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PlayStation Portal Review Roundup

Source: Sony / PlayStation Portal

When the PlayStation Portal was officially unveiled, there were more skeptics than believers about the latest PlayStation accessory. Now that people have tried it, surprisingly, it is being well-received by many.

The PlayStation Portal is an unusual device. For $200, you’re basically getting the perfect PS5 companion device that truly puts the console’s Remote Play option to use better.

Of course, there are caveats; it doesn’t allow for cloud streaming, even though there are reports that the feature could be coming eventually. Another complaint is the lack of Bluetooth functionality.

Plenty of people have said you don’t need this device, given that you could use Remote Play on your smartphones and even connect your DualSense controller. Still, after using the PlayStation Portal leading up to its release, some reviewers are much more optimistic about the device than initially.

What Are The Critics Saying About The PlayStation Portal

Tech Radar’s Rob Dwiar had nothing but glowing words for the PlayStation Portal, giving it a perfect score in his review:

“Offering superb ergonomics as well as excellent design and build quality with all those exquisite DualSense controller features on top, this Remote Play beaut and its bright and sharp 8-inch LCD screen present a wonderful portable PS5 experience. … The Portal is not pretending to be anything else apart from a quality remote-play device for your PS5, and it absolutely nails its brief. As long as you come to it knowing what it does and what it can offer you, then it wholeheartedly, unabashedly, spectacularly succeeds.”

Surprising Skeptics

IGN’s Seth G. Macy had his issues with the device but overall was surprised by the PlayStation Portal after initially being skeptical about it, writing in his review:

“The PlayStation Portal is the most surprising device I’ve ever come away from loving after going in loaded with skepticism. It’s such a better experience than using your phone with a slap-on controller, and it works so much better than I was anticipating. I really love the freedom it gives me to play my PS5 from anywhere with decent WiFi coverage … The biggest things keeping the Portal from being a truly amazing device are its current lack of a way to access WiFi that requires a web browser to log in, and its lack of Bluetooth support for audio. [Grade: 8/10]”

A Perfect Gift For Gamers, But There Is Room For Improvement

Kotaku’s Jen Glennon praised the PlayStation Portal’s battery life, calling it “a solid sub-$200 gift option,” but also noted in her review that there is room for improvement with the Portal.

“While there are tweaks I’d like to see in the weeks and months ahead, I’ve been quite impressed with the time I’ve spent with Portal so far. I’ve played for about six hours on a single charge and still have a bar of battery life left to go. It’s a solid sub-$200 gift option for the gamer in your life who’s always hogging the TV when you’re trying to watch Vanderpump Rules or Monday Night Football.”

Some Are Meh On The PlayStation Portal

With the good, some people were always left feeling meh about the PlayStation Portal experience.

The Loadout’s Callum Self described his experience with PlayStation Portal as “enjoyable and disappointing” but noted in his review that it is the best way to use Remote Play.

“My overall time with the PlayStation Portal was both more enjoyable and disappointing than I expected. It’s certainly the best way to use Remote Play currently, by a long shot, and I’m sure I’ll be using it frequently in the future. But the washed-out screen, lack of cloud gaming support, and so-so battery life make me wish for a better, but unlikely, PlayStation Portal 2. [Grade: 5/10]”

No Reasonable Use For The PlayStation Portal

Then, of course, some just feel PlayStation swung and missed with the Portal. PC Mag’s Will Greenwald calls the Portal “just a screen sandwiched between a controller” and not worth the $200 price point.

“The screen works as intended, but the 1080p resolution looks fuzzier than most modern mobile devices. … The most baffling aspect of the Portal is its fundamental limitation. … I can’t see a reasonable use case for the Portal that wouldn’t be served more economically, and with a better screen, with many other devices. Ultimately, the Portal is just a screen sandwiched between a controller, and for $200, it should be more than that. [Grade: 2.5/5]”

Well, for the most part, people are high on the PlayStation Portal, but it sounds like this is a device for a very niche group of people, and those are the gamers who love Remote Play and hate using their smartphones to utilize it.

Will you be buying a PlayStation Portal? Let us know in the comment section below.

Photo: Sony / PlayStation Portal