Sony is officially launching its handheld remote player, the PlayStation Portal, on November 15th. The portable device will stream PS5 games over Wi-Fi and features an eight-inch LCD screen running at 1080p resolution at 60fps. Sony says the Portal will launch in the US, UK, and other regions for $199.99 and, on August 31st, made it available to preorder in select countries via Sony’s official PlayStation Direct storefront.
Preorders for other regions — and from other retailers — will follow on September 29th, according to an updated post on the PlayStation blog.
“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,” says Hideaki Nishino, senior vice president of platform experience at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “PlayStation Portal can play supported games that are installed on your PS5 console and use the Dualsense controller.”
The PlayStation Portal features prominent controllers on each side that look very much like Sony’s PS5 DualSense controllers. They support adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, so PS5 games will feel similar to using a dedicated DualSense controller. The PlayStation Portal will also be capable of playing media, as the homescreen has a dedicated section for it as it’s mirroring your PS5. You won’t be able to run anything locally though, so if you don’t have Wi-Fi then you’re out of luck.
Strangely, the $199.99 handheld won’t work with Sony’s upcoming cloud streaming for PS5 games. “Games that must be streamed on PS5 using a PS Plus Premium membership are not compatible,” says Sony. So the PlayStation Portal is really a way to stream PS5 games you already have installed on your own PS5 onto a handheld for remote play. You’ll need an internet connection capable of at least 5Mbps, and Sony is recommending 15Mbps for the best experience.
IGN got to test the PlayStation Portal early and in a video hands-on tech editor Bo Moore says he couldn’t notice any latency using the handheld. That will be a key part of the experience, as streaming games over Wi-Fi networks still isn’t a perfect experience for many.
The PlayStation Portal doesn’t have Bluetooth, so you won’t be able to connect to wireless headphones or Sony’s Pulse 3D headset. Instead, it uses a PlayStation Link wireless technology — a new proprietary standard for PlayStation devices. PlayStation Link is designed to deliver low latency, lossless audio and Sony is also launching a wireless headset and buds that support PlayStation Link.
You’ll be able to use this new headset or buds with a PS5 through a USB adapter, but with rumors of a PS5 “Slim” on the way it’s easy to imagine PlayStation Link will be integrated into future PS5 models. The PlayStation Link standard will also be available for third-party manufacturers to use. Thankfully, the PlayStation Portal also has a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio.
IGN reports that the PlayStation Portal’s battery size hasn’t been finalized yet, so we still don’t know how long this handheld will run. CNET says Sony is targeting something similar to the DualSense battery life, so around seven to nine hours.
The PlayStation Portal was previously known as Project Q and was officially announced in May, with a rumored release date in November. Sony followed up with the pricing details in mid-August, but it’s nice to finally know when PlayStation fans will be able to get their hands on the PlayStation Portal.
Update August 31st, 5:45PM ET: Added details from Sony regarding the PlayStation Portal’s official launch date.