.

Considering you can already Remote Play on Android or iOS with your own phone or tablet, it's not clear how big the market for Project Q will be. But it may appeal to PS5 owners who want a dedicated handheld instead of burning through their phone battery on gaming. It will depend a lot on how much the device costs.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.