PS Portal review round-up – what do people think?

What do people really think of the PlayStation Portal?

PS Portal review round-up - what do people think? Image shows a PlayStation Portal with three question marks above it, on a navy background.

PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Read More

Last Updated on

Welcome to our focused PS Portal review round-up. If you follow tech trends at all, you’ve likely heard of Sony’s elusive hybrid controller tablet by now, but given that it’s still pretty difficult to get your hands on one, it’s hard to know if it’s worth the hype. So, this article is here to act as your one-stop source for understanding what the buzz about the PlayStation Portal is all about. By sifting through some of the top tech sites including Wccftech, The Verge, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar, we’ve rounded up some of the most straightforward and critical insights from across the web.

The PS Portal represents a bold move by Sony, blending a sleek design with cutting-edge technology. Its standout features include a sharp 8-inch LCD screen, intuitive controls, and optimized latency, all designed to enrich your gaming experience. In this crucial time before many are able to get hands-on play time with the device, including us, we’ve created a hub with some of the most insightful reviews to help you get to know the PlayStation Portal.

Review round-up

While opinions vary — some experts applaud it as a groundbreaking addition to the PlayStation lineup, others are more reserved— the consensus is clear: the PlayStation Portal is making waves. While such controversy surrounding a device is exactly what gets people talking, it can be hard to see clearly. So, we aim to cut through the noise and give you the clear, concise information you need. Whether it’s a hit or a miss, our review round-up will lay out all you need to know about the PS Portal’s performance and its place in the gaming landscape.

Site ReviewingPS Portal Review
Wccftech“The PlayStation Portal isn’t quite the portable successor that players have been asking for”
The Verge“Why does this exist?…”
Tom’s Guide“The Portal just couldn’t deliver an enjoyable experience”
TechRadar“Offering a smooth and stable way to play your PlayStation 5 library in your hands”
PlayStation Portal reviews from WccfTech, The Verge, Tom’s Guide, TechRadar

PS Portal – overall design and features

When it comes to design ingenuity, the PlayStation Portal sets a high bar. It cleverly morphs the familiar DualSense controller, splitting it in half to sandwich an impressive eight-inch LCD screen. Ergonomically, Portal retains the celebrated haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller, making it instantly recognizable and comfortable for PlayStation aficionados. Additionally, the unique feature of the controller grips being detached from the main body of the console may not seem significant, but comfort-wise, a difference might be felt from being able to fully wrap your fingers around the grips during longer gaming sessions.

This innovative approach has earned unanimous praise from top reviewers for its striking appearance and ergonomic functionality, which keeps in line with the PlayStation aesthetic. The device’s screen is also a standout feature: an eight-inch LCD boasting a crisp 1080p resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. This upgrade offers a vivid and immersive viewing experience, surpassing many high-end smartphones in size and clarity. While it doesn’t quite match up to the screens of competition such as the Legion Go or the Steam Deck OLED, the Portal still has a more than sufficient screen for its Remote Play purposes. Of course, the Portal is designed for players who already own a PS5 that’s probably hooked up to a 4K HD TV or similar setup.

Tom’s Guide, known for its stringent reviews, acknowledges the Portal’s design strengths. The larger Full HD screen and thoughtful additions like haptic feedback in the triggers provide an experience closer to the PS5, setting it apart from typical Bluetooth controllers or simply streaming Remote Play from your phone. This attention to detail in design and feature integration positions the PlayStation Portal as a noteworthy contender in the realm of gaming devices, despite its single purpose.

PS Portal – overall performance

The performance of the PlayStation Portal had mixed reception across our Portal review round-up, heavily influenced by factors like connection speed and proximity to the Wi-Fi router. In-depth testing by Tom’s Guide revealed significant latency issues, which negatively impacted both gameplay and audio. This latency was particularly problematic in games requiring precise timing, such as “Spelunky 2” and “Horizon Forbidden West,” leading to a less-than-ideal gaming experience.

On the flip side, TechRadar found the device’s setup and user experience to be exemplary. The PS Portal efficiently boots up the PS5 upon turning on and facilitates easy disengagement or re-engagement with the main console. When it comes to Remote Play, the Portal outshines other devices such as PCs, providing a connection that is both seamless and impressively lag-free – if your Wi-Fi speeds are up to standard.

It’s important to note that the types of games best suited for the Portal are predominantly single-player titles that don’t rely heavily on rapid reactions or frame-perfect timing. While the streaming quality can often appear near flawless, there are instances of noticeable artifacts upon closer inspection. Additionally, there can be times when connectivity issues arise, a reminder of the inherent unpredictability of Wi-Fi-based devices.

Ultimately, it’s a device that relies fundamentally and solely on the speed of your network, the distance from your router, and even the layout of your living space. However, an opinion that seems to unite this PS Portal review round-up is that the console isn’t trying to be anything that it’s not: it’s a purpose-built device that Sony has crafted as a Remote Play solution to streaming from your PS5. Although it’s a little niche, it can’t be denied that the Portal is good at what it sets out to do.

PS Portal – overall battery life

A key aspect of any portable gaming device is its battery life, and the PlayStation Portal stands out in this domain. According to TechRadar, the Portal’s battery duration is on par with, if not slightly better than, the DualSense controller. It offers just over six hours of playtime on a full charge, even with the controller’s haptic feedback and other features activated. This endurance level is particularly noteworthy considering the device’s extensive functionalities and the power requirements of its large screen and advanced features.

When it comes to recharging, the Portal requires a bit of patience. It allegedly takes upwards of two hours to fully charge the device, a duration that requires some planning for uninterrupted gaming sessions. However, this is a relatively standard charging time for devices with such capabilities.

Overall, the consensus among reviewers is that the PlayStation Portal’s battery life is quite commendable. It strikes a balance between longevity and performance, ensuring that gamers can enjoy extended play sessions without the constant need for recharging. This makes the PS Portal a reliable companion for longer gaming adventures, setting a new standard for battery life in portable gaming devices.

Is the PS Portal worth the money?

The final thing to weigh in on is pricing, and once again the Portal review round-up presents a mixed bag. On one hand, at $200 it’s reasonably priced for a handheld device, especially considering its advanced features and design. However, when viewed as an additional accessory for the PS5, the cost might seem steep, especially given its limitations and the fact that it doesn’t add substantial new functionality to the existing console setup.

So, the question of whether the Portal is worth the money comes down to your existing gaming setup and your budget for expanding it. If you already own a PS5, the compatibility and functionality of the Portal might suit you perfectly. Alternatively, investing just a little more than $200 can get you a handheld console that’s far more versatile than the Portal, and drastically expands your portable gaming library.

Final Thoughts

After thoroughly analyzing this Portal review round-up, our final assessment presents a more measured perspective. While the PS Portal shines in design and innovation, particularly with its impressive controls and screen, it’s not without significant limitations that might not make it the ideal choice for every gamer.

The PS Portal’s reliance on a stable and strong Wi-Fi connection is one of its most constraining aspects. This dependency not only limits where you can use the device but also requires the presence of a PS5 nearby. A critical point of concern is the latency and lag issues highlighted in several reviews. These performance hiccups can significantly detract from the gaming experience, especially in titles that demand precision and quick reflexes. Unlike other handheld gaming devices, the PS Portal isn’t suited for gaming on the go or in locations without a reliable Wi-Fi network. This niche functionality could be a deal-breaker for those seeking a more versatile and portable gaming experience, but there’s always the option of discovering some of the best PlayStation Portal alternatives.

In conclusion, while the PlayStation Portal is a commendable attempt at innovation in the gaming world, its appeal is likely to be limited to a specific segment of gamers. Those looking for a portable extension of their PS5 experience, and who have access to the ideal conditions it requires, may find it a valuable addition. However, for the broader gaming community, particularly those who value versatility and reliability in a handheld device, the Portal may not be the most compelling choice.