22nd February 2024 12:38 pm
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Sony formally reveals PlayStation Portal handheld

  • Sony has revealed three new gadgets to accompany its PlayStation 5 consoles.
  • The PlayStation Portal is a handheld remote-play device, which can be used to play PS5 games remotely for $200.
  • The company also introduced its first-ever pair of wireless earbuds with the Pulse Explore.

First hinted at during the PlayStation Showcase of 2023, Sony has finally pulled the veil off its upcoming handheld device, the PlayStation Portal.

Under development with the codename “Project Q,” hardware of the device leaked in July, showcasing an 8-inch screen while running a version of Android OS. On Wednesday Sony officially introduced the gadget, and gave new details surrounding it, alongside other accessories it will be launching soon.

In an official blog post from PlayStation, Sony says that the PlayStation Portal (no relation to PlayStation Portable or PSP) is a “remote play device” that features a DualSense wireless controller and an 8″ LCD screen.

It will cost $200 which is a bit steep in our estimation for what essentially boiled down to a screen strapped to a controller which allows remote play.

This feature has existed with PlayStation since the PlayStation 3 which launched worldwide in 2006. It lets you stream gaming directly from your PlayStation console to a mobile phone or TV over WiFi. Your PlayStation has to be on the whole time for this to work.

Now, the PlayStation Portal will let you do the same with your PlayStation 5.

“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. PlayStation Portal will connect remotely to your PS5 over Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to swiftly jump from playing on your PS5 to your PlayStation Portal,” Sony explains.

“PlayStation Portal can play supported games that are installed on your PS5 console and use the Dualsense controller,” it adds.

The PlayStation Portal.

However, Sony is quick to point out that the Portal does not support PS VR games, nor games that are streamed through PlayStation Plus Premium’s cloud streaming. Only games installed on your PS5 can be enjoyed through remote play.

In leaked footage, we also saw that the early version of the Portal could allow users to load media such as music and images. Sony has not indicated if this will continue to be possible.

We reiterate that Remote Play isn’t cloud gaming such as with the now-dead Google Stadia. It is basically throwing what your PlayStation is doing over the internet onto another screen, like a PC or a phone.

An illustration of how remote play works. Image sourced from Sony.

There are also a host of restrictions, including the fact that during remote play you can’t share your screen, or share play. You can’t play DVDs or Blu-ray Discs. You can’t use any games that require peripherals.

You also can’t play any music on your PS5 or PS4. Also, the console needs to remain on while you use remote play, meaning that South African gamers looking for a solution for gaming during loadshedding will not find one here. Honestly, we’re not quite sure who the Portal is even for.

PlayStation will also be launching a new wireless headset and earbuds, branded of course. These are the Pulse Elite wireless headset and Pulse Explore wireless earbuds.

The Explore represents PlayStation’s first wireless earbuds, and according to the gaming giant includes dual microphones for online play and AI-enhanced noise cancelling. It will retail for $199.99.

Meanwhile the Pulse Elite headset, cheaper at $149.99, offers lossless audio, a retractable boom mic and also features AI noise cancellation.

There is no word yet of either audio gadgets, or the PlayStation Portal will see the South African market. But South Africa is PlayStation country, so changes are actually quite respectable. The products are slated for a launch “later this year” so that probably means around Christmas time.

[Image – Sony]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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