Yes the DualSense Edge is great for the power player, PSVR 2 is a wonder for those who can afford it, but PlayStation Portal looks set to actually enhance the way I play every day. Previously codenamed Project Q, the Remote Play device will launch at $199.99 / £199.99 later this year, with Sony providing plenty more details about that DualSense-screen hybrid in a blog post today. Taking a look at the brand's first handheld since the Vita, I'm already excited.
That lower than expected price point certainly helps, but the Portal has so much potential to open up new ways of play it feels far less like trophy for the wealthier end of Sony's market and more like an extension of the ecosystem as a whole. $200 is still a lot, but it's offering PS5 players a whole new way to play. It's the same price as the console's pro controller, but - personally - I'm not down to spend three figures on a few extra buttons when I'm already happy tapping around my virtual worlds. 'Pro' features are great for those who use them, but for casual play the PlayStation Portal is already selling itself particularly well.
|Controls||DualSense (including adaptive triggers and haptic feedback)|
High-end gadgets like the PSVR 2 and DualSense Edge are designed for the people with playstyles that will make the most of them. If you can't put your eyes behind a VR headset without vomiting, the PSVR 2 isn't for you. If you won't use extra programmable buttons or personalized trigger lengths, the DualSense Edge isn't for you. What makes the PlayStation Portal so exciting is that it can add to anyone's experience with the right WiFi speeds.
This thing just looks gorgeous, with that screen holding up particularly well in reaction coverage so far. The larger 8-inch form factor means competition from mobile players running the Remote Play app has been silenced, with the attached DualSense halves keeping gaming tablet players at bay as well. Seeing the PlayStation Portal in-hand, it certainly looks like a premium offering separating itself from other devices capable of running the software.
Yes, you can grab one of the best gaming phones and slap a Backbone One around it. Before now that was the best way to enjoy Remote Play - and it's still there if you just want to dip in and out of bed and toilet PS5 sessions every now and then. But if you, like me, regularly find yourself propping an iPad up on some pillows and unpairing (then re-pairing) a DualSense, that $200 is going to be well spent on a dedicated, Sony-backed device.
With WiFi speeds catching up to the demands of game streaming, there are more players than ever hopping on the Remote Play dream originally sold to us with the PS3. I'm willing to bet there are far more players wishing they could easily jump into a game from their bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchens than there are wishing they had a few extra buttons to map. The PlayStation Portal takes something we've been struggling to make the most of with third party hardware and brings it to the forefront of the PS5 experience. Sony is finally waking up to the potential one of its biggest features has been hiding away all this time - and that means more PS5 players can hopefully appreciate the system's value as well.
Of course, it's not without its concerns. The lack of Bluetooth puts a question mark over some of the best gaming headsets, and I'm not a massive fan of the brand's decision to limit low latency audio to hardware sporting its own tech. Sony has also already come out and said the Portal won't be able to handle games streamed from the PS Plus Premium tier's catalog. There are things we need to find out before we can truly get behind everything this device has to offer and I won't know if this truly is the device to end my streaming woes until I get my hands on it. As a Remote Play Stan, though, the PlayStation Portal has me excited.
We're also rounding up plenty more Sony gadgets - you'll find all the best PS5 headsets and the best PS5 controllers available right now. Or, take a look at the best monitors for PS5 if you're after the big screen treatment.