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PlayStation Portal: price, release date and specs for the PS5 handheld
The PlayStation Portal from Sony will launch before Black Friday and costs $199
The PlayStation Portal release date, price and most of its specs have finally been confirmed after months of calling it the Sony Project Q. This is the PS5 handheld that’s designed to be a PlayStation remote player and I instantly bought the new PlayStation Portal for its “second screen” capabilities.
But before you get too excited about the possibility of playing your favorite PS5 games outside of the home, it’s important to clarify what this “PSP” actually is. The PlayStation Portal lets you stream PS5 games at up to 1080/60fps via Remote Play using a reliable WiFi connection (we’ll explain what that means).
You’ll need to be connected to “your home WiFi network,” according to Sony’s official PlayStation Portal description. However, its fine print does suggest that it can work on reliable WiFi outside of your home – it just doesn’t promote this at the top because it sounds like it needs a strong connection (5Mbps minimum, and 15Mbps recommended) for any sort of quality gaming.
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It’ll work seamlessly with the new PlayStation Earbuds for PS5 and PS5 Pulse Elite wireless headset, too, and includes adaptive triggers and haptic feedback for games that support it. All of the best PS5 games include support for the DualSense’s unique features, as you might expect.
Games will be beamed to the vibrant 8-inch, LCD screen, but sadly games that are streamed through PlayStation Plus Premium’s upcoming cloud streaming service are not supported. Still interested? The PlayStation Portal price is $199, which is thankfully a lot less than the rumored $299 that was first predicted by Microsoft.
The PlayStation Portal release date is November 15, 2023, according to the Sony PlayStation Direct website when it launched pre-orders. Sony didn’t announce this release date with any fanfare, it just appeared and is currently limited to one PlayStation Portal per customer due to limited demand.
For the PS5 Earbuds and Pulse Elite headset, we’re expecting it to launch mid-to-late November. That’s the official release date Sony gave for both the PlayStation Portal and these accessories, so with the surprise pre-orders of the PSP, we may see orders for the two types of wireless headphones open up very soon.
Remember: the PlayStation Portal remote player is a handheld gaming device that requires WiFi for Remote Play and a PlayStation 5 console – PS5 Digital or PS5 Disc. Although we haven’t written a PlayStation Portal review (though do expect one in the future), we can already tell you it’s not for everyone.
Right now, Sony’s PlayStation Portal won’t play games natively like the PlayStation Portable or PS Vita handheld consoles of the past. Instead, the late 2023-bound PlayStation Portal taps into Sony’s streaming service instead.
PlayStation Portal price
The PlayStation Portal price is $199, which is thankfully at the bottom end of our initial prediction. Sony officially announced how much the PlayStation Portal handheld – previously known as Project Q – would cost during Gamescom 2023.
The PlayStation Portal will be more expensive than buying a $100 PlayStation Edition Backbone One controller attachment for iOS devices – or the Android BackBone One that just launched in May 2023. However, you’ll miss out on the DualSense features that many PS5 games provide, which can enhance the overall experience.
Because the PlayStation Portal remote player doesn’t play games natively and relies on Sony’s Remote Play feature, it doesn’t have to be as robust or pricey as something like the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally. It’s more akin to the Razer Edge without the ability to work over a 5G connection. That’s good news for undercutting the competition, but bad news for anyone who wants to play PS5 games on the go outside of a reliable WiFi connection.
PlayStation Portal specs
There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the PlayStation Portal specs. But we know it has an 8-inch LCD HD touchscreen, can stream games at up to 60fps (frames per second) and 1080p resolution, and has all of the buttons and features of the PS5 DualSense wireless controller. You’ll be able to stream compatible games from your PS5 console using Remote Play over WiFi.
📺 Display: 8-inch HD LCD screen
⏩ Frame rate: 60fps
🗓️ Release: November 15, 2023
💰 Price: $199
🎮 Controller layout: DualSense
🎧 Audio: 3.5mm audio output/input
📶 Connections: PS5 and WiFi for Remote Play required
There’s a lot we don’t know about the PS5 handheld, including the chipset behind this handheld and the PlayStation Portal battery life. All of this matters and so do the WiFi specs that were only briefly touched on by President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan.
According to a post on the PlayStation Blog, it’s recommended to connect the PlayStation Portal to the same WiFi as your PS5, which means it isn’t really designed for use outside your home. Your experience will also vary greatly depending on the strength of your WiFi connection and it’s recommended your PS5 is wired to your router. You’ll be able to stream games from a PS5 via WiFi, and your console will have to be in Rest Mode so it can be activated remotely. While this provides a pseudo-portable PS5 experience, it isn’t the same as playing on something like a Nintendo Switch OLED.
Games will need to be installed on the PS5 console to get them to work on PlayStation Portal via Remote Play, according to Sony’s fine print, and PSVR 2 games won’t work on the handheld (for obvious reasons) nor will PlayStation Premium games streamed from the cloud. The good news is all of your PS Plus free games should work, and come cheap if you grab our PlayStation Plus discount code.
So far, Sony is labeling the PlayStation Portal as a PS5 accessory along with new PS5 wireless earbuds, so this may not be the PlayStation Portable 2023 you’ve been waiting for. It’s one of four major PS5 hardware additions this year, joining the already released PSVR 2 headset and PS5 DualSense Edge controller.
PlayStation Portal release date
The PlayStation Portal release date is November 15, 2023 just before Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November. For reference, the Black Friday date is November 24, 2023. And, sure enough, Insider Gaming, the original source for “Project Q Lite” rumored months in advance of Sony’s announcement, predicts that the PlayStation Portal release date will happen in mid-to-late November.
Sony doesn’t want to launch too early before production of the PlayStation Portal handheld can meet the demand – it doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of the PS5 restock saga. But it’s also going to want to give PS5 gamers a reason to buy a new device in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas 2023.
PlayStation Portal pre-order date
You can currently pre-order PlayStation Portal from Sony’s official PlayStation Direct store. This is earlier than anticipated, especially because both the PS5 Disc and Digital pre-orders happened just two months before the console was released and the PSVR 2 pre-order launched only three months in advance.
So far the only place to pre-order the PlayStation Portal is through the official PlayStation Store – everything from PS5 plates to the PS5 DualSense Edge to the PSVR 2 got the same treatment before GameStop, Walmart, Amazon, Target and Best Buy. It’s a power move, but it also stunts hardware Sony’s sales.
Project Q name
Sony kept us waiting, but it’s finally given us an official name for its Project Q handheld: the PlayStation Portal remote player. That’s quite a mouthful, but it neatly explains what this PS5 handheld actually does.
Calling it something like the “PS5 handheld” would have been dishonest, as this is a device that is very much tethered to your PlayStation 5 at home. Again, it’s important to stress that the PlayStation Portal is a device for streaming your PS5 games via Remote Play on your home WiFi network.
PlayStation Portal leaks
Photos and a video of the PlayStation Portal previously leaked online. You can see a teardown of the device and evidence that the screen in the center is essentially an Android tablet.
Last updated: September 1, 2023