PlayStation Portal has an ugly secret that makes it an even harder sell
Sony's pseudo PS5 handheld comes with another weird quirk
Sony’s PlayStation Portal – previously known as Project Q – has officially been revealed at long last. But some of the details that have come to light make the PS5 handheld designed for Remote Play even less appealing than some may already believe it to be. And it’s not the fact that the PlayStation Portal restock dates have been few and far between.
Here’s one detail that isn’t immediately obvious: the PlayStation Portal doesn’t support Bluetooth in any capacity. It does include a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing you to use a wired headset when playing the best PS5 games on Sony’s new handheld, but Bluetooth headphones and earbuds are strictly off the table.
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You won’t be able to use your new pair of Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds or Apple AirPods Pro. Instead, you have two choices: buy the PS5 Pulse Elite wireless headset or the PlayStation Earbuds, now known as the Pulse Explore wireless earbuds.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: PlayStation Portal problem
🤦♂️ The PlayStation Portal, previously Project Q, has another quirk for users to deal with
🙃 The portable only supports two headsets for wireless audio as it doesn’t have Bluetooth
🤷♂️ You’ll need to buy the new Pulse Elite or PlayStation Earbuds
💰 These headsets cost $129 and $199, respectively
You can only use these two headsets because they use PlayStation Link, Sony’s new wireless audio technology. This allows the Pulse Elite and PlayStation Earbuds to connect directly to the PlayStation Portal to deliver low latency, lossless audio, and easy switching between multiple PlayStation Link hosts such as PS5 (with a USB adapter) and your PlayStation Portal.
The PlayStation Portal price is $199, but you’ll need to spend an additional $129 for the Pulse Elite or $199 for the Pulse Explore (PlayStation earbuds) to experience wireless audio, which is ridiculous.
The PlayStation Portal was already a hard sell as it’s a portable designed to play PS5 games via Remote Play. It can’t play games natively, and games streamed via the cloud will also not work.
You’re also limited to playing games on the same Wi-Fi network as your PS5, which must be left in Rest Mode if you want to turn it on remotely. The main benefit of the PlayStation Portal, which will appeal to some, is that you can continue playing games if the TV is preoccupied or you’d like to move to another room in your house.
However, the quality won’t be the same as something that can play games natively. Remote Play is capped at 1080p/60fps – and in my experience – the quality can vary greatly depending on the strength of your internet connection.
We’re still waiting for a release date for the PlayStation Portal, but it’s due out towards the end of this year. I already said that you shouldn’t buy the Sony PS5 handheld, and now that we have more information, I haven’t changed my mind.
Still, we’ll deliver our honest verdict when we get the handheld in for review. Hopefully, it will exceed our expectations.