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Sony steps up handheld gaming with PlayStation Portal


Sony's new portable gaming endeavor, the PlayStation Portal (previously known as "Project Q"), is on the horizon.


Slated to retail at $199.99, the PlayStation Portal is built to deliver the high-quality PS5 gaming experience over Wi-Fi, right into the palms of gamers.



Mirroring the design of Sony’s PS5 DualSense controllers, the PlayStation Portal sports sizable control elements on both sides. These controllers are equipped with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, ensuring a similar tactile experience when playing PS5 games. The device's homescreen, a direct reflection of your PS5's interface, also houses a section for media playback, although local media storage and playback is not an option; so without a Wi-Fi connection, the device's functionality is severely limited.


Hideaki Nishino, the Senior Vice President of Platform Experience at Sony, emphasizes the PlayStation Portal's ability to connect to your PS5 remotely. This connectivity paves the way for a fluid transition between the console and the handheld device, providing the opportunity for gamers to continue their gaming sessions on the Portal, with games that are installed and ready-to-play on their PS5 consoles.

Despite the seamless compatibility with games installed on your PS5, the PlayStation Portal does not support Sony's forthcoming cloud streaming service for PS5 games available with a PS Plus Premium membership. This makes the device more of a conduit for streaming your personal library of PS5 games remotely, provided you have an internet connection capable of a minimum of 5Mbps, with Sony suggesting 15Mbps for optimal performance.


The PlayStation Portal departs from the usual wireless connectivity norm by omitting Bluetooth. Instead, it embraces the PlayStation Link wireless technology, a proprietary standard developed specifically for PlayStation devices. This novel technology is geared to provide low latency, lossless audio. Sony is also in the process of rolling out a PlayStation Link compatible wireless headset and earbuds.

The PlayStation Link standard is not exclusive to Sony devices. Future PS5 models, including the rumored PS5 “Slim,” might incorporate the PlayStation Link, and third-party manufacturers will also have the option to adopt this technology. And for those who prefer the traditional wired audio, the PlayStation Portal incorporates a 3.5mm headphone jack.


The battery life of the PlayStation Portal is still under wraps. Sony, however, is aiming for a battery life comparable to that of the DualSense controller, which translates to around seven to nine hours of gameplay. Sony remains tight-lipped about the specific launch date, but the gaming community is abuzz with rumors of a November release.