The upcoming PlayStation Portal handheld device will officially launch worldwide on 15 November 2023 – but as recently announced by Sony, just a handful of regions will be included in the first wave drop. Only the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Portugal will see stock arriving from this date, with other regions currently in limbo.
Those in Canada and Japan will soon be able to preorder the device, but for everyone else, there’ll be a wait for more news. Notably, the local Australian and New Zealand markets have not been included in recent PlayStation Portal announcements, which suggests the device may be delayed in these regions.
In the past, streaming-focussed devices and services have largely avoided the Australian market, due to historic poor access to strong internet speeds. Services like Amazon Luna and Google Stadia – and their associated devices – never launched in the country. Notably, the PlayStation Plus subscription tier offering PlayStation 3 games as cloud streaming titles also never arrived in Australia, instead being replaced by a cheaper tier.
While exact ranking differs, Australia is frequently ranked in the 60s and 70s for the countries with the worst internet speeds, with this likely playing a factor in a lack of available cloud streaming services and devices.
The PlayStation Portal doesn’t require an outgoing internet connection like cloud streaming services, but it does require a fairly strong local network to function well – a wi-fi network speed of at least 5Mbps, and 15Mbps is recommended. But the general quality of home network devices may have played a factor in the country missing out on the first wave of the handheld at launch.
Sony has promised additional availability for the device will be revealed in future, but has yet to confirm details of the Portal’s local launch in the Australian and New Zealand markets. For now, keen players in other global regions can look forward to the device’s launch on 15 November 2023. For everyone else, stay tuned for more news.