Sony’s PlayStation Portal Sounds Close To Useless For $200

Sony’s PlayStation Portal Sounds Close To Useless For $200

Sony

Portal

Sony finally rolled out the details of its new portable PlayStation accessory they’re calling the PlayStation Portal. It’s a PS5 controller cut in half with a screen in the middle, able to play PS5 games, but the details have always been murky.

Now? It’s kind of unclear why this product exists, and why you’d pay $200 for it.

PlayStation Portal is a remote play device, nothing more. You connect over your PS5 via household Wifi, and it streams games from PS5 to your screen. That is essentially it. What’s remarkable about this is what it does not do:

  • It does not have Bluetooth, you have to buy PlayStation Link compatible headsets
  • There is no local play, not even for downloading and playing media
  • There is no PS5 cloud streaming, it’s just streaming from the PS5 via Wifi only

Sony spells out what appears to be the singular use case is for the PlayStation Portal:

“PlayStation Portal is the perfect device for gamers in households where they might need to share their living room TV or simply want to play PS5 games in another room of the house.”

Portal

Sony

So, it’s the Switch, but you also need to own a $400+ PS5 already, because it’s not playing anything locally, nor can it stream from the actual PS5 cloud library. The idea, I guess, is that families who fight over who’s hogging the TV can buy one of these (again, for pretty much close to the cost of a Switch) to give someone the ability to play remotely. But I don’t think you can have two people using the same PS5 to play two games at once here.

Can someone make use of this? Sure. But this seems to be missing everything about what people like about the Nintendo Switch, and it comes off more like a Wii U game pad, one of Nintendo’s biggest failures of all time.

Like, it’s fine, I guess. It’s not doing any harm. I’m just not entirely sure why Sony thought this was a piece of hardware worth pursuing if they weren’t going to give it more functionality. The cooler tech they debuted was actually its two new headsets meant to be used alongside this (or with your normal PlayStation 5) that use planar magnetic drivers. Now those might be worth $200 (which is indeed what one of them costs). The PlayStation Portal will be out later this year.

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