For nearly three decades, Sony has successfully staked its claim in the high-end home console market. However, the same can’t be said for its attempts to make headway into the handheld gaming sector. Despite the decent sales of the PlayStation Portable (PSP), which moved 76 million units from 2004 to 2014, it couldn’t match the impressive success of Nintendo DS, launched the same year and selling double the units.
Sony’s follow-up to the PSP, the PlayStation Vita, hit the market in 2011/2012. Despite an encouraging initial uptake, sales quickly petered out, failing to meet expectations. The company’s decision not to disclose sales figures for the Vita, a transparency they maintained for all other PlayStation devices since 1994, was revealing. The Vita’s estimated lifetime sales hovered around 15 million units, a figure that likely influenced Sony’s temporary retreat from handheld gaming. In 2015, Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, suggested that the overwhelming popularity of mobile gaming had made the handheld market “unhealthy.”
However, fast forward eight years and Sony appears ready to venture once again into the handheld gaming world. What we do know about the enigmatic “Project Q” is that it will offer PS5 game streaming via Remote Play, require Wi-Fi, and will be launched later this year. Further details, however, remain elusive.