IGN gave Sony PlayStation Portal an 8-point rating

On November 14th, IGN editor Seth G. Macy released a review of Sony’s new handheld console, the PlayStation Portal, awarding it a commendable score of 8 out of 10. Macy opined that the PlayStation Portal offers a superior PS5 streaming experience compared to using a smartphone with a controller via PS Remote Play, PlayStation’s official streaming app.

Macy praised the PlayStation Portal’s screen for its vibrant colors and wide viewing angles, noting that it exhibits no motion blur or other distortions even during fast-moving scenes. He found the screen size more conducive to gaming compared to a smartphone or tablet. Furthermore, the integrated DualSense controller maintains all its functionalities, including the touchpad, which can be simulated through quick screen taps.

Additionally, Macy commended the PlayStation Portal for its lightweight design, weighing approximately 1.17 pounds (in contrast, an iPhone 13 Pro Max with a Backbone controller weighs about 0.96 pounds). This makes it convenient for players to adopt various comfortable positions during extended gaming sessions. The device also boasts impressive battery life; in tests with screen brightness at 100% and volume at 50%, the PlayStation Portal ran for approximately 4.5 hours. Macy noted that turning off controller vibration and reducing screen brightness could further extend battery life.

However, Macy identified some drawbacks. The most disappointing was the limitation of Bluetooth functionality, meaning the PlayStation Portal currently cannot connect to non-PlayStation Link Bluetooth headphones. Given that PlayStation Link headphones are not yet on sale and are expected to be expensive, and considering the handheld’s built-in speakers provide a less immersive audio experience compared to smartphones, this was a significant concern. Additionally, the lack of a web browser restricts the device from connecting to public Wi-Fi networks requiring web authentication, rendering it unusable in some airports, hotels, or libraries. Macy also noted the absence of media functionalities, such as the inability to use the device for streaming services like Netflix or YouTube.

In his conclusion, Macy expressed regret over the limitations of Bluetooth functionality and connectivity to public Wi-Fi. Despite these shortcomings, he deemed the PlayStation Portal the best streaming device for the PS5 currently available, stating that if not for these two issues, he would recommend it to every PS5 user who enjoys gaming on portable devices.