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(Mini-Review) PlayStation Portal: But… For what!?



(Mini-Review) PlayStation Portal: Who remembers when the PSP came out in 2005? Or rather, who remembers the feeling of playing games of such a high caliber on-the-go for the first time? This may seem like old talk, but I remember very well playing GTA Vice City Stories, as well as Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection during school breaks (and sometimes even during some of the less interesting classes). Good times!

Well, like me, there are many thousands of other gamers who also remember this experience very well, and who are therefore still waiting for a new portable console from Sony.

  • Note: (Yes, I know that in the meantime we had the PS Vita. However, despite the console itself being quite competent, Sony unfortunately decided to abandon it too soon.)

(Mini-Review) PlayStation Portal: But… For what!?

Having said all this, I can already say that when I heard that Sony was preparing something new related to a portable device, I was extremely hopeful. However, at least in my case, that hope quickly turned into skepticism, when the much hyped product was publicly announced on what is now the Playstation Portal for €219.99.

Why such a disappointment? Well, at the time it all seemed a bit redundant to me (given the already existing possibility of using remote play on other mobile devices), but more due to the fact that we have a dedicated device, which ends up having its operation 100% dependent on some external factors. , how your console is always connected at home, and of course, the speed and consistency of your internet.

Was I forced to eat my words after having the opportunity to test the Portal? Let’s find out with this review.

Hardware and Controls

Well, this section isn’t very long at all, as there really isn’t much to say.

The Playstation Portal is nothing more than an 8-inch LCD screen with 1080p resolution and a maximum frame rate limit of 60Hz, all with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chip placed right in the center of a DualSense controller ( in the style of a Nintendo Switch, but with the disadvantage of not being able to remove the controls, and there is no dock).

However, not everything is bad!

If there is something I will boast about, it is without a doubt the quality and ergonomics of the control. This is because the DualSense is, and has always been in my opinion, an excellent controller for long games.

In fact, the fact that the Portal controller is basically a DualSense cut in half, with a screen in the center, gives us all the authenticity of playing on a PS5 with official hardware (where we can include the adaptive triggers).

In addition to all this, the “console” is light, while at the same time having a “premium” appearance. In other words, it is a device designed and produced by Sony. Quality is always present.

However, I advise the dear reader to buy a bag for Portal. It feels like the analog sticks are very exposed/out, and therefore more prone to damage than, for example, a Switch.

Transmission Quality

To have a revealing experience, I decided to do the tests in three different situations, given that given the total dependence that this device has on the quality of the internet, I wanted to simulate the most common scenarios in which you will play on a Portal.

  • Note: In all tests I had my PS5 connected via an ethernet cable to ensure that performance was as dependent as possible on Portal, and not on my console.

Furthermore, to understand the impact of Internet gameplay through Remote Play, I tested a singleplayer game (Final Fantasy XVI) as well as a multiplayer game (CoD: MW3) in each of the scenarios.

Test at home:
  • Connected to my Wi-Fi and being very close to the router, the gaming experience was undoubtedly positive, being able to play FF ​​XVI without any problems and at 1080p. The same applied to some Free-for-all games I played in COD: MW3, and at no point did I feel at a disadvantage compared to playing on the console itself.
Test at work:
  • On my work’s Wi-Fi network, and right next to the router, the conversation was different. As is the case in the vast majority of workplaces, Wi-Fi speeds tend not to be as fast as at home, because the bandwidth has to be shared by a significantly larger number of users. Still, this translated into an “acceptable” singleplayer experience (more inconsistent/breaks in transmission), but a much weaker multiplayer experience (inconsistency and the existence of a bit of delay in response time negatively affects any online match). line).
At the cafe:
  • Finally, connected to a café’s Wi-Fi network and sitting on the terrace, it’s best not to try. The reality is that in a situation like this, with very few exceptions that may exist… You will never have a minimally consistent experience or one that can even be played. This applies to singleplayer games and, of course, even more so to any competitive action multiplayer game.


A reality is that it is not easy to simply give a final verdict. This is because the quality of the experience will depend 100% on the internet speed, and as such, my experience may not be the same as yours.

If your goal is to leave the TV to your girlfriend and sit on the sofa at home, connected to Wi-Fi (preferably in the same room as the router). So Portal works as expected (at 1080p, 60hz and with a smooth transmission).

But the same can be said if you use Remote Play on your cell phone, or laptop, or ROG Ally, or… I think I make myself clear.

The main problem with PlayStation Portal arises when we take this device outside the house. What is clear, means that to have an acceptable experience, we must always use this “console” in places such as a second home/a friend’s house. All to guarantee access to a fast, reliable and consistent Wi-Fi network.

One last possible problem is the fact that the PS5 must be permanently in Rest Mode. Furthermore, it must always be connected to the internet for the connection to even be possible. Is it a slight problem? Not really.

Did the power go out in your house while you are traveling? Did you lose internet at home and are not there to try to solve the problem? Congratulations, even if you are in a place with the fastest internet in the world, you have a €219.99 paperweight in your hands.

In short, think very carefully about the use you will give to Portal before purchasing it, especially in the places/situations in which you would want to play.

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