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The PlayStation Portal, a handheld device that can play PlayStation 5 (PS5) games via a Wi-Fi connection to the console, will release later this year at a price of $199.99, Sony announced Wednesday.
First revealed as “Project Q” in May, the PlayStation Portal is unlike the previous PlayStation handhelds, the PSP and PlayStation Vita. It requires users to own a PlayStation 5 console, and then it wirelessly streams gameplay from the console over a Wi-Fi connection.
In other words, it’s a companion device designed to make it easier to play high-end PS5 games from basically anywhere—assuming you have a strong enough internet connection. Users don't need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as their PS5 to use the Portal, but the handheld won't be able to play any games natively. And users will only be able to use it for games they own—Sony said the Portal cannot stream games via Sony’s PlayStation Plus cloud streaming feature.
It’s a dedicated device built around Sony’s Remote Play feature, which has let console owners play their games on a handheld device from afar dating back to the PlayStation 3. It’s not a cloud device, however, as the games are running on your own PlayStation 5 and beamed over the internet rather than running on a cloud server.
No specific release date has been announced, but Sony announced Wednesday that the PlayStation Portal will release later in 2023 at that $199.99 price point.
The PlayStation Portal features an 8-inch 1080p LCD display surrounded by controller handles that look very similar to the PlayStation 5’s DualSense gamepad. They have the same functionality as the DualSense, including sensitive haptic feedback, and the device charges via a USB-C port.
Battery life for the PlayStation Portal is still unknown, but given the large screen and constant streaming connection, it could be limited. For reference, the base Nintendo Switch model has an official uptime estimate of 4.5-9 hours, while the Steam Deck portable PC handheld is pegged to last between 2-8 hours.
Sony’s latest handheld won’t support Bluetooth, curiously, so you won’t be able to connect Apple AirPods or other headphones that use the wireless standard. It will have a 3.5mm port for wired headphones, however, and support official Sony headsets that utilize its own PlayStation Link wireless standard.