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PlayStation Portal: A Comprehensive Review of Sony’s Latest Handheld Accessory

In a recent review by Jen Glennon on Kotaku, the PlayStation Portal, Sony’s latest handheld device, underwent comprehensive testing and evaluation. Glennon entered the review with moderate expectations, primarily seeking a convenient way to enjoy games such as Yakuza and Spider-Man 2 in bed without the substantial investment required for a Steam Deck. The Portal’s performance exceeded expectations, offering a wireless replication of the PS5 experience and providing comfort during extended gaming sessions.

First and foremost, it’s essential to clarify that the PlayStation Portal is not a standalone portable PS5 but rather a wireless PS5 accessory. Priced at $199, the Portal does not support game streaming from the cloud or game downloads, making it distinct from devices like the Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck. It necessitates an existing PS5 console for operation and does not allow simultaneous TV and handheld gameplay.

The design and setup of the Portal were discussed in the review. Glennon acknowledged the device’s peculiar appearance but noted its comfortable feel during usage. Setting up the Portal involves connecting it to home Wi-Fi, adjusting PS5 settings, and undergoing initial software updates, with the entire process taking approximately 30 minutes.

What Is PlayStation Portal? (PS5 Handheld Accessory Explained)

During the testing phase, Glennon encountered only one connection issue while playing Like A Dragon: Ishin. The connection to the PS5 was momentarily lost, but it was effortlessly reestablished without causing major disruptions. The review highlighted the smooth transition between games, especially in visually demanding titles like Spider-Man 2, The Last of Us Part I, and Final Fantasy XVI. The minimal lag experienced was attributed to a robust gigabit internet connection.

The Portal’s display received praise for its 8-inch, 1080p LED screen, described as crisp and vibrant. However, Glennon pointed out that the glossy screen tends to attract fingerprints easily, and glare may be a concern in well-lit environments. Certain games, particularly Final Fantasy XVI, presented challenges due to small text on the 8-inch screen.

The handheld’s controls and touchpad functionality were thoroughly discussed in the review. Glennon noted the slightly shorter handles compared to the standard DualSense controller. The touchscreen, serving as the equivalent of the DualSense’s touchpad, was mentioned for its trapezoidal shape. Some issues were raised regarding accessing the main menu and unintended entries into photo mode. The review described the touchpad’s functionality as fiddly, indicating a need for improvement through future updates.

Battery life emerged as a positive aspect, with Glennon reporting an impressive six hours of gameplay on a single charge and a remaining bar of battery life. However, the requirement to be logged in to access the PS5 and the absence of a dedicated menu for the Portal were identified as potential drawbacks.

PlayStation Portal review: I enjoyed my time with it – but I can't  recommend it - Mirror Online

In conclusion, the PlayStation Portal was deemed a solid sub-$200 gift option, providing a convenient solution for gamers seeking a second-screen experience without the need for an entirely new gaming platform. While acknowledging areas for improvement in touchpad functionality and ease of access, the review emphasized the Portal’s promise and potential. Future updates may address the identified issues, contributing to an enhanced overall user experience for this innovative accessory.

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