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2023-11-15 19:19:45

PlayStation Portal Review - Everything you NEED to know

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Hello , everyone .

It's spawn point .

And today we are getting hands on with the brand's new PlayStation portal for the PS five .

We're going to get it unboxed to set it up and talk about what this device actually does , why you'd want one and what the issues and limitations are .

So if you were thinking about picking one of these up for yourself or maybe for somebody else , hopefully today's video will help you out .

I also wanted to say a massive thank you to PlayStation for gifting me this ahead of launch .

But as always , all opinions are 100% my own right .

Let's get this opened up and see what we get inside .

So inside the outer sleeve we have this grey cardboard box with the PlayStation logo on the top and these little PlayStation symbols on one end .

And if we take this off , we have the portal itself underneath .

But if you flip this top cover over , you'll actually find there is a USB C charging cable inside , which , of course , we will need later for charging it , and that really is all we get inside the box .

So we get the portal a USB C charging cable and the manual .

So here it is , and on first impressions , this looks and feels really nice .

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You can see the overall design is very similar to what we've seen before with the other PS five accessories , but holding it now This feels premium and a lot more weighty than I was expecting .

So we've got an eight inch screen in the middle , which we will take a look at in a minute .

Then we have the controllers on either side , which is definitely one of the biggest selling points of this system .

I also like the way that it flows and how the screen is mounted .

It's also thin , but not super thin , that you'd be worried about breaking it .

I think this works really well .

As for the buttons where we've got the usual ones you would expect to see on either side , including the D pad and the share button on the left and the icons and the menu button on the right .

They've also put the PlayStation home button and the mute button near the top .

Then if we flip this around , we have the air and R one and two triggers across the top , which I actually think are very slightly smaller than the normal controller ones .

But these do have the same adaptive triggers as the normal controller , and the same goes for the thumb sticks .

These are definitely smaller than the normal duals sense controller , but not quite as small as the sense controllers found on the PSVR two .

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In fact , if I compare this now to the normal dual sense controller , you'll see how similar this is Now .

There's also an LED strip either side of the screen , which lights up in the same way as the normal PS five controller does .

So that's pretty cool , and you can actually adjust the brightness of this in the settings or turn it off completely .

Then , across the top , there are two speakers .

The volume control buttons , the power button and a link button .

This is what's needed to connect it to a compatible headset .

And then underneath there's a USB C port for charging it and a 3.5 mil headphone jack for your wired headphones .

Honestly , though , from a design point of view , I actually really like this .

I can't see any reason you'd need or want it to look any different .

It's comfortable to hold , has a nice size screen and looks like a PlayStation device .

Now , when it comes to setting this up for the first time , it's pretty straightforward .

The onscreen prompts show you exactly what you need to do .

You just power it on , choose your Wi Fi network , agree to the terms and download the latest software update .

It took me around 15 minutes to do this .

Then you'll need to log into your PlayStation account .

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And the easiest way to do this is using a QR code , which will automatically sign you in on the PlayStation app .

Once you're in , you need to select your PS five to register it .

Now I've got two , so I've selected the PS five at my desk , and that's it .

Within 15 to 20 minutes , it's set up and we're good to go .

We don't need to install any apps .

We just press the power button followed by the PlayStation button , and it will connect straight away .

We now have full control and access to the PS five , including the dashboard and all of the installed games , and on first impressions , it's really responsive , like nearly instant as I navigate around the dash , there is no noticeable lag here at all Now I'm not sure if you've noticed , but the screen on this is really nice , and the text clarity is incredible .

So it's an eight inch full HDL CD , and this thing is sharp .

It's vibrant , and it's pretty bright .

I've been using it for the last few days , and I'm genuinely impressed by how good it looks for a 1080 P screen .

I was actually a little worried before seeing it as I knew it wasn't an OLED , but seriously , this is nice and probably one of the best non OLED screens I've ever used .

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Also , the fact that it's a glossy screen means the colours really pop , and there's no loss in contrast or black levels .

But it does mean it's prone to reflections , depending on where you're using it .

And as for the screen size from a gaming point of view , I think eight inches is the perfect size .

It's not too small that you won't get any enjoyment from it , but it's not too big that it's a pain to hold , but just for reference .

Here it is compared to a few of the others .

The switch ROG Ally and the Logitech G cloud are seven inches , while the iPhone inside the backbone controller is 6.1 inches .

So the entire purpose of the PlayStation portal is to allow you to play your PS five away from your setup .

You will need a PS five , and it needs to be either on or in rest mode for this to be connected .

So from my testing over the last few days , as long as you have a strong enough Wi Fi connection , the signal never drops .

Sometimes it stutters or the sound pops in and out .

But that's something that we've always seen when using the PS remote app , although to be honest , this appears to be a little bit more reliable .

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So I have been using I play games like Ratchet and Clank , Grand Turismo seven , Spiderman two and some Astro's playroom .

And every game that I've played has been decent .

It's exactly what I wanted to get from the portal , and it is a massive step up from using something like the backbone one adapter on my iPhone .

This feels far more balanced and a lot easier to hold on top of that .

As this uses the duals sense controller , we get the same all sort of features we get on the normal controller things like haptic feedback and to triggers , which , let's face it , are the best features of any controller out there .

So as I'm playing GT seven , I can feel the throttle response as I accelerate or playing Astro's playroom .

I can feel the resistance and rumble as I walk around .

I don't think any other handheld can replicate or come close to this experience .

As for what games work on here or anything that's installed on your PS , five will play So all downloaded games or the current disc that you have inserted .

These will all play absolutely fine .

But there was another feature that I really wanted to check out , and I kind of hoped would work .

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And that is cloud gaming if you're on PS plus premium , or you can now stream your games to the PS five without ever needing to download them .

Unfortunately , though , these do not work when using remote play .

I did kind of expect this , but you're shown an error message when you access the cloud streaming , and quite simply , they just will not play .

Maybe the portal will allow us to stream these games directly in the future , something that I'm secretly hoping for .

And if it does do that , this will be an absolute game changer for this device .

So now I suppose you might think , What's the point of having one of these ?

If you've already got a PS five and it needs to be on well , there might be times where you don't want to , or you cannot use your setup .

Maybe your family is using it , or you just don't fancy sitting at your desk .

But this means you can literally pick it up and resume whatever games you are playing and have full control over the PS .

Five .

You could play your games in different rooms around the house or even in front of the TV while you watch movie .

To be honest , the possibilities really are endless .

Well , hopefully by now it should be clear that the portal is not a stand alone games console .

No games are actually ever stored locally on this device .

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Everything you do and play on here is a direct mirror of what you see on the PS five .

It's then streamed to this device in up to 60 FPs .

What this does mean is you cannot play both the PS five and the portal on different games at the same time .

And you all who cannot use this device as a second controller on the PS five .

You kind of wanna treat this as a second monitor for your setup .

That's portable .

Oh , and another point worth covering is there is no touchpad on this , so there isn't a physical touchpad like we have on the dual AEN controller , but what they've done is they've actually added one on the screen instead .

So all you have to do is tap the screen , and you see these two boxes appear either side .

This will then let you interact with these with any games that support it .

I also think that the ergonomics and the way that it fills in the hand should not be overlooked .

I've played with far too many handheld consoles .

After a few hours , they cramp up my hands , whereas this is no different to the duals sense controller and it's incredibly comfortable to hold .

It also feels pretty well balanced in the hand .

And as the controllers are something I'm already used to , it feels natural to hold .

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But it is worth mentioning that although you could hold this one handed , it is pretty heavy and it feels like I'd probably drop it .

But because of how the screen is designed , there is actually a little ledge on the back , which will allow you to hold it one handed .

So when it comes to the lag or the response time on this , it is very impressive .

Obviously , this is dependent on your Wi Fi connection , but on the whole it looks really good navigating around the dash and playing most games you can see it's only a fraction of a second behind the TV .

I actually went ahead and played some GT seven with the timer on screen just so I could see the delay .

Now looking at it , you cannot really see the difference , but it's only when I freeze the shots that you can see .

It's out very slightly now .

To be honest , this is pretty quick to say we are three minutes from the PS five to the screen .

However , as soon as you play anything that requires that instant response like call of duty , for example , you might find this a lot more difficult .

You can't see the difference , but you can feel it .

I mean , it only has to be a fraction of a second out , and it's a difference between making or missing that shot .

I played a couple of games of the new modern warfare three , and honestly , I just gave up .

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However , for any other game you want to play , you would be absolutely fine and would not notice the lag .

So it works at home while on the same network .

But what about away from your home ?

Well , it obviously needs an Internet connection at all times to work .

But the good news is , as long as you have an Internet connection , you can remote play back to the PS .

Five .

This means you could use your mobile hotspot or public Wi Fi or use it at work .

Imagine being away from home over the holiday period , but still be able to play on your PS .

Five is pretty cool .

Obviously , this is dependent on your own Internet speeds , but the fact is it's not restricted to just using it at home .

PlayStation themselves recommend at least a five Meg connection , with 15 Meg being the recommended My mobile hotspot .

When I tested , it was running at 15 up and three down , and my home wired connection is 50 up and 14 down .

So it's not super fast , but it's fine for this now .

The first couple of times I tried to connect using my mobile hotspot , it did fail to load .

But to be honest , that's down to the connection strength rather than the device .

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I also noticed that occasionally I got a weak signal message pop up , which only happened while I was using the mobile hotspot .

So I would say , if you needed to use this away from home , you would want to use at least 15 Meg in order to get an enjoyable experience .

So as long as your PS five is either on or in rest mode , the PlayStation portal can switch it on remotely .

All you do is turn it on and then press the PlayStation button to log in .

If your console is on already , it will connect within a matter of seconds .

Otherwise it will wake it from rest mode and take about a minute , though .

If your PS five is completely off , though , it will not be able to wake it .

Then .

Once you've finished playing , you can either turn off the portal , turn off the PS five or tap the settings and press disconnect .

This is the best way to do it , because you can decide whether to put your PS five into rest mode or not .

And if you turn the portal off without leaving the PS five or shutting it down properly , your PS five will remain on until it naturally goes into rest mode .

As for the heat or fan noise from this , it's safe to say there are no issues .

It does get warm to the touch , but nothing to be concerned with .

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And I've not heard any fan noises at all during the last few days .

But it's not like the portal is doing any of the heavy lifting with the processing , so that doesn't surprise me .

So something else I wanted to check out was the media tab on the PS five .

You know , things like Netflix , YouTube and the new Sony Core picture app .

Unfortunately from my testing , none of these will work as a PS five doesn't allow remote playing to another screen .

That means you couldn't use the portal for anything else other than games .

Hopefully , we will see an update in the future , as it would be great if you could use this for all of the media consumption , although it's probably not a deal breaker for most of us .

So over the last four days that I've been using it , I've already played for about 5 to 6 hours , and during that time I've charged it once during the setup and not again since it's still showing me a battery of one bar out of the three it starts off with .

So in theory , I'll maybe get another 2 to 3 hours before needing to charge it .

So with that in mind , I reckon this could probably do 6 to 8 hours , and that would be realistic .

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But it would be nice if we could change the battery symbol at the top into a percentage figure instead , At least then it would take the guessing out of when the next bar is gonna drop .

Now , as the portal is designed to connect your PS five , it doesn't really have its own dashboard as such .

When you turn it on , you're greeted with the PlayStation logo .

Then across the top , we've got the Wi Fi logo , remaining battery time and the settings button .

If you press that we have a quick menu , which shows us the options to disconnect or connect to a PS five , a PS five link headset button , which is how you link your wireless headset , the brightness and the airplay mode .

Then , in the Fuller Settings area , we have the network area to set up your Wi Fi connections .

See shows us the device information , how to update it and reset it .

We also have things like the language , settings , date and time and the power saving mode .

I have mine set to one minute so it will power itself off when it's not connected to a P SS five .

But other than that , that's it .

There's no android , OS or app , store or dashboard .

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And something else I wanted to mention was , If you happen to have two or more PS fives , what you can swap between them by bringing up the quick menu and then tapping the PS five button , this will then show you the other PS fives to connect to .

As for the speakers , well , it does have two upwards firing , which you can see on the top .

Now these sound absolutely fine for a handheld device , and if you're sitting in a quiet room , you'll have no issues hearing it .

But just for reference , here is a quick sound test to see what you think , But let's be honest .

You'll probably prefer to use these with a pair of headphones or earbuds .

Well , the good news is , you can use those , but the bad news is you'll likely be unable to use your existing headphones , and that's because it doesn't support Bluetooth .

It uses something called PlayStation Link , which currently only works with the upcoming pod Explore earbuds and the pulse elite headset .

So if you want to use those , you'll need to spend another 130 to £200 .

However , it does have a 3.5 mil headphone jack behind the screen so you could plug in a wired headset instead .

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That's what I've got here is I've got the Astro a tens that are wired into the back , so you might wonder how the PlayStation portal compares to something like the backbone .

One controller .

Well , this little accessory turns your phone into a mobile gaming device as it has these buttons and triggers to either side of your screen .

Then you just use the PS remote app to play your PS five games in the same way as you can today .

Yes , this is half the price of the portal , and you've always got your phone with you .

But to be honest , if you were considering something like the backbone one adapter , you would get far more enjoyment out of the portal .

It's got a bigger screen , far better controls , and it feels a lot nicer to hold .

Then there's comparing it to other consoles , like the Switch Logitech , G Cloud , ROG Ally and the Steam Deck .

I have put it alongside a few of these just to show you the size differences .

So , to be honest , they are not the same .

The portal is a remote play device just for the PS five , whereas the others are games consoles that can be used for far more than just one console .

Plus , they are a lot more expensive now .

The big question is , is it really worth buying .

Well , I think this needs to be split into two questions .

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Actually , one is .

Do you need one ?

And the other one ?

Is it worth £200 ?

Well , for the price , I think it is worth it .

I know a lot will say otherwise , but if you feel the backbone , one controller is worth £100 which is just an adapter for your phone .

This is definitely worth £100 more for a dedicated , larger screen and the dual sense capabilities .

Also , if they ever open up their portal to allow direct streaming from the cloud so you can play your games without the need to connect it to a PS five .

This will be a game changer .

As for the other question , do you need one ?

I guess that depends on if you see value in being able to play your PS five away from your TV .

I can see a lot of parents using this while their kids are occupying the TV or gamers who just want a break from their setup and maybe sit somewhere else in the house .

Personally , I think this is a great little device .

If you appreciate what it's designed for .

This isn't a handheld games console .

It's a PS five remote play device , and now all we need is a screen protector and a carry case , and we're good to go .

So tell me , would you use one of these portals or would you prefer to use something else ?

Now ?

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Drop a nice portal in the comments and I'll give you a thumbs up for staying right till the end .

And if you did enjoy today's video , check out my PS five versus Xbox Video next as it covers what these two both offer in 2023 and what sets them apart .

Thanks for watching please like sub and follow me everywhere until next time .


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