Sony Playstation Portal Gives Console Gamers A Dedicated Handheld For PS5 Remote Play
Remote Play has been an available feature in Sony’s consoles since the PS3, allowing players to access their console’s games from a different machine. It’s a useful feature, especially if you have your console set up in the living room, but can’t play your games there because the wife is watching 90 Day Fiancé or something. Using it, you can play games on your console through your PC, your tablet, or even your smartphone. Soon, you can even play it on this Playstation Portal.
Remember the Nintendo Wii U, which came with a controller that had its own touchscreen display, allowing you to play games from the console directly on it? Well, this is very similar to that. It’s, basically, a dedicated handheld for PS5 Remote Play, so you can keep your laptop, tablet, or smartphone on their charging docks, instead of having to pull them out to play Returnal.
The Playstation Portal consists of an eight-inch touchscreen display with grips resembling the PS5’s DualSense controller on either side. You get all the same controls as the standard PS5 gamepad, from the dual symmetrical analog sticks, D-pad, action buttons, triggers, and shoulder buttons, with the touchscreen taking the place of the touchpad. It even has the same haptic feedback, so it fully reprises the DualSense experience.
The onboard display has 1080p resolution with a 60fps frame rate, so it should deliver pretty good visuals on par with most gaming handhelds. This combo of a reasonably large eight-inch screen and full-featured PS5 controls should make for a compelling handheld experience that’s arguably going to be better than what you can get running Remote Play on a phone or tablet, which should be the main reason for people to even consider picking one of these up. Just like a standard controller, it comes with a 3.5mm jack for plugging in headphones.
The Playstation Portal only runs Remote Play, with no other additional features. There’s no onboard storage, no standalone OS, and nothing else, really. As such, it’s basically a brick unless it’s connected to your PS5 over Wi-Fi. Once connected, it also only plays games that are downloaded on your console, so you can’t use it with PS Plus Premium’s cloud streaming feature. Yep, you can’t use it to stream games via Sony’s servers, which is disappointing for a modern handheld. While there’s no word on whether that will be supported later, we do expect them to add that, since the experience just feels completely half-baked without it.
There’s no Bluetooth, by the way, so you can’t use your wireless headphones with it. Unless, of course, you purchase one of Sony’s upcoming wireless headphones that use PlayStation Link, which is, apparently, the outfit’s own proprietary wireless format. In case you’re miffed about having to buy special headphones just for the console, they do claim that the wireless format will allow for “low latency, lossless audio,” which could make the extra purchase worthwhile. Maybe.
The Playstation Portal is officially slated for later this year, with rumors pegging it around November. Price is $199.99.