At the PlayStation Showcase 2023 event, Sony unveiled a handheld device that’ll make gamers both excited and longing for more. That’s because the Japanese electronics giant did unveil the Project Q gaming device but with a spoiler.
Rather than being a follow-up of the PlayStation Vita, the handheld will be more of a streaming gadget for mirroring PlayStation 5 games when you want to shift to the smaller screen for a while. That’s something akin to the Logitech G Cloud and the Razer Edge. This further reiterates Sony’s belief in mobile gaming since they announced the Backbone One game controller a few days back.
By no stretch of imagination is this gaming handheld a competitor for Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch. It’s basically a device to be used with PS Remote Play, and looks like a stretched DualSense controller. Much like a third-party mobile gaming controller that fits your smartphone.
Even though it won’t play any games standalone or without internet connectivity, the option to stream your favorite titles on the 8-inch HD LCD screen sandwiched between the controls is simply awesome. The device will be capable of streaming games at upto 1080p and 60fps over a Wi-Fi connection. Not to forget, you’ll get all the buttons and features of DualSense controller like the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
According to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, “Innovation is our passion, and that applies to not just what games you play, but how you play them.” He further emphasized the cloud gaming aspect moving forward, making the streaming handheld a potent tool in the quest for leveraging the “trend of mobility.”
For now, Sony has just uncovered these details and there’s no word on the pricing or the release date of the Project Q handheld. That said, we are still rooting for Sony to release a dedicated gaming device that’s more than just a cloud gaming gadget and can play offline as well.
It seems to be the age of gaming handhelds once again. With the continued success of the Nintendo Switch, all sorts of portable gaming devices have popped up, ranging from PCs like the Steam Deck to dedicated Android gaming devices like the Logitech G Cloud and the new Razer Edge. Although they have actually been around far longer than these, more obscure handhelds have become more prominent because of this industry trend. Some require you to do the work of cobbling up the pieces together, while others sell a more finished product instead. The latter is the case for the latest device to hit the market, one that eschews the trending Switch form factor for something that gives a nod to Nintendo’s previous top-selling portable.
The Nintendo DS had a very good run in the gaming market, replacing the iconic Game Boy with a portable machine that got on with the times. It featured a revolutionary (for that time) dual-screen clamshell design that truly felt like a new breed rather than a Game Boy just folded in half. Almost two decades later, that design has become antiquated, but it’s exactly that nostalgia that this look-alike is aiming for.
Granted, the Retroid Pocket Flip is more like a cross between the DS and the GBA SP, having a single screen only and with a more horizontal clamshell design. It almost has the best of both worlds, with a more conventional and more comfortable form factor and a wide screen that is more common with games today. Despite its old-fashioned looks, it does stick to modern gaming features, including the basic set of controls, such as both bumper and trigger buttons.
One advantage that a clamshell design has over something like the Nintendo Switch is that you can set the angle of the screen independently of your hands. You also automatically have a protective case for the device and don’t have to worry about the screen getting scratched and the controls snagging in your bag. The design also tends to be more compact, though it does get thicker compared to a flat handheld device.
That said, the Retroid Pocket Flip is pretty much an Android device, so you might have to debate whether having a dedicated gaming device separate from your phone is worth the cost. Not all Android games are also controller-friendly, and using the touch screen, in this case, is ironically more cumbersome. Still, if you’re an avid Android gamer that uses a controller most of the time, this charming throwback could be something worth adding to your collection.
With the growing number of digital documents, it almost seemed as if printed paper was on its way out. Of course, that’s hardly true, with even more books and documents being printed every day each year. Printing has been at the center of our civilization ever since man invented a way to put ink on paper without manually writing each letter, which was around 6,000 years ago. Of course, printing has thankfully evolved from pressing pieces of inked metal or wood on parchment, but it has also become more detached and less personal over the centuries. Of course, it was a matter of practicality and survival of the fledgling printing press business, and we can’t imagine going back to that antiquated past. That said, you might not have to go that far just to get a feel for the old days with this rather curious device that lets you print by hand, almost literally.
Designer: Joonyeol Bae
Handheld printers are actually nothing new, but they are often designed for a very specific use case. These small boxes are usually meant to print out small photos, often in the popular Polaroid format. In reality, they’re more like special-purpose portable photo printers rather than something you’d use to print documents. There are other handheld printer designs that are more like long bars that you have to hold steady as you move it down a page.
DUAL is a concept device that tries to combine the best of both worlds by offering a handheld or portable printer that you ironically don’t have to hold all the time while using it. It has rollers at the bottom that move the paper or itself along a flat surface, automating that part of the process. Of course, you can still put your hand on the device’s tent-like form to get that feeling of having a more direct interaction with printing.
DUAL’s design is quite peculiar in that it also straddles the line between typical printers as well as portable printers. It takes up less space on a desk compared to a box-type printer, but it’s also something that you can’t easily place in your bag to carry outside with you. It does have the advantage of being a lot more aesthetic than your average printer, serving as an interesting piece of decor when not in use.
The printer’s unconventional design does mean that it also requires an unconventional ink cartridge. Instead of typical blocks or long cartridges, DUAL uses a custom rounded rectangle container that holds all four colors together. Given the portability of the device, it might have been more efficient to use one of those zero-ink printing technologies, though that, in turn, would require the use of special paper instead.
DUAL’s name actually comes not from its form but from its function. It also has a scanner in the upper half of the device that can, well, scan documents or images the same way you’d use a handheld bar-type scanner. Given that feature, DUAL is actually a TRIO since you can effectively copy a document by scanning it and then printing it. It’s effectively the same way that those multi-functional printers copy documents, except you have to do the process a bit more manually, just like in the old days.
While the demand for a folding phone seems to be incredibly niche (and localized to just Asia), this conceptual gadget named Tam Tam makes a pretty compelling case for folding phones by turning them into the most versatile gaming devices. The Tam Tam can be used as a phone, a handheld controller, a mini console, or even a nifty multiplayer gaming system for two or more people. The secret? Folding displays and detachable Nintendo Switch-style joy-cons.
Designer: Jinseon Lee
The Tam Tam is a portable folding console with a Huawei Mate X-style outward folding design. The phone exists independently, but pairs rather well with a set of interchangeable joy-cons that snap onto either side, turning it into a makeshift Switch-style console. The joy-cons can be used separately too, allowing you to explore various gaming arrangements – my personal favorite being Tam Tam’s multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer mode sees the phone set up in an A-shaped format with two halves of the screen facing each of the players (sort of like a game of battlefield). Players can even set the phones up in a 4-player format (image below) and play a variety of competitive games. Unlike the Nintendo Switch, however, Tam Tam offers a whole range of controller types, spanning D-pads, knobs, broad joysticks (or joy-discs), etc.
The controllers can be attached or detached on demand
Multiple controller formats enable different gaming experiences
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a folding console, though. A foldable Nintendo Switch 2 concept surfaced last year, which sported the same versatile gaming format, albeit with a larger tablet-sized foldable display. Earlier this year, redditor MikeDubbz hacked together a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip to let you mount Switch Joy-Cons on each side. The Z Flip ran an emulator, turning the popular foldable phone into a faux Gameboy of sorts!
Recent events of the past three years have made the world seem like a smaller place for many people. Being cooped up indoors for months has set some off on “revenge travel” adventures, while others are trying to tick off items from their bucket lists. Whatever the reason or the motivation, traveling to other countries is both a dream come true but also a stressful experience when it comes to communication in a foreign language. We live in an age when technology should already make such divisions a thing of the past, but surprisingly, that isn’t actually the case. Fortunately, there are those who make it their goal to break down language barriers, and this handy little device puts all the power you need to connect with other people right under your fingertips, literally.
As if packing and preparing for an overseas trip weren’t stressful enough, the thought of not being able to communicate properly with locals can be an even more frightening thought. Phrasebooks and guides can only get you so far to survive, but if you really want to enjoy the experience and build meaningful relationships, you really need to at least understand the other person. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend months or even years learning different languages, especially if you have the Fluentalk T1 in the palm of your hand.
Fit Right in your Pocket – About the size of a credit card and weighs merely 115g.
Unlike a large smartphone that seems intrusive and rude in the middle of a conversation, Timekettle’s Fluentalk T1 is almost the size of a credit card. That allows it to discreetly lie on the table or in your hand, letting the conversation flow freely and naturally, just like how humans are used to. Plus, it’s also lightweight at only 115g, so it can easily fit into any pocket or even be conveniently held in your hand all the time. Despite its size, however, it’s packed full of features that will allow you to translate not only spoken languages but even those written down in print.
40 Languages & 93 Accents – The ultimate tools for breaking the language barrier.
95% Accuracy – Has a multi-microphone array supported by EDC noise reduction algorithm that accurately picks up human voice from noisy environment.
The Fluentalk T1 boasts support for 40 languages and 93 different accents, and it can translate speech in real-time, thanks to its advanced Streaming ASR technology and global mobile connection. A built-in mic array with noise reduction algorithms sifts through the ambient sound to pick up human voices only, making sure you can really focus on the conversation in front of you. And when that mobile connection fails you for some reason, the device can still translate to and from 13 pairs of languages that have been downloaded to the device beforehand.
Ask for Directions – Double-click of power-on button to start this mode for fluent conversation.
Listen Mode – Help capture what others say and then translate to your language, so you will never feel isolated.
Chat Translation – Automatically captures what you are saying and translates it into the target language of your partner instantly and vice versa.
Voice Memo – T1 translator device supports voice translation from voice to text and automatically saves in your phone.
When your sense of direction fails you, just double-click the power button to start a fluent conversation with a native speaker to ask about the next stop on your journey. Fluentalk T1’s Listen Mode can easily capture what the other person is saying and then translate it into your own language. But you don’t have to keep holding the device or pressing buttons either. With Chat Translation mode, it can automatically pick up what you’re saying and translate it to another language while also doing the reverse for your conversation partner. There’s also a handy Voice Memo mode in case you want to save dictated notes for translating later.
Instant Image/Photo Translator – T1 integrates an industry-leading OCR offline translation engine for instant image translation in 36 languages.
This handheld translation device, however, doesn’t just get you through conversations either. With its 8-megapixel camera, powerful processor, and vibrant 4-inch touch screen, you can also translate printed words like prices and signs so that you’ll never get lost ever again. It also has built-in apps for currency conversion as well as a world clock, giving you up-to-date data that live and thrive in a foreign land.
With Timekettle’s Fluentalk T1 Language Translator, you will never be at a loss for words or knowledge, no matter what corner of the world you want to explore. For only $299.99 (use coupon code “YDESIGN23” to avail exclusive 30% discount for YD readers), you’ll get your hands on a palm-sized device that will help you build closer relationships with people around the globe. That includes two years of free global mobile data, which means you don’t need to insert an eSIM card to translate words into your own language anywhere in the world. What’s more, with a special code for Yanko Design readers, you get a 30% discount off that price tag, helping you gain the confidence to step into a whole new world of learning and adventure traveling across the world.
We live in very interesting times, especially if you happen to be a tinkerer, hobbyist, or what is commonly called a “maker” these days. From affordable palm-sized computer boards like the Raspberry Pi to the almost magical 3D printers, it has never been easier to bring ideas to life or, at the very least, prototype designs quickly before they hit final production. Not everyone might have access to these parts and tools, though, but those same things have also made it easier to create and sell products that bigger companies would never dare make. Those include niche yet popular designs, like this quirky pocket computer kit that you can assemble on your own to become not just a portable game emulator but a real computer you could use for more serious business, like even developing your own retro-style game on the go.
uConsole comes as a kit that you still have to assemble yourself, allowing you to enjoy part of the process without having to worry about scouring for components and getting access to a 3D printer. Like most of the designer’s other DIY computers, however, you also have access to the schematics and list of parts so that you can take the harder yet more fulfilling route if you so wish. Whichever path you take, you’ll end up with the same handheld device with a QWERTY keyboard, gaming controls, and a 5-inch screen that you can use for games or any other computing activities, especially since you can connect it to an external monitor and USB peripherals.
The device was designed to be modular so that you can expand it with more functionality, like the optional 4G/LTE extension you can also purchase. It also runs on a pair of rechargeable 18650 batteries that can be easier to swap out compared to the blocky packs you see in smartphones and other DIY projects. Admittedly, uConsole is not that cheap, especially for such a niche device, but the kit does take out much of the hassle of gathering your own parts while still letting you relish having such a quirky but useful computer in your bag.
Although it has been a while since the last Nintendo DS and PS Vita sold on the market, handheld gaming devices haven’t really disappeared. One might say that the somewhat niche market has grown even bigger than before, thanks to the confluence of several factors. Mobile games on smartphones have formed a billion dollar industry, and the success of the Nintendo Switch has spurred many new devices, including Valve’s rare Steam Deck. While handheld PCs are now sprouting up left and right, there seems to be another current that’s building momentum. Handheld gaming devices powered by the mobile Android platform seem to be making a comeback, and the latest to show their vision include three of the tech industry’s biggest names.
Razer made a name for itself with its cool-looking, high-performance computer accessories designed for gamers. Over time, it has also produced gaming laptops so that everything will look coherent and function together properly. Razer has even dabbled in making its own gaming smartphone, using Android, of course, but that fell by the wayside quickly. It’s not throwing in the towel just yet, though, and its partners just teased a new mobile gaming device that will be fully unveiled next month.
The Razer Edge 5G is a collaboration with Verizon, which will be power the 5G experience, and Qualcomm, whose silicon will be powering the device. The name actually comes from a much older product from Razer and one if its first attempts at mobile gaming. That ill-fated Razer Edge, however, may have been far too ahead of its time, offering a PC tablet that could be equipped with a gaming controller and a keyboard.
In contrast, the Razer Edge 5G will be more familiar to mobile gamers in more ways than one. Late last year, Razer and Qualcomm already announced a partnership that created a development kit for Qualcomm’s new gaming-centric processor. This “dev kit” came in the form of a gaming handheld not unlike the Nintendo Switch Lite in appearance, though with a more interesting curvature on top that makes it look more like a gigantic “Game & Watch” of old. At this point in time, gaming handhelds with a large screen in the middle flanked by buttons, D-pads, and joysticks are no longer a novel appearance.
The teaser of the Razer Edge 5G that Verizon shared suggests something that looks less like that prototype and more like a Switch with flat top and bottom edges. The design of the buttons and shoulder triggers are also different, and the branding definitely leans more towards a Razer device. Nothing else has been mentioned, and we’ll be hearing all the details on October 15th at RazerCon.
Although such a design is familiar by now, it still raises the question if it will be a commercial success. This wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to sell an Android device dedicated to gaming, and previous attempts all died out in favor of plain smartphones with some accessories or gaming gimmicks. Perhaps the time is ripe, now that there is an abundance of handheld gaming devices, so we’ll have tow wait for the Logitech G Cloud and Razer Edge 5G to hit the market to see if that’s the case.
For gamers, being able to play anywhere at any time is a bit of a dream come true. Of course, that has always been possible with certain game systems, like the Nintendo Game Boy, the Sony PlayStation Portable, or even smartphones, but a single device that is able to do all of these is still an unreachable goal. Thanks to advancements in technology, particularly in cloud computing, that dream is slowly becoming a reality. And it’s that kind of reality that Logitech’s latest device is trying to achieve with a gaming handheld that lets you play almost any game available, at least any game that’s available on smartphones or through the cloud.
Logitech is best known for its line of computer accessories ranging from keyboards and mice to webcams. It doesn’t make nor sell computers, and this Logitech G Cloud handheld would be one of, if not its first, computing device. It’s a device aimed at a rather niche market that straddles the line between smartphone and gaming console, and it’s a market that it might have difficulty winning unless it plays its cards right.
This isn’t the first handheld gaming device to come in this form, after all, with the Nintendo Switch and Valve’s Steam Deck leading the market in terms of popularity. It isn’t even the first dedicated Android-powered gaming handheld to make its way to the market. And as those other attempts might have proven, it’s not an easy market to conquer. Then again, they might have just been ahead of their time.
In terms of design, the Logitech G Cloud aims for comfort and convenience to set it apart from both smartphones as well as other gaming handhelds. It’s relatively light, thanks to having nearly the same specs as a 7-inch mid-range Android tablet. Compared to a smartphone or tablet, however, it has dedicated physical controls that make playing many games easier. Logitech has even set its sights beyond just technical performance, boasting of the device’s carbon neutrality and sustainable packaging.
While it sounds like heaven for gamers, it’s still uncertain whether it will be a commercial success for Logitech. Many of these features can also be enjoyed on a large smartphone these days, so the Logitech G Cloud doesn’t really sound too unique. It does have the convenience of having a single device for gaming with built-in controls, but almost everyone has that kind of device in their pockets these days; they just need a good controller to go along with it.
Handheld gaming devices have exploded in popularity after the success of the Nintendo Switch. None of the other console makers, namely Microsoft and Sony, seem to be eager to jump on that train yet, but PC makers have started to show interest, particularly with the launch of Valve’s Steam Deck. Of course, when it comes to being a portable gaming device, nothing really beats a smartphone, especially when you’re talking about games that are designed from the start to be enjoyed in bite-sized parts while on the go. It is arguable, however, whether a smartphone is a proper gaming handheld, considering its multi-functional nature, so Logitech is attempting to solve that by creating an Android device designed and dedicated solely to gaming.
Mobile games have been around ever since Snake first appeared on Nokia handsets, but truly immersive and addictive ones didn’t appear until smartphones did. There are hundreds of games today that you can play on smartphones, plus a thousand more copycats and malware-bearing Trojan horses. What all these games have in common is that they were developed with a touch screen in mind as the primary input method. In fact, many titles don’t even work with a controller, even a Bluetooth gamepad connected to the phone.
That’s what makes the idea of a dedicated Android gaming handheld in the style of the Nintendo Switch a bit less exciting than it is for Steam Deck PC. What would be the point of having physical gaming controls flanking a big screen if the game being played only responds to touch input? That doesn’t seem to worry Logitech, who partnered with Chinese gaming giant Tencent to create a “cloud gaming handheld” device. A leak of the device shows a rather uninspiring design that houses a curious gaming experience.
The white Logitech G Gaming Handheld, as it is being called, easily resembles a Nintendo Switch Lite, which doesn’t have the removable Joy-Cons. While it looks more like a tablet than a phone, it’s what’s running on the screen that makes it really interesting. It shows not just Google Play, which would be a no-brainer for an Android device, but also Xbox, NVIDIA, and even Steam, suggesting it can handle those brand’s cloud streaming services. It seems that Logitech and Tencent are aiming for an all-around handheld gaming device, which would make those buttons and joysticks more useful indeed.
Of course, Logitech is hardly the first to try making an Android-based gaming handheld, and it definitely won’t be the last. The past two years alone have seen a sudden rise in gaming handhelds running Android inside. To some extent, that’s unsurprising because Android is the easiest and cheapest operating system to put on any device. It’s arguable, however, if it has the best selection of mobile games.
The bigger question, however, is whether it actually makes sense for an Android device to have permanent controllers flanking the screen, even if one of them can be removed. Android can be used for more than just gaming, of course, but the fixed controller almost limits how the device can be used for a single purpose only. That’s why Bluetooth controllers that can be attached to smartphones and then removed as needed have somewhat become more popular, offering that same gaming experience without imposing arbitrary limitations.
Just as the Nintendo Switch kicked up a storm with its modular design, Valve’s Steam Deck sparked a revolution that made handheld computers hip again. Of course, these portable gaming PCs aren’t exactly new, and some more daring Chinese companies have been trying to grow that market long before the Steam Deck or even the Switch. And computers small enough to hold in your hands go back even further, with the brief period of UMPCs or ultra-mobile PCs. Those might have been too far ahead of their time, however, and it’s only now that the dream of a powerful handheld computer is finally becoming a reality. Now that past technological hurdles have been resolved, some are starting to revisit those old designs, such as this upcoming handheld gaming PC.
Ever since personal computers became mainstream, there has been this vision and fantasy of a computer that you can hold in one or two hands and can be carried anywhere. To some extent, today’s smartphones actually meet that criteria, but the difference made by a desktop operating system like Windows is still substantial, especially in terms of gaming. That’s why this new bread of handheld PCs like the Steam Deck and its ilk are trying to target gamers who are more receptive to the idea of being able to play games almost anywhere.
There are limitations to the current design of something that resembles a gigantic game controller with a screen in the middle. At least for something purely dedicated to gaming, that might be fine, but these computers have enough horsepower to actually support almost anything you can run on a regular laptop. Yes, you can use these handheld gaming PCs are regular desktop computers once you connect them to a monitor and keyboard, but you can’t easily do that on the go, especially when it comes to typing something.
The upcoming GPD Win 4 tries to solve that problem in a way that might be familiar to PC historians, particularly those who fondly remember the Sony VAIO UX. Actually, this device would be the Chinese brand’s second to sport this design, presenting a display that can slide up to reveal a keyboard underneath. The GPD Win 4, however, makes one important change that significantly makes it better for use as more than just a gaming device.
The GPD Win 3 launched last year used a flat capacitive surface for the hidden keyboard. Its experience was no better than typing on a smartphone or tablet without the advantage of being able to change the keyboard layout or design. For slowly pecking letters to enter passwords or to chat, that would be fine, but it severely limited the device’s potential to be a true handheld computer.
The next iteration that could be coming in a few months corrects that misstep by using actual physical keys instead. They are, of course, tiny compared even to the smallest laptop, but they provide better haptic and tactile feedback than a rigid flat surface. There have been devices with keyboards as small as these, and some users have been able to master them and improve their accuracy and speed over time. It’s a bit too early to say how good it will be, but it will definitely help make the GPD Win 4 more usable as the all-purpose computer of past dreams.