Sony's PlayStation Portal is only two months away. The next handheld gaming device from Sony is a dedicated game-streaming portable that will put the power of PS5 in your hands.
Unlike the Nintendo Switch or the Steam Deck, the PlayStation Portal is unable to run its own native software and instead entirely relies upon streaming from the PS5 console. It's more akin to the likes of the Logitech G Cloud or the Razer Edge in that regard with one major caveat, as confirmed in a recent PlayStation Blog post, the device is unable to stream titles from the PS Plus Premium cloud gaming library. That means its sole purpose is to translate some of the best PS5 games from the big screen to its smaller one and to fit into people's lifestyles accordingly within that framework.
Along with the name of the device, we know now exactly how much it will cost and some of the hardware powering the PlayStation Portal. Whether it can be considered one of the best PS5 accessories will only be known when we've had our hands on the unit itself. As an addition to one of the best monitors for PS5 or one of the best gaming TVs, it could prove yourself if you want to multi-task when gaming or streaming media.
PlayStation portal: cut to the chase
What is it? The next handheld gaming device from Sony, built to stream and mirror your PS5 via PlayStation Remote Play
When does it come out? November 15, 2023 (pre-orders open now)
How much does it cost? $199.99 / £199.99
What do I need to make it work? A PS5 console, and a solid and stable internet connection
Who makes it? Sony
PlayStation Portal release date
Cutting right to it, the PlayStation Portal release date is November 15, 2023, almost exactly three years to the day of the release of the PS5 itself.
PlayStation Portal price
The PlayStation Portal will cost you $199.99 / £199.99 and pre-orders are now open.
It's comparable to a budget gaming tablet but is built only for game streaming. As a point of comparison, the Logitech G Cloud, the closest item comparably in terms of form factor and functionality, retails at $349.99 / £329.99, so Sony's latest offering significantly undercuts it so could be priced very attractively giving the alternatives and service it provides.
PlayStation Portal design and features
The PlayStation Blog post announcing the Portal confirmed several statements made by Jim Ryan in an earlier press release published by Business Wire. Chief among them is the fact that the PlayStation Portal features an 8-inch LCD screen rocking a 1080p resolution at 60fps. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect to one of the best wired gaming headsets, but the post also confirms that you'll be able to use PlayStation Link with the likes of the upcoming PlayStation Pulse Elite headset and Pulse Explore earbuds.
Actual hardware specifications have yet to materialize on what's powering the PlayStation Portal, and there will be no support for Bluetooth with this device, meaning relying on the PlayStation Link technology. Said tech will be available in the two revealed headsets, but a USB dongle will be coming at a later time, which means support could be more widespread in the near future.
A major advantage of relying on streaming instead of native rendering for gameplay experiences is added battery life. For all the faults we found with the Logitech G Cloud, a similarly priced handheld device, it wasn't uncommon to see a battery life of between 8-12 hours when streaming Xbox Game Pass or GeForce Now. If the same can be achieved here then that would be a major plus for Sony's device, although, we're expecting things to be more conservative, given the DualSense support as the PS5's wireless controller only averages 4-8 hours on a single charge.
Perhaps the best overall feature of the Portal, however, is the design and form factor. Building the handheld around the excellent DualSense controller means that it retains the form and design that many folks will find incredible from an accessibility point of view.
PlayStation Portal - FAQs
Will I be able to stream PS Plus games on the PlayStation Portal?
No. Sony has confirmed that you will not be able to stream titles from the PS Plus Premium Game Catalog on the PlayStation Portal as the device is solely intended to stream directly from your PS5 console. This means it acts as more of a second screen with DualSense functionality enabled than a PlayStation-themed gaming tablet.
Will I be able to use the PlayStation Portal with cellular data?
Sony has stated that the PlayStation Portal is a strictly Wi-Fi-enabled gaming handheld for use within the local range of the PS5 console and does not feature any 4G / 5G cellular connectivity. The system will only be able to stream locally from dedicated hardware with supported games already on the system.