Years after its PSP and PS Vita, Sony returns with its new portable device: the PlayStation Portal. No, it’s not a portable console as you might think, but a remote play device in the form of a controller screen, which offers gaming enthusiasts an ultimate Remote Play experience with a PlayStation 5. As such, this accessory allows you to play away from the TV screen. If it is aimed at a somewhat restricted target due to incomprehensible usage limitations, is its purchase really worth it? To find out, we tested it for you.
An Attractive Design And Correct Ergonomics
At first glance, the PlayStation Portal takes on the characteristics and lines of the PS5 with which it works in concert. It also looks like two drops of water, like a DualSense controller, split in two to make room for a beautiful screen in the middle with slight black borders. In addition to the design, this accessory is directly inspired by the ergonomics of the PS5 controller, with all the haptic technologies of the DualSenses, but also its adaptive triggers.
The PS Portal, therefore, allows you to enjoy the same gaming experience as on the console. Compared to portable consoles, this remote player is relatively light. With a weight of 540 grams, it is well below the Steam Deck, which weighs around 700 grams, but heavier than the Nintendo Switch (400 grams). Although it is relatively large, its grip, thanks to the handles, remains so pleasant that it is entirely possible to play for several hours without getting tired.
PlayStation Portal: Quick And Easy Setup
As this is a remote playback device and not a portable console, it is simple to get started. To do this, turn on your device and pair it with your PlayStation account, but before doing so, make sure your PS5 is set to Remote Play mode and put to rest.
To simplify this step, we advise you to install the PlayStation App on your smartphone to avoid wasting time-solving a series of ten captchas. Once the device is recognized, the PS Portal will connect to the PS5 to display the same content as on your TV screen. You can resume the game where you left off or simply change the game. It’s a game that you have in a dematerialized version, of course!
A Screen That Combines Viewing Comfort And Portability
For its PlayStation Portal, Sony has chosen an 8-inch Full HD LCD screen in 1080 p at 60 frames per second. A point that somewhat disappointed us because, in 2023, we preferred to have an OLED panel with a refresh rate of 120 Hz for an even more immersive gaming experience.
However, its screen still does the job well and more than does the position to do the game justice. It is relatively bright, well-contrasted, and calibrated with reasonably accurate colors. Moreover, the PlayStation Portal screen is even above certain portable LCD consoles on the market, like the original Switch, for example.
PlayStation Portal: Good Autonomy
If we noticed low autonomy on the DualSense, we had some doubts about that of the PlayStation. However, that was not the case, which was ultimately a rather pleasant surprise. Indeed, as this accessory does not render anything on its screen but only duplicates what is broadcast on your TV, its autonomy is, therefore, agnostic to the type of content you stream on it.
By adjusting the brightness setting, it can last up to 7 hours, or even 8 hours before going through the recharge box, which is very comfortable for a long gaming session. To recharge your Portal, you will need to plug it directly into your PS5 via a USB-C power cable, which somewhat disrupts the portable aspect of this accessory. Indeed, the PlayStation Portal does not come with a power adapter, but fear not, as a number of Apple power adapters can do the job just fine.
Rather Acceptable Latency
In terms of latency, the PlayStation Portal is doing quite well, but again, it depends on the title. If we note some slight delays on specific inputs with Spider-Man 2, this in no way degrades the gaming experience. Moreover, it is relatively comfortable and sometimes even astonishing when you are in good condition. However, for Elden Ring or Fortnite players, who are more demanding, this small latency will prevent the Portal from being used in a competitive setting.
PlayStation Portal: Excellent Internet Connection Or Nothing
As mentioned previously, for the gaming experience to be optimal, you must be in the right conditions, which implies having an excellent internet connection. Sony recommends 15 Mb/s, which seems relatively low compared to what can be achieved with 4G or 5G. So, during our test, we opted for two scenarios. For the first, we connected our console with our fiber box via the Ethernet cable, while the PS Portal is connected via Wi-Fi with this same box.
The experience was perfectly smooth, even if we were in a room far from the pack. As for the second option, we connected the PS5 and the PlayStation Portal to our fiber box via Wi-Fi. We obtained the same result as with the previous situation. The experience was smooth, but there was a delay of a few seconds to achieve a clear image at launch. In short, with good Wi-Fi, you can take your PS Portal with you, even on vacation.
PlayStation Portal Highlights
- True DualSense experience
- Easy to use and configure
- Undeniable design, comfort, and ergonomics
- Optimal gaming experience if the connection is good
- Good size screen
The Weak Points Of The PlayStation Portal
- No Bluetooth
- No cloud gaming
- No streaming app is available
- Usable only for games in dematerialized version
- Requires an excellent internet connection
- Use limited to Remote Play
Our Final Verdict
The PlayStation Portal is, above all, a PS5 accessory dedicated to very restricted use, that of Remote Play, given the fact that it is possible to install the PS Remote application on a smartphone, tablet, or computer so that it does the same things as the Portal, it, therefore, has difficulty convincing some users. Moreover, it requires an excellent connection so that you can enjoy a comfortable and optimal gaming experience.
However, if the conditions are right, you are sure to enjoy it. Finally, although the PS Portal is a rather odd device, inherently limited in functionality, if it suits your gaming habits, then why not buy one? Moreover, this enriches your catalog of PS5 accessories.