Sony Unveils PlayStation Portal 6 Months Ago, Dubbed as the ‘Remote Player’ for its Remote Connectivity to PS5. Now Available in Several Countries Starting at $200 USD, with More Global Markets to Follow in the Coming Weeks.
Surely, $200 is not a small amount of money for a device that can’t independently run games and lacks native game support, relying on cloud gaming instead. This raises the question of what sets the PlayStation Portal apart. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide from A to Z, helping you make an informed decision before purchasing the device.
What is the PlayStation Portal device?
The codename for the PlayStation Portal device was initially Project Q, with the project’s name being Q-Lite. Despite the prevalence of the name between May and August, it dates back to the development stage of the device, officially announced by Sony on May 24th during the PlayStation Showcase event. It was later revealed with its official name in August.
The PlayStation Portal device is designed to stream games played on a connected PS5 console. It aims to bring the powerful gaming experience of the PS5 to the convenience of players’ hands, as described by Sony. To achieve this, the device connects to the PS5 console through a PlayStation account on the same internet network. Afterward, players can enjoy remote gaming, regardless of the physical distance between the two devices, provided there is a fast internet connection.
The key to this capability lies in the Remote Play feature. This feature requires the presence of a PS5 console, meaning the device does not independently support cloud gaming. Instead, it relies on the PS5 for cloud-based game streaming. The reason for this limitation is unclear, and it’s possible that this could change in the future. It’s known that cloud gaming doesn’t necessarily require dedicated hardware, so smart displays supporting cloud gaming services could be an interesting development to watch for.
PlayStation Portal Features
The device comes with a nice 8-inch touchscreen that looks really good. It’s better than what you find in Logitech G Cloud and Nintendo Switch and is almost as good as the screens in Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED. Especially when you think about how much less money you might have to spend on the PlayStation Portal compared to those other devices.
The other part of the PlayStation Portal device is the controller that goes around the screen. It looks like a DualSense controller that’s been cut in half, and they replaced the touchpad with a screen that separates the two halves, disrupting their usual harmony. The device supports the same cool tech as the DualSense controller, like the vibrating Haptic Feedback and the interactive Adaptive Trigger. However, they made the buttons a bit smaller to fit the new design.
Gameplay Requirements on the Device
As mentioned before, the PlayStation Portal isn’t a standalone device; it works alongside the PS5. Of course, this won’t happen without an internet connection. Initially, both devices need to connect to the same network when set up, but after that, they don’t have to be on the same network again. What matters is having a stable internet connection with a download speed of at least 15Mbps. This allows gaming remotely, like playing outside the house using mobile internet from a phone, as long as the PS5 is plugged in and connected to power and the internet.
The device supports playing games that are already installed on the PS5. In August, Sony clarified that the device won’t support playing games through cloud streaming technology provided by the PlayStation Plus Premium service. However, as mentioned earlier, this could change as Sony is actively working on improving its cloud service. In this context, the best scenario for using the PlayStation Portal is when the TV connected to the PS5 is not available or if the player wants to enjoy gaming from a different location inside or outside the house.