The PlayStation 5 has revolutionized the gaming landscape. Sony’s PS5 has been quite successful, with incredible graphics and a roster of exclusive games. Indeed, fans were also eagerly expecting the next hardware release from Sony. And Sony, to everyone’s surprise, announced the PlayStation Portal.
PlayStation Portal promises to bring PlayStation 5 gaming to your fingertips wherever you are. It has been set at a price tag of $200, and pre-orders are open. But the device faces a barrage of criticism even before hitting the shelves. Fans openly question its functionality and whether it’s worth the price. Insider reviews also expressed the lack of features that don’t justify the cost and question the need for the device.
Digital Trends didn’t hold back in their critique, stating that the PlayStation Portal fundamentally misunderstands the concept of cloud gaming. They point out that the device doesn’t support cloud streaming through PlayStation Plus Premium or similar services, which is a significant drawback.
IGN’s hands-on review echoes this sentiment. Further, emphasizing that the Portal is a Wi-Fi remote streaming controller for the PS5 you already own. It doesn’t offer standalone features, making it a glorified extension of your existing console rather than a new, independent gaming experience.
Engadget’s review also adds fuel to the fire. They describe the device as looking “a bit like a tablet wedged between two halves of a DualSense controller,” which doesn’t exactly scream innovation.
The review also highlights the device’s limitations, such as the absence of local apps, making it a hard sell for those looking for a multifunctional device. The consensus among these reviews is clear: the PlayStation Portal may not be the groundbreaking device that Sony fans hoped for.
Fans react to the $200 PlayStation Portal
PlayStation Portal has been criticized on Twitter/X. Moreover, the absence of Bluetooth is a glaring omission for a device that’s supposed to offer portability and convenience. Further, Sony has integrated its proprietary Playstation Link, which is only available in their Pulse Explore wireless earbuds and Pulse Elite headset.
The Twitterverse is filled with fans questioning Sony’s decision to release the PlayStation Portal at this price tag. Further, Sony’s PlayStation Link app does the same work on Android, MacBooks, and iPhones.
Twitter user OneHeavyTitan, dubbed the device “The PlayStation Switch,” drawing comparisons to Nintendo’s wildly successful portable console. However, the comparison isn’t in favor of Sony. As Zgomatic pointed out, it’s a “Switch rip-off but with less features, a typical Sony product 😂🤷🏼.”
This is so bad, who will buy this? 200$ no Bluetooth 🤣🤣🤣
— rudau (@rudau96) September 1, 2023
Kev Westerman’s tweet echoes many fans’ sentiments: “This is going to be another L for PS handhelds 🙁 Just revamp the Vita!”. The PlayStation Vita, Sony’s previous attempt at a handheld, had a dedicated fanbase but couldn’t compete with Nintendo’s offerings. Fans are wondering why Sony didn’t learn from their past experiences.
Gaming4Laughs said, “My iPad has a better display, and I can use my PS5 controller for the same experience the portal offers. Most pointless bit of kit ever.” The comment raises a valid point.
Notably, some tablets can work with PlayStation Link, offering similar or better features at comparable prices, and people question the product’s value. It is to be seen if the quality and the seamlessness of the product and ecosystem can win fans over.