I am, primarily, a PC gamer, locked onto my platform of choice by parents who were reluctant to buy me a console but couldn't resist my pleas for a laptop. You know, for school. The result is that I've always found it hard to make time for console gaming –and that's exactly why I'm planning to pick up a Project Q, the cloud-based PlayStation handheld that Sony unveiled at its recent showcase.
For all my PC heritage, I love a big console game. For their faults, there is nothing quite like a massive, AAA RPG, and there are times where I simply crave a big world, a huge story, a real blockbuster gaming experience. Yet the number of these games that I actually play remains weirdly low. Time and cost are factors – I don't necessarily want to drop $60 on a new game, nor do I always have 40+ hours to sink into them – but the biggest obstacle is myself.
My PS5 lives either on my desk alongside my PC, or right next to my TV. With the latter, it competes with my partner, who usually wants to actually watch television rather than watch me play a game. With the former, it competes with – above anything else – League of Legends. It is a game that I play several times a night, almost every night of the week. I have been playing it with my friends for more than a decade, and whenever the call goes out, I have a terrible habit of dropping whatever I'm doing to jump into a game. Even if what I'm doing is playing a different game.
That habit means I'm cautious about dipping into meatier titles. I knew myself well enough, for example, to avoid getting over-invested in Disco Elysium. Easily one of the best games of its release year, it's a meaty, cerebral RPG that I knew I would never fully immerse myself in without my internet going out for several days at a time. I've been plotting a new-gen replay of The Witcher 3, but that's fallen by the wayside of my League of Legends obsession too. Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok have both been sitting unopened since Christmas.
And this is why I need a Project Q. I have a PS5 and an entire catalogue of games I'm itching to play, but none of the self-control required to drag myself away from League of Legends for a few nights in order to finish them. Set me up on a console where I can hear the telltale ping of a Discord notification, and I'm lost. Give me a chance to go sit in my armchair, or lie in bed, and run through the Forbidden West, and I'm almost certain to take it.
There are some caveats to all this, of course. Sony hasn't yet shown off much about Project Q; we don't know how much it'll cost, and there are still industry-wide questions to ask about the relevance of cloud-based play, especially for people without strong internet connections. But if the price is right and the tech is there, I'll take any chance I can to take a night away from my PC to actually play some of the great games Sony has been churning out in recent years.
I'm sold, but other members of the GR team think that Project Q is missing the handheld mark.