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Entertainment9 months agoTimothy "Timaugustin" Augustin

Sony unveils $200 PlayStation Portal handheld launching this year

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Sony has finally revealed its handheld game-streaming device, the PlayStation Portal. 

Sony has finally given its long-rumoured portable game-streaming device a name: the PlayStation Portal. The handheld device, previously referred to as Project Q, will let users stream their games on the fly using PlayStation’s Remote Play feature. Don’t expect this to be Sony’s answer to the Nintendo Switch, though. 

The first thing to note here is that the PlayStation Portal won’t actually let you play games outside of your house. Sony’s Remote Play tech only allows the device to connect to PlayStation 5 consoles over a shared Wi-Fi connection (of at least 5 Mbps), which means that it’s only useful for people who have to share their TVs or couldn’t be bothered to get up from bed. You’ll also get to stream games from your PS5 only if they’re already in your game library. 

On the specs side of things, the PlayStation Portal mimics the feel of a DualSense controller with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. Its 8-inch LCD screen can display games at 1080p resolution at 60fps, but that will likely depend on the strength of your Wi-Fi connection. You can also connect your DualSense controller to the device, or use its 3.5mm audio jack for wired audio. Unsurprisingly, PS VR2 games won’t be supported. 

The device will cost $199.99 when it launches later this year, though a firm release date has not been confirmed by Sony. The company also unveiled two new gadgets to accompany the device: a set of wireless earbuds called the Pulse Explore and an over-the-ear wireless headset called the Pulse Elite. Both offer low latency lossless audio using a new kind of wireless tech called PlayStation Link. The feature allows both audio devices to switch from different PlayStation devices - like the PS5 and the PlayStation Portal - easily. Unfortunately, you’ll have to use a USB adapter to make both devices work with the PS5 via PlayStation Link, as well as PC and Mac. 

The Nintendo Switch, this is not. It’s difficult to understand who this device is meant to appeal to - besides those so deeply rooted in the PlayStation ecosystem that they’re willing to go all in just to play their games from a different room. It’s worth noting that Remote Play already allows anyone to do this via their phones at no additional cost - the PlayStation Portal is only for those who want a more premium portable gaming experience. For anyone looking for an alternative to the Switch (or Steam Deck), maybe try the ROG Ally instead. 

Timothy "Timaugustin" AugustinTim loves movies, TV shows and videogames almost too much. Almost.

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