The PlayStation Portal will be released this week. Sony's new streaming handheld makes it possible to play PlayStation games remotely over the Internet.

What are the PlayStation Portal release date and price?

The PlayStation Portal is now available for around 219.99 euros.

What is the PlayStation Portal?

In short, the PlayStation Portal is a compact screen that allows you to stream games from your PlayStation 5 via WiFi. On either side of the screen are two half DualSense controllers. So the Portal does not play local games.

The PlayStation Portal is a handheld with an 8-inch screen. The device has an LCD panel with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. ‘Half’ DualSense controllers are placed on both sides, as if a full controller was cut in half. This controller is identical to the regular DualSense controller in both functionality and feel, with adaptive triggers, haptic feedback and all conceivable buttons.

No other notable technologies are hidden in the housing of the PlayStation Portal. According to several hands-on previews, the Portal only has a settings menu that lets you connect to a Wi-Fi network. Although it seems like only a matter of time before the Portal is cracked, only Remote Play is available upon initial deployment.

What is possible with Remote Play?

Remote Play offers complete control over a PlayStation 5, but remotely. All the usual actions are possible, such as playing games, switching between games, adding friends, sending messages, taking screenshots, downloading games, and more. Think of Remote Play as a Chromecast from a PS5 to the Portal (or phone).

The Portal also has an aux port for connecting wired headphones. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is missing, making wireless earphones unusable. That is a significant loss for many users, especially given the large presence of wireless headsets and earphones in 2023. Sony may have omitted Bluetooth because of the delay it entails, such as on the Nintendo Switch.

What is not possible is streaming games that are not installed on the PS5. This includes the classic titles available for cloud gaming with a PlayStation Premium subscription.

Where can the Portal be used?

Remote Play works when the Portal can connect to a stable Wi-Fi signal. Sony’s only stated requirement is a “broadband WiFi connection of at least 5MB/s”. So there is no need for the same WiFi connection as that of your PS5.

The Portal’s Wi-Fi connection does not have to be the same as the one to which the PlayStation 5 is connected. As always, when streaming games: as long as the internet connection is stable. Sony indicates that an internet speed of 5 MB/s is a requirement, but 15 MB/s is recommended. Practice shows that playing at 5 MB/s can be considered ‘playable’ at best. The connection works well from 10 MB/s.

The Portal does not support 4G or 5G, but it can connect to your phone’s hotspot.

Does the PS5 need to be on to use Remote Play?

At home and in the vicinity of the PlayStation 5, it is possible to activate the console with the Portal while it is turned off. This is because the Portal works as a full-fledged PS5 controller, with the necessary wireless protocols to communicate with a powered-off PS5. That is a functionality that is missing on a phone. The Remote Play app must communicate with the PS5 via the internet to start it.

So with both the phone and the Portal (when not near the PS5), the console must be in sleep mode to turn it on remotely. Once turned on and connected, Remote Play is intelligent enough not to turn the television on automatically; it remains disabled.

But isn’t this also possible with a mobile phone?

It is often noted on the internet that most people do not understand why the Portal even exists. It is stated that a phone with an attachment controller can do the same as the PlayStation Portal. The Remote Play setup can be simulated with a cheap attachment for your phone.

However, such an attachment has some disadvantages. For example, things like phone calls, receiving important emails, or simply the need for battery life for the rest of the day can cause interruptions to the gaming session. In addition, it is better to connect the controller to the phone with a cable, as Bluetooth can cause significant input delay. In addition, if a setup controller is connected directly to a phone, the phone’s battery will drain faster. The attachment also often offers a less comfortable viewing angle than might be expected.

A next step could be to purchase a mobile controller, such as the Backbone One, which also has a PS5 version. This controller can be attached to the phone via USB-C, which minimizes input delay. In addition, this controller has a USB port to charge the phone via the controller. Mobile controllers are often a lot cheaper than the PlayStation Portal, which costs 229 euros. This achieves a better viewing angle than with the attachment, but for people with large hands this can be somewhat uncomfortable, similar to the Joy-Cons of the Nintendo Switch.

Who is the PlayStation Portal intended for?

The PlayStation Portal is far from the only option to use the PS5 without a television screen. Nevertheless, there are many who consider such an attachment too complicated, prefer not to use their phone or find a mobile controller such as the Backbone or the Razer Kishi uncomfortable. After all, the PlayStation Portal has full-fledged controllers on both sides, which improves ergonomics. The Portal’s screen also offers more space for gaming than a smaller phone screen.

If you have children who like to use the TV or play games that are not suitable for them, then a Portal is an option, for example.

To answer the above question in detail, will be working with the Portal. Expect the full review of the handheld soon.

The PlayStation Portal also works with the new PlayStation 5 Slim.