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  • Writer's pictureLaMar Bridges

The PlayStation Portal is back: Worth a Buy in 2024?

Updated: Mar 4

White PlayStation Portal with the Persona 5 strikers game on the sreen
PlayStation Portal

In my opinion, the PlayStation Portal is the weirdest handheld gaming device. But to say it is worth your money has many answers that depend on your wants and needs.

On one hand, it is impressive to be able to walk into a Starbucks Coffee shop and you can play God of War: Ragnarok. Like me, PJ's Coffee will be the go-to place to play your Portal if you are in Fort Worth, Texas.

Before I talk as if the Portal is all rainbows and sunshine, it is not, and like the Asus Rog Ally Z1 Extreme, some shortcomings can make or break your experience.

The PlayStation Portal brings the power of the PlayStation 5 to the palm of my hand

I bought the Portal in late 2023, like December 29th. I got lucky, found a random GameStop, and bought what I came to love over time: Sony's PlayStation Portal.

The experience could have started better with the Portal; things began poorly. My first week was rough the entire month of January, and I wanted to get rid of it. But GameStop changed its returns policies, forcing me to sell the game for a loss or make the best of the situation.

Thus began my understanding of this handheld, so I took time to learn how this device works. News flash: the device does not add anything different to the handheld community. To point out the straight fact about the Portal, it is remote play only.

This is not a negative because I used to play cloud gaming and worked in a pinch before I invested in my Steam Deck OLED and Rog Ally.

I love that I can take this device anywhere and play God of War: Ragnarok or Spider-Man 2, and so much more. I know the Backbone exists, and it can do something similar at a fair price, but the Portal feels much nicer in my hands.

The downside of the Portal

The power of the sun in the palm of my hand is great and all. I mean the sheer joy of taking your PS5 on the road, but this handheld device has strong downsides.

The simplest one is the size of the handheld. Overall, the device can be small and crampy. In most hands, it may fit perfectly; however, in my hand, I noticed over time that the handles and the joysticks were smaller.

PlayStation making the Portal smaller could have been done as a budget choice or to have the screen become the focal point of the handheld. But it made the first few days with the device, not the best fit to game on.

The biggest thing that I do not like about having the Portal is its WIFI dependency. You need a very strong internet connection to make the games you play enjoyable.

Compared to the Steam Deck, Asus Rog Ally, and Legion Go, the Portal's only feature is that it is a PlayStation device. But comparing these amazing devices, the Portal is the only device that needs the internet to play your games, which can be a problem if you are not in the right area.

I harper on the internet because without it you can not even enjoy playing your games. There is no offline mode or anything. Additionally, you are not playing the game from the device but playing it via a remote link from your PlayStation 5.

More to why the PS Portal is not worth a buy is the lack of Bluetooth availability. Unlike my Nintendo Switch OLED which allows me to connect my Pixel Earbuds, the Portal doesn't.

The Portal only allows PlayStation Link to connect to your device via usb connection to the PS5 originally.

Should you buy the PlayStation Portal in 2024?

Shockingly, I say no, do not buy the Portal unless you want one. This would be the perfect device if you own a PlayStation 5 and want to play the game, but your wife or kids are using the television.

It would be best to invest in the Backbone because of the pricing, and you can always play the games on the road. For example, the Portal does not have an internet browser, which many places require to use their wifi.

It takes too much of an investment to enjoy gaming on the road compared to all other handhelds. The Rog Ally you can buy and download and play anywhere you want because of the offline mode. But the choice is yours; know that it will cost extra to have this device.

The device does not come with a case, and if you do not have your PS5 wired to the internet, you will need to buy a new modem to keep your internet constantly connected.

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