Despite being predominantly known for its home consoles, PlayStation has a sizable history with handheld consoles. Sony first entered the foray of portable devices with the PlayStation Portable in 2004 and would follow up with a second portable console in 2011 with the PlayStation Vita. After the PS Vita failed to attract much attention and revenue, gamers thought portable PlayStation consoles were a thing of the past — until now, with the reveal of the PlayStation Portal.

PSP 2.0?

In May of this year, PlayStation announced its first portable console in over a decade, known at the time as Project Q. After months of anticipation, we now have a few questions answered. Project Q, now known as the PlayStation Portal, is a new Remote Play dedicated device for gamers who already own a PS5 console; allowing gamers to play PS5 titles on a smaller 8-inch LCD with all the features of the DualSense controller. It’s locked to WiFi, so gamers can use the Portal outside of their home, but they’ll need to be connected to a WiFi signal.

PlayStation Portal

It’s worth noting that, unlike the PSP or PS Vita before it, this device is more of a companion piece than just a straightforward portable console. Additionally, games downloaded through PS+ Premium cannot be streamed on the Portal. Promising a vibrant display with an 8-inch LCD screen, the Portal is capable of 1080p resolution running at 60fps. As we predicted for Project Q, the PlayStation Portal will be sold at $200, with pre-order details to be announced at a later date.

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Pulse Explore, Pulse Elite to Enhance PlayStation Portal Experience

Pulse Explore

The PlayStation Pulse Elite and Pulse Explore are the latest PlayStation wireless headsets and earbuds bringing a next-level experience to PlayStation gamers. According to PlayStation Blog: “Pulse Explore is PlayStation’s first set of wireless earbuds, providing a premium portable audio experience with dual microphones and AI-enhanced noise rejection capable of filtering background sounds. It also offers lossless audio and comes with a charging case. Priced at 199.99 USD.”

Pulse Elite with charging stand

Pulse Elite is their new wireless headset, also offering lossless audio and AI-enhanced noise rejection capable of filtering background sounds, and coming with a retractable boom mic. A charging hanger is also included with the product. It’s priced at 149.99 USD.

With these new devices, PlayStation also announced a new audio technology called PlayStation Link. PlayStation Link delivers low latency, lossless audio, and easy switching from PS5 to PS Portal; and it’ll be compatible with not only PlayStation devices but PC and Mac, too. However, when using Pulse Elite or Explore, users will need the USB adapter included with each device to use PlayStation Link.

The Pulse Elite/Explore are essentially companion pieces to the Portal. It’s also likely that this technology will be implemented in the heavily rumored PS5 Slim, and will be integrated into the current PS5 in an update. Pre-orders and release dates for the PlayStation Portal, Pulse Elite, and Pulse Explore will be announced at a later date.

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Final Thoughts

PlayStation dipping their toes back into the portable console field is a welcome surprise. I, for one, am nearly sold on it. It has a fantastic price point and the inclusion of the new tech behind PlayStation Link is pretty interesting. I’m very curious to see how well it performs on WiFi when you’re not at home since just turning on the Portal also turns your PS5 on. I think that if the Portal succeeds and sells well, we’ll see PlayStation release a truly portable console, not just a companion piece, for the first time since the Vita.

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