Hands-On With Sony PlayStation Portal: A Capable Streaming Companion With Limitations

Sony recently allowed select media to go hands-on with the newly announced PlayStation Portal remote player, giving us an early glimpse of the remote play device’s capabilities. Overall impressions are positive, but some limitations exist.

In terms of streaming performance, Portal gameplay seemed responsive with minimal latency during the preview. Action-heavy titles like Returnal played smoothly, although Sony’s controlled demo environment likely showed the Portal in its best light. Real-world performance could vary.

PlayStation-Portal

The straightforward design inherited the DualSense controller’s advantages for a familiar handheld experience. At a weight between the Switch and Steam Deck, the Portal allows comfortable extended play sessions. Its 8-inch LCD display delivers a sharp 1080p picture, albeit not as bright as OLED alternatives.

While the Portal nails the basics as a handheld streaming device, some unfortunate omissions hold it back from being an undisputed win. Most glaring is the lack of Bluetooth support, making it incompatible with wireless headphones.

It’s also important to clarify that the Portal focuses purely on remote play, not cloud gaming like Xbox or Nvidia’s offerings. A PS5 is still required, with no access to PlayStation Plus Premium streaming.

Considering Sony already enables PS Remote Play on other devices via an app, the Portal’s purpose remains questionable. Its value hinges on providing more stable streams compared to Wi-Fi.

Hardware-wise, the Portal packs a 60Hz 1080p display, DualSense controller sides, Wi-Fi, and PlayStation Link wireless tech. The design simply splits a DualSense in half with a display in the middle.

In the end, the PlayStation Portal seems to deliver on its core goal of responsive remote play. But limitations around Bluetooth and cloud gaming support may make it a tough sell to some PlayStation fans. Still, it provides a refined way to play your PS5 on the go.

EDITOR PICKED: Sony Announces PlayStation Pulse Elite and Pulse Explore and Wireless Link Tech

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