PlayStation Portal, sometimes confused with the new portable console, is an accessory that necessarily goes hand in hand with the PS5, which serves to exploit the possibilities. Remote gameor remote reading for Anglophobes.
If this niche product can be of interest to gamers who often have to give up their TV rights, its price 219.99 euros for a feature available on smartphones for free, it still raises questions about its usefulness. After testing the Portal and Remote Play features on a smartphone and on the Steam Deck, here’s our take on the new Sony PS5 accessory.
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Solidly built machine
The first concern one might have when seeing this long 8-inch tablet equipped with a controller DualSense, should have ended up with a fragile machine. Still, PlayStation Portal’s frame offers a solid construction that gives confidence in its durability.
Regarding its design Sony offers a beautiful, well-made machine here. I especially appreciated the light signature present on the Portal, which offers a premium feel to the whole. However, he will be blamed USB-C charging port location behind the screen, which is quite impractical to use.
Disturbing ease of use of the portal
Fortunately, you say, but interested in offering devices exclusively for Remote game lies in its ease of use. At first ignition Portalit will ask you to connect to your WI-FI network and then pair with your PS5 by following the instructions below disturbingly simple.
Within a few minutes and after updating the machine, the remote play function will start, then everything is ready to play. That’s the strength of a dedicated peripheral, that ability to be able to play for 5 minutes before you have to let go of the portal, and then restart the game in seconds, like what’s done with a PC. in the form of consoles.
Ergonomically speaking, PlayStation Portal demonstrates great qualities. Indeed, it offers a similar experience to the PS5 controller, except that its joysticks are slightly smaller. An element that in itself is not at all distracting.
The portal uses the same vibration system and trigger resistance. Lightweight, the machine is not really felt on the wrist while playing, which is rather pleasant. On the contrary, the large gap between the two parts of the controller is quite distracting at first, which will take some time to adjust to.
Portal streaming experience
However, this is an important point PlayStation Portal ! Obviously designing stable streaming experience it is important to play correctly. And from this point of view, the device is doing very well. Initially tested with the console connected via WI-FI (on a Livebox 6 with a shared 2Gbit/s fiber optic offer), the portal experienced a few hiccups.
However, once the PS5 was connected via Ethernet, the streaming Portal became reliable. As for the image, the screen 1080p machine pays homage to PS5 games, though upon closer inspection it’s easy to realize that it’s actually a streaming video stream. This is especially noticeable during fast passes Spider-Man 2, where streaming lacks fluidity. So I can only recommend playing in Performance mode to try to compensate.
Surprisingly, and against all expectations, the great stability of the PS Portal connection means that it is possible to play it online. Tested during a match on Rocket League, exemplary streaming stability revealed no issues during gameplay, even allowing me to have better ping than some of my teammates.
globally, PlayStation Portal lives up to its promises here for a gaming experience that won’t be interrupted by connectivity issues if you have an excellent connection, as well as connecting the console via Ethernet.
A dependent accessory, but one that offers good autonomy
With regard to it regarding to it PlayStation Portal is a machine that has very little computing power because it only works through streaming, which consumes little power. So during our tests we were able to play Spider-Man 2 for over 5 hours before the low battery message appears. Therefore, relatively honorable autonomy. You have to be patient about its charging speed 1h45 to go from 0 to 100% according to our tests.
In a future update, it would be very useful if Sony displayed the remaining autonomy with the battery percentage, rather than its current DualSense-like system. Additionally, when the console charges while it’s off, you’ll need to press the power button to see its charge level. And it is here, as with the controller, that the Portal’s light signature should be used to indicate whether charging is complete or not.
PlayStation Link, a shameful business practice by Sony
If there is really something to complain about PlayStation Portal, this is the fact that we do not allow the use of Bluetooth headsets and headphones of our choice. Indeed, Sony is forcing the purchase of the new Pulse Elite headphones and the Pulse Explore headphones, which are the only ones wirelessly compatible with the machine using the brand’s proprietary technology..
For others, you’ll have to use a jack port when everyone abandoned the format for years to focus on wireless technology. Knowing that the price of the device is relevant 149.99 euros and 219.99 euros (the price of the Portal itself!), this is an absolutely shameful practice on the part of Sony.
The irony is even greater when we know that Sony’s own WH-1000XM5 headphones and WF-1000XM5 headphones are incompatible with the device. Fortunately, the Portal’s speakers provide decent, well-surrounded sound, although that doesn’t completely solve the problem.
What does PlayStation Portal offer more than a smartphone or Steam Deck?
As we explained earlier, it has been possible to benefit from Remote Play for several years using a smartphone, tablet, PC, and therefore many peripherals that are already generally available to us. So we can ask ourselves, What does the PlayStation Portal offer better than this pile of hardware?
Let’s start with the PS Portal facing the smartphone. The advantage of this is already owning it, and thus reducing the price of the whole thing. In addition, it is possible to benefit from the OLED screen, unlike the LCD screen of the Portal, but also to connect headphones or earphones via Bluetooth. On the other hand, the advantage of having a dedicated machine and not having to install controller support every time you want to play, benefit from better ergonomics and have a machine that has its own battery (to avoid draining the smartphone battery) .
Let us now compare with Steam Deck. It is possible to install software Chiaki, which, although its installation requires more skill, suggests adjusting the streaming parameters. This allowed me to get better picture quality than on PS Portal despite the lower resolution and also sound without lag. Suffice it to say, the experience must be absolutely incredible with the Steam Deck OLED.
Regarding Steam Deck LCD panelwe have to remember that with the arrival of the new model it saw a drop in its price to 369 euros. If we do a quick calculation, for 150 euros more than the PlayStation Portal, you will be able to benefit from a better visual experience (admittedly a little less practical to set up), a machine that allows you to play games by yourself and not just by streaming, Bluetooth functionality and even playing PS PC games Plus no PS5 needed. This is still something to consider before taking the plunge and buying a Sony device.
While I haven’t had a chance to test it, it also seems obvious to me that it’s possible to do the same with the ROG Ally and Legion GO using the official PS Remote Play software and get some of the benefits of Steam Deck without the drawbacks of installing Chiaki.
Our opinion on PlayStation Portal
globally, PlayStation Portal is a good machine that does exactly what Sony promised. A solid and well-made portal meets the needs of people who have few opportunities to sit down and start long games. The advantage of the machine is the ability to resume the game in a few seconds and release the TV if necessary.
We also like the fact be able to play on PS5 when you are away from home, although Sony should of course offer a charging dock and protective cover to offer a more complete experience. However, he will be blamed its price point compared to the Steam Deck, which offers a much more complete machineespecially when purchasing a PlayStation Link compatible headset or headset.
Still, for someone who wants a turnkey experience and a very easy-to-use machine, PS Portal is a good product for those who would of course have a fixed connection.
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Design and finishes
Autonomy and charging
Value for money
- Its solid construction
- Its ergonomics
- Its easy to use
- Stable streaming
- His autonomy
We like it less
- Unable to connect headphones or earphones via Bluetooth
- The location of its USB-C port
- It lacks official accessories
- Its price is a bit too high for a relatively simple design