When it comes to handheld gaming, the expectations for the PlayStation Portal were not soaring high. The desire to enjoy games like Yakuza and Spider-Man 2 from the comfort of bed without splurging on a Steam Deck led me to explore Sony’s latest creation. In this review, we delve into the intricacies of the PlayStation Portal, examining its features, performance, and overall gaming experience.

PlayStation Portal

Design and Functionality:

The PlayStation Portal, albeit an accessory to the PS5, closely mirrors the PS5 experience. Designed for at-home, second-screen gaming, it successfully caters to those seeking a familiar gaming feel without the need for an entirely new platform. Priced at a relatively affordable $199, the Portal’s wireless connectivity enhances its appeal, despite some limitations.

Setup Process:

Setting up the Portal is straightforward in theory, involving connecting to your home Wi-Fi, toggling PS5 settings, and being ready to play. However, in practice, anticipate a software update and some account logins, which might extend the initial setup time. A heads-up: plan for around 30 minutes of loading-bar activity upon unboxing.

Gaming Experience:

During several days of testing, the Portal showcased a seamless gaming experience with minimal connection hitches. Switching between visually demanding games such as Spider-Man 2 and The Last of Us Part I proved smooth, with no discernable lag. The 8-inch, 1080p LED screen delivered vibrant colors, although it does have a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints and glare in brighter lighting conditions.

Controls and Handling:

The Portal’s controls, with handles slightly shorter than the standard DualSense, may take some adjustment. The touchscreen, serving as the DualSense’s touchpad equivalent, adds versatility but needs refinement in functionality. Navigating menus and controls, particularly in games like Spider-Man 2, can be a bit fiddly, but not a dealbreaker.

Battery Life:

Impressively, the Portal offers about six hours of gameplay on a single charge, making it a reliable option for extended gaming sessions without constantly worrying about battery life.


In conclusion, the PlayStation Portal stands out as a commendable sub-$200 gift option for gamers seeking a convenient second-screen experience. Despite some quirks in the touchpad functionality and setup process, the Portal delivers a solid performance, making it a valuable addition to the gaming ecosystem.

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