Sony’s PlayStation Remote Play feature lets you stream games from your console to other devices including phones, tablets, laptops, or other consoles in order to play games without being tethered to your PS5.
Now Sony has announced it’ll launch the first mobile device designed specifically for Remote Play. The Sony PlayStation Portal is a handheld with an 8 inch 1080p/60 Hz LCD display in the center and a DualSense wireless controller surrounding the display. Following an announcement earlier this month, the PlayStation Portal is now available for pre-order for $200 and it’s expected to be released November 15, 2023.
Sony provided a sneak peek at the PlayStation Portal earlier this year when it was still known as “Project Q,” but at the time the company hadn’t revealed how much it would cost or exactly what it could do.
Now we know that the handheld is basically a glorified remote control (and remote viewer) for PS5 games, with support for local streaming over a WiFi network. Sony says you’ll want at least a 5 Mbps WiFi connection, but the company recommends 15 Mbps or faster speeds for the best performance.
The company has provided more details about optional accessories including the Pulse Explore wireless earbuds and Pulse Elite over-ear wireless headset.
Both of those wireless audio devices are designed for “low latency lossless audio from PS5 and PlayStation Portal” using Sony’s new “PlayStation Link wireless technology,” (which requires a USB adapter). The headset and earbuds also support Bluetooth audio though, allowing you to use them with smartphones or other devices so you can, for example, answer a call mid-game.
The headset has a retractable boom mic and support for AI-enhanced noise rejection, while the earbuds are Sony’s first, and also include dual microphones with support for AI-enhanced noise reduction. The Sony Pulse Elite headset will sell for $150, while the Pulse Explorer earbud will cost $200.
While the $200 price tag for the PlayStation Portal doesn’t look too bad, the costs can clearly rack up if you decide to add one of the company’s new wireless audio devices. But if you’d rather not do that, you can also used wired headphones or a wired headset: the PlayStation Portal has a 3.5mm audio jack.
Still, a standalone device that’s only designed as a PS5 companion might be a tough sell when there are a growing number of inexpensive Android or Linux handhelds that can support PlayStation Remote Play and other game streaming platforms like Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA’s GeForce Now, or Amazon’s Luna.
Sony notes that the PlayStation Portal doesn’t even support the company’s own PlayStation Plus Premium cloud streaming, so I’d be surprised if it supported any of those third-party services out of the box.
That said, I guess there’s probably some benefit to using a DualSense controller for remote play gaming: Sony says it features haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and all the other features you’d expect from an official PS5 controller.
This article was first published August 23, 2023 and most recently updated August 31, 2023.