Sony has unveiled the price for its upcoming cloud gaming handheld, as well as an official name for the device: PlayStation Portal. However, one significant caveat to its functionality might sour people’s interest in the handheld: It only supports PS4 and PS5 native games that the owner purchased.
PlayStation VR2 games can’t be streamed to PlayStation Portal, which does make sense. More bafflingly, though, is the fact that the PlayStation Blog post states that “games that are streamed through PlayStation Plus Premium’s cloud streaming are not supported.” That means you shouldn’t pick up PlayStation Portal expecting to stream some PS3 and PS4 games available through PlayStation Plus Premium to the device. That’s certainly an odd omission when it’s currently PlayStation’s most notable cloud gaming effort.
Although Microsoft is more closely associated with cloud gaming, Sony beat it to releasing a dedicated cloud gaming device. PlayStation Portal was first teased as Project Q during May’s PlayStation showcase, but now, a PlayStation Blog post more clearly explains what we can actually expect from the handheld. Most importantly, we learned that PlayStation Portal will cost $200, which puts it underneath the cost of a Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series S, and other cloud gaming devices like the Logitech G Cloud Handheld.
As for what you’re getting for that price tag, it’s essentially a decent screen attached to two halves of a DualSense controller. The controllers on each side share all the functionality of the DualSense, including things like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. In-between is an 8-inch LCD screen that streams games over Wi-Fi at up to a 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. All in all, that’s fairly solid for a cloud gaming handheld that is this cheap.
Sony confirmed that the PlayStation Portal will have a 3.5mm audio jack, but also used the same blog post to unveil two new wireless audio options. There’s the Pulse Elite wireless headset that features a retractable boom mic and a charging hanger and Pulse Explore wireless earbuds that offer similar audio quality in earbud form.
None of these products are available for preorder or have a specific release date just yet, but they are all expected to launch before the end of the year.