Sony’s PlayStation Portal handheld is back in stock at multiple retailers

The Portal isn’t the Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck killer some thought it might be, but it remains a handy tool for gamers who can’t play on their primary TV or just want the ability to enjoy games throughout their home. If you’re not already caught up on what it is, it’s essentially an eight-inch 1080p LCD display that’s sandwiched between two halves of a standard DualSense controller, meaning it features adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and all the perks of Sony’s latest gamepad. Its main (and only) purpose is to stream games via Remote Play, which requires a PS5 and reliable Wi-Fi network.

We love what the Portal enables, but some curious technical choices can get in the way of your fun. For example, since wireless audio relies on Sony’s proprietary Link protocol, you can only use the Pulse Explore earbuds and Pulse Elite headset with it (sorry, no Bluetooth earbuds allowed). Thankfully, it has a 3.5mm audio jack for using a pair of wired headphones, assuming you still have a pair lying around.

Additionally, you may run into trouble if your network performance isn’t strong. The latency can make the experience utterly unenjoyable, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend trying multiplayer games or fighting titles where precision is paramount. We’ve found it much better when the console is connected via ethernet, however, which is almost mandatory for stable gameplay outside the home. We’re hoping Sony can eventually improve on these pain points with future software updates, but even with the aforementioned caveats, the Portal remains the best all-in-one solution for streaming games via Remote Play.

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