The PlayStation Portal Remote player launches in two days’ time on November 15th. Reviews for Sony’s PS5 remote-play device are now out, so what do the critics think?
From the few PlayStation Portal reviews I have read, it seems to get generally positive reviews. Most reviewers note that the device, which looks like a DualSense controller with a tablet screen slapped in the middle is comfortable. However, some reviewers like Tom’s Guide say that the PS Portal is unwieldy to hold.
“One of the first things you’ll notice about the PS Portal is how comfortable it feels in the hands,” Pushsquare said about the PS Portal. Polygon’s review also says that the PlayStation Portal is comfortable “And playing these games on the Portal does feel comfortable, thanks to the sleek build quality of the device.”
Reviewers have also pointed out that the PlayStation Portal does have its limits. Kotaku’s review highlights these limits, such as it won’t actually free up your PS5. So your partner can’t play one game while you remotely play another. You also can’t stream games from PlayStation Plus, games have to be downloaded to your PS5.
PlayStation Portal reviews: a mixed bag, but generally positive
Reviews for the PlayStation Portal do seem to be a bit mixed. Given that it requires a wireless internet connection, I suppose the difference in people’s Wi-Fi can make it an excellent experience for some and not so much for others.
Some reviewers mention not experiencing many latency issues, but others state that latency could be quite bad. Tom’s Guide highlights the inability to stream things from Netflix, HULU and YouTube as a negative. But I am not sure that’s what Sony intended the Portal to be used for anyway.
Between latency issues on my 300Mbps / 300Mbps wireless network and the inability to stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube due to DRM rules, the Portal just couldn’t deliver an enjoyable experience or one I’d feel comfortable recommending.Tom’s Guide
I am fairly certain that Sony intends the PS Portal to be used for remote playing games. Not for streaming movies and TV shows.
General consensus seems to be that the PlayStation Portal has a very niche use case. You either need one or you don’t. Sure, it’s probably useful if you live in a household where everyone is hogging the main TV. You can chill in another room and play Spider-Man 2 while the missus watches Coronation Street or something.
“On the other hand, if you’re the master and commander of your entertainment centre and you’re never separated from the thing your actual PS5 is plugged into, then the PlayStation Portal probably isn’t for you,” says VGC about the PS Portal.
A device for a small audience
The bulk of reviews, whether they liked the portal or not seem to agree that it has limited uses. Some have pointed out that it isn’t actually a portable PS5, just a remote-play device. This is quite important as I can definitely see some people buying this at Christmas thinking it is something like a Nintendo Switch or a PlayStation Vita.
The general consensus amongst reviewers is that the PS Portal has a very small audience. If your PS5 is connected to a dedicated gaming TV or monitor, you probably don’t need one. But if you have a partner, kids or live with housemates who are constantly hogging the TV, you probably will want one.
PlayStation Portal is out on November 15th priced at £199.99.
The list of reviews I read is below so you can decide if the Portal is for you or not.
- Kotaku | PlayStation Portal: The Kotaku Review
- Inverse | PlayStation Portal Is Like a Nintendo Switch — But You’re Chained To Your Desk
- Tom’s Guide | PlayStation Portal hands-on: the worst PS5 accessory?
- Push square | PS Portal Is the Perfect PS5 Companion (For Some)
- Polygon | The PlayStation Portal is a fine device for a bizarrely narrow audience
- VGC | PlayStation Portal is a slick solution for portable players
- Techradar | PlayStation Portal review – a brilliant evolution in Remote Play