PlayStation Portal: everything we know about the new PSP ‘remote player’ handheld

A new, handheld PlayStation console is coming. And that PlayStation handheld has now been officially named as the PlayStation Portal, which Sony calls a ‘remote player’ owing to its reliance on the PS5 itself – read on and we’ll tell you more about that. The PlayStation Portal is now available to buy for $200/£200.

Sony is going to be busy over the next few weeks since not only has the Portal emerging, but we’re also getting a slimmer version of the PS5 and some new PlayStation audio gear that we’ve detailed at the bottom of this article. The PS5 Pro looks to have been left until late 2024 or 2025 though.

What is the PlayStation Portal?

The PlayStation Portal was publicly codenamed Project Q between May and August, but presumably, the codename goes back a long time before that. It has long been rumored that a new PlayStation handed was in development and it was officially announced on 24 May during a PlayStation Showcase. The PlayStation Portal name was revealed in late August.

The project was reportedly known as ‘Q-Lite’. News on its existence began leaking out thanks to a report from Insider Gaming. On 5 April, the publication caught wind of a purported new handheld PlayStation device in the works at Sony.

We know that PlayStation Portal is designed for playing games already installed on your PS5. Sony says it “brings the PS5 experience to the palm of your hand. Here’s the official pre-order trailer:

What can PlayStation Portal do

The next evolutionary stage in handheld gaming? A worthy successor to the Vita or PSP? A vessel for playing your favourite games on the move, but without an internet connection? Not quite.

PlayStation Portal is designed primarily for the PlayStation’s Remote Play feature. That means it won’t do cloud streaming. And much like the PS VR2, you’ll also already need a PS5 to use it. Oh, and if you want to take the PlayStation Portal on your travels with you – say, I don’t know, a holiday – you’ll have to leave your PS5 plugged in.

You will be able to play PlayStation games downloaded to your console and it needs decent Wi-Fi – more on that later. Compatible games include Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, a Metal Gear Solid 3 remake and Alan Wake 2.

PlayStation Portal specs and operating system

Sony PlayStation PortalSony PlayStation Portal

PlayStation Portal comes with an 8in LCD touchscreen that delivers “crisp visuals and smooth gameplay streamed from your PS5 when you’re away from your TV,” says Sony. It adds Portal will provide “a high-definition visual experience that’s expected from the high-quality games created by world-class developers.” We recommend waiting for our dedicated review to be able to trust those claims, though.

Either way, that’s certainly an improvement on the Nintendo Switch‘s 6.2in screen and even beats the Switch OLED and Steam Deck’s 7in displays. It runs games at up to 1080p and 60fps over Wi-Fi.

Sony PlayStation PortalSony PlayStation Portal

The device also looks like a DualSense controller, albeit one cut in half with a giant screen in the middle of it. And Sony says “it includes the key features of the DualSense wireless controller, including adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.” Of course, this depends on the game itself being compatible with these features.

Will Portal always need Wi-Fi to stream games?

As we discussed earlier, Portal isn’t a standalone device. Rather, it’s a sidekick for your PS5. But yes, this device requires constant connectivity to the internet, with Sony recommending a minimum connection speed of 15Mbps. Remote Play can be used outside of your own home, so it should be possible to tether it quite happily over 5G, for example. We’ll be testing this when we review it.

Portal will only be able to play games already downloaded on your PS5 at first. Sony clarified this in its August 2023 blog post: “games that are streamed through PlayStation Plus Premium’s cloud streaming, are not supported.”

It adds: “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.

As of 11 October we know Sony will be adding cloud gaming to the PlayStation Plus Premium tier, but as the above guidance says, that will be PS5 only at first. But Sony has made its intentions clear in improving its cloud streaming service, so we do expect that situation to change.

More details on other new PS5 accessories

Sony has also confirmed details of the Pulse Elite and Pulse Explore – the latest PlayStation wireless headset and earbuds. Sony previously teased these. They both use custom-designed planar magnetic drivers. They’re able to offer lossless audio, says Sony, thanks to PlayStation Link, a low latency, lossless audio tech that is able to easily switch between multiple PlayStation Link hosts such as a PS5 with the USB adapter and PlayStation Portal.

  • Pulse Elite offers lossless audio (yes, really) and comes with a retractable boom mic and AI-enhanced noise-filtering of background sounds. A charging hanger is also included. It’ll cost $150/£130.
Sony PlayStation Pulse ExploreSony PlayStation Pulse Explore
  • Pulse Explore is PlayStation’s first set of wireless earbuds with similar background noise filtration. They also offer lossless audio and come with a charging case. They’ll cost $200/£200.
Sony PlayStation BudsSony PlayStation Buds

Also read: The 23 best PlayStation 5 games to play today

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