Want to play your PS5 games but someone’s already claimed the TV? Enter the PlayStation Portal, a remote streaming device for accessing your console games on the go that’s just launched in Australia.
Shaped like an elongated DualSense controller with a big screen in the middle, it’s a dedicated device for playing PS5 games remotely. Despite recent advancements in cloud gaming, Sony’s latest gaming peripheral is currently only for games already installed on your console.
It taps into PlayStation’s existing Remote Play technology, letting you stream games you own over the internet. Previously, you could do this with a phone or tablet, but now you can do so on a dedicated device.
What is it?
Imagine stretching out a DualSense controller and slapping a screen in the middle. That’s what the PlayStation Portal looks like from the outside. Its 1080p LCD screen produces up to 60 frames per second, offering a smooth gameplay experience provided you have a decent home network.
Because the Portal streams each game from your PS5 console, both devices need a good internet connection. At a minimum, you need a stable 5Mbps wireless connection, with 15Mbps recommended for the best experience. For the best outcome, you’d likely want to plug an Ethernet cable into your console so there’s less chance of wireless signals playing havoc.
Another design quirk to be aware of is that the Portal doesn’t have Bluetooth functionality. It does have a 3.5mm headphone jack and built-in speakers, but you can’t use third-party wireless headphones. Instead, you can pair the Portal with the PlayStation’s own Pulse Explore earbuds.
As for the actual gameplay experience, the PlayStation Portal faithfully recreates its console counterpart. The controller includes the haptic feedback and adaptive trigger technology used in the DualSense.
It’s possible to get a similar, but not quite identical, experience via a mobile device. A PlayStation-themed Backbone One grip launched last year, letting you grip your phone like a controller. However, the PlayStation Portal offers a solution if you’re keen to separate your phone use and gaming.
PlayStation Portal price and release date in Australia
Out now in Australia, the PlayStation Portal costs $329.95 across retailers like EB Games and Amazon. For comparison, the refreshed slimline PS5 console costs $799 for the disc drive model. Considering you can’t have one without the other, the total outlay is well over $1,000 if you pay the full retail price.
While the PlayStation Portal isn’t a standalone handheld console successor to the Vita, it does present a method of playing console games in a convenient form factor. We’re currently testing out a review unit and will report soon with our full thoughts.