Sony will officially launch its PlayStation Portal, the remote player for the PlayStation 5, later this year. And, truth be told, it has surprised us all. Microsoft wasn’t far off with the price.
The handheld device will stream PS5 games over WiFi and features an 8-inch LCD screen with a 1080p resolution at 60 fps. Sony states that the PlayStation Portal will be available later this year at a price of $199.99. In Europe, this will be 219 euros after taxes.
“PlayStation Portal will remotely connect to your PS5 via WiFi, so you can quickly switch from playing on your PS5 to your PlayStation Portal,” says Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President of Platform Experience at Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The PlayStation Portal features prominent controllers on each side that closely resemble Sony’s DualSense controllers for the PS5. And since it includes adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, PS5 games will provide a similar sensation to using a regular DualSense controller.
The peripheral will also be capable of playing multimedia content, as the “console” can mirror everything your PS5 plays, including the Netflix or HBO Max app. However, you won’t be able to run anything locally, so if you don’t have WiFi, the device becomes useless.
There’s no cloud or standalone game execution
Strangely, the over 200-euro console won’t work with Sony’s upcoming cloud streaming for PS5 games.
“Games that can be streamed on PS5 with a PS Plus Premium subscription are not compatible,” Sony states. So, the peripheral is actually a way to stream PS5 games you already have installed on your own PS5 to a portable console for remote play.
You’ll need an internet connection of at least 5 Mbps, and Sony recommends 15 Mbps for the best experience. In other words, if you want Full HD without interruptions or bitrate drops, you’ll need a decent WiFi connection.
IGN has been able to test the PlayStation Portal ahead of time, and in a preview video, Technical Editor Bo Moore states that he hasn’t noticed any latency while using the portable device. This will be a key part of the experience, as game streaming over WiFi networks is still not a perfect experience.
PlayStation Portal doesn’t have Bluetooth, so you won’t be able to connect it to wireless headphones or Sony’s Pulse 3D headset. Instead, it uses the wireless technology called PlayStation Link, a new proprietary standard for PlayStation devices.
PlayStation Link is designed to offer low-latency, lossless audio. Naturally, Sony is going to release wireless headphones and earbuds that are compatible with PlayStation Link.
You’ll be able to use these new headphones or headsets with a PS5 through a USB adapter, but with rumors of a “Slim” PS5 model on the horizon, it’s easy to imagine that PlayStation Link will be integrated into future PS5 models.
The PlayStation Link standard will also be available for third-party manufacturers to use, the question is how many companies will be willing to adopt it.
IGN reports that the battery size has not been finalized yet, so we still don’t know how long it will last. According to CNET, Sony’s idea is for it to last as long as a DualSense controller, which is between seven to nine hours.
PlayStation Portal was previously known as Project Q and was officially announced in May, with a planned release date for November.
Sony has not yet provided an exact date, but for now, we have a price of $199.99 in the United States and 220 euros in Europe after taxes. It seems that this might not be the peripheral we were expecting, especially at the price point compared to a Nintendo Switch Lite.
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