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Sony Unveils PlayStation Portal: A Remote Play Handheld

Sony has announced the PlayStation Portal, a remote play handheld device that streams only PS5 games. The device will be available for pre-order in late 2023 and will cost $199.99 at launch. However, the Portal has its limitations, and potential buyers should consider them before making a purchase.

Portal is Only for Streaming Your Own PS5 Games

The PlayStation Portal is designed only for Sony’s Remote Play technology, which means it only works if you have a PS5 already. The PS5 needs to be turned on and connected to the internet for it to work. The device will stream PlayStation games anywhere as long as it’s connected to strong wifi, on an eight-inch screen that supports 1080p resolution and 60fps. It will only support games that are already installed on your PS5 console, and ones that support the Dual Sense controller.

Portal’s List of Quirks is Quite Long

The PlayStation Portal has several limitations that potential buyers should consider. One of the most glaring omissions is Bluetooth, so you won’t be able to connect your regular pair of wireless headphones to Portal. Sony instead will offer their own low-latency, noise-cancelling buds and headphones that work using their PlayStation Link technology. There is also no local media playback of any kind. You can play media on it, but it will be mirrored from the PS5 itself.

Impressive Streaming Tech but Limited Battery Life

While there’s no cloud streaming, Sony has done impressive work with its wifi streaming tech, which isn’t always dependable. Based on early tests done by IGN, gameplay was smooth and did not suffer from stuttering or lag. However, when it comes to battery life, Sony is promising the same battery life as the DualSense controller. Officially, that sits at 12 hours, but if you own a PS5, you know the battery can drain way more quickly depending on the use of haptics and speakers. Actual battery life won’t be clear until the reviews are out.

Is It Worth the Price?

The PlayStation Portal will cost $199.99 at launch, quite a lot for a wifi mirroring device. For $300, you can get Logitech’s G Cloud gaming handheld, which supports both Xbox Cloud gaming and GeForce Now—not to mention the fact that for $199, you’ll get the entire Nintendo Switch Lite gaming console. Considering all this, potential buyers should weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase decision.

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