Our Hot Take On Possibly The Worst Handheld Console To Date: PlayStation Portal


The big three of gaming – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo – have their own specialties when making their products, with each of them focusing on PC, console gaming and handheld gaming devices, respectively. However, this hasn’t stopped them from crossing borders and releasing some as a sort of competition for existing devices.

One of the most recent examples of this is PlayStation’s attempt at handheld gaming with the PlayStation Portal. The device was made in hopes of stealing the competition from Nintendo’s Switch and the dark horse, which is Steam’s Steam Deck. However, as details of the machine come out over the course of the weekend, gamers are not happy with its capabilities (or lack thereof) for the price of US$200.

Sony & Handhelds

Everyone knows that this isn’t the first time Sony has released a handheld console, as they’ve released the solid PSP and all its variations, followed by the PSVita. Sony’s portable consoles have been the home of memorable exclusive titles such as Metal Gear Peach Walker, the Patapon trilogy, and Gravity Rush, to name a few. This, of course, didn’t dethrone Nintendo’s DS, but it still took a massive bite out of their would-be profit.

It has been years since Sony has tried again in that Market, and many believe that would have been the case for a long time until the end of May, when they announced the PlayStation Portal. Nostalgic gamers were ecstatic as they could finally play games unique to the Portal while giving the impression it could keep up with Sony’s flagship, the PS5, as a support system.

Spec List & Comparisons

However, it seems that Sony leaned too heavily on the support aspect of the handheld, as the PlayStation Portal doesn’t play games; it streams them. Not only that, all its other features are quite underwhelming, as it only has an 8” LCD screen and runs at 60 fps with 1080p quality, which is honestly below the norm that we see today.

For those who like to draw comparisons, you’ll notice that the specs of the Portal are somewhat similar to those of the aforementioned Steam Deck, but the difference lies in the price, where the Portal is being sold at US$200 (RM930), while the cheapest model of the Steam Deck is roughly double the price, or you can get the cheapest variation of the Switch, the Switch Lite, for around the same if not half that price. So why is Portal being branded as the worst handheld to date?

The Catch

As mentioned above, the main selling point of the Portal is to stream games, not play games, which means you need to have a PS5 console and a fast WiFi connection to actually use the handheld. The Steam Deck, on the other hand, costs more, but it allows you to install the games in it for you to bring along wherever you go without being forced to use WiFi; the Switch, depending on the model, can let you have the dock that lets you project your game on the TV or the Lite version, both of which can install games and take cartridges.

PlayStation has been going all in on streaming games to the PS5 as of late. For example, if you’d like to play PS2 or PS3 games, you have to stream them. However, despite being a streaming device, the Portal does not support streaming those old games, which feels like a slap in the face for some.


Unfortunately, the main gimmick of the Portal is to be used as an accessory and nothing else, as their main selling point is to keep on playing while someone is occupying the TV. If they have nothing else to offer besides the ability to stream, then Nintendo had already beaten them to the punch 11 years ago with the Wii U and then some.

Whether we like it or not, the PlayStation Portal is coming to store shelves at the end of the year. It is quite unfortunate, as Sony had been amazing at developing handhelds back in the day, but they are terrible at giving it the continued support it needs to go toe-to-toe against its competitors for a prolonged period of time. Whether or not the Portal will share this fate is something we’ll have to wait and see.


Sources: IGN, Nintendo, PlayStation [1], [2], Wikimedia Commons [1], [2], YouTube

The post Our Hot Take On Possibly The Worst Handheld Console To Date: PlayStation Portal appeared first on Hype MY.

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