One month with the PlayStation Portal – Great for couples, perhaps not your overnight bag

There's a lot of bonuses to the PlayStation Portal (especially on TV nights).
PlayStation Portal

In my apartment, space is not exactly in bountiful supply. There’s enough room for essentials, of course, but between squeezing desks into corridors and bookshelves into back corners, it goes without saying that there’s really only enough room for one TV. Cosy as that may be, it creates a very niche issue.

When you’re living with a partner, the process of deciding who gets the TV each night – and for how long – can be one of the most frequent conversations you have. It’s one TV to rule them all, one TV to bind them (and divide them). Introducing the PlayStation Portal to this mix, however, has made a world of difference.

Up until this past month, if my partner and I both wanted to game on console, there’d be a (diplomatic) war for the couch. The winner would get to sit comfortably, enjoying the spoils of the TV, surround sound and footrest. The loser would sequester themselves at a desk in the corridor, stuck with the nightmare of moving consoles around, swapping stations and re-organising cables.

Now, I can comfortably make use of my PlayStation library from the couch while my partner uses the TV (and vice-versa on days when my beloved ice-hockey team is playing). It’s been a huge time-saver when I’m inundated with games to review – which is more often than not.

The PlayStation Portal isn’t perfect, and there have been a couple of hiccups along the road, but this system has made a tangible difference to the overall household vibe.

Read on for my full review of the PlayStation Portal.


Product NamePlayStation Portal
Release Date2 February, 2024
RRP ($)$329.95 AUD
IncludesPlayStation PortalTM Remote Player
USB Cable
PortsUSB-C 3.5mm audio jack PlayStation Link wireless technology

Read: PlayStation Portal – Review Roundup

Battery life

Leave your Dual Sense doubts at the door, because the PlayStation Portal has a surprisingly long-lasting battery life considering its screen, sound and size. Admittedly, the bulk of my time was spent at home where I had access to a charger if required, but on the occasions I did venture out, it was more than enough to get by.

On average, I could swing somewhere between five or six hours of use time (with the screen brightness at about 60%) before really needing to charge, which is more than enough for most use cases. Of course, if your settings are at 100% brightness and you’re really giving it a smash, it won’t hold to that.

When I had all settings at maximum, the battery was closer to the lower end of the three-to-four hour mark – though again, it really didn’t matter too much, given you’re restricted to playing wherever there’s decent Wi-Fi, and that generally means you’ll have a plug nearby.

I gave the Portal a full-on whirl while I was reviewing Ubisoft Singapore’s Skull and Bones recently, with maximum brightness and sound to amplify my experience. While it did significantly trim down the battery life – to be expected while playing an always-online game of that scale, on such high settings – the battery held up reasonably well, considering.

PlayStation Portal
Image: GamesHub


Perhaps the most important factor, and where the PlayStation Portal slips through the cracks a bit for me, is the ease and efficiency of its connection. While latency was negligible when connected – truly, I barely noticed even while playing online – it was the process of getting to that point that made it frustrating.

Over the course of the month, I tested the PlayStation Portal at home, at a friend’s house, at a public library, and even gave it a crack at my local shopping centre. I was tempted to bring it with me on an interstate work trip, but a lack of carry-on luggage space nixed that idea, so the farthest from home I tested was an hour or so.

The device connected seamlessly at home. No dramas, no frills, no issues. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well it worked while at my local library (which I’ll admit, has spectacular Wi-Fi).

Most of the issues only arose when I was visiting friends, or generally out and about, and when it came down to it, consistency was key. Could it connect? Absolutely! I had an absolute blast using it while at the library! But could I always rely on that? Not always.

Occasionally, the Portal would get stuck on the Profile selection screen, as it connects to one specific Profile and exclusively mirrors what it displays. Navigating this required someone on the ground at home to select the correct Profile, and sure enough, the Portal would log in effectively soon after.

This was an easy enough fix for me, but if you’re looking to travel with the Portal and nobody is home to select the correct profile, I’d imagine you’d encounter some frustration.

All in all, if I had to estimate, I’d say the Portal connected easily about 85% of the time, which is good but not great. Inside the home, I had no complaints. Outside, however, it was inconsistent enough that I wouldn’t bank on using it as a primary device while venturing into the world.


As far as design, the PlayStation Portal is an aesthetic blend of “sleek luxe” meeting “endearingly goofy”. The elongated nature of the device did elicit a chortle from me when I first laid eyes on it (to put it simply: she’s long), but the screen size, colours and overall appearance got me over the line.

The display is crisp, and the size of the screen makes it really satisfying to play on, especially given that you can play in the full ratio without worrying about bars, or the not-quite-right fit when you’re using your phone.

While not OLED, the display is crisp and clean – I really can’t fault how good it looked on maximum brightness. The colours were fantastic (though admittedly a little less striking if viewed on an angle) and the size made for comfortable viewing – especially for someone who needs glasses to game on smaller screens.

PlayStation Portal
Image: GamesHub

The only gripe I had was the angle of the screen. As someone who often experiences significant joint inflammation because of an autoimmune condition, I found it difficult to play for long stretches. If I’m playing with a regular controller, I typically allow my hands to rest, taking pressure off my wrists while I look straight ahead at the TV or screen – and I can rotate my hands forwards or backwards if the need arises.

With the Portal, the angle that the screen sits made it more difficult for me to sit comfortably and still have a proper view. As a result, I found that more often than not I would have to rely on lying on my stomach, resting my wrists on pillows to be able to play for longer than an hour or so.

For most people this will likely not impinge on their enjoyment of the device – and perhaps expecting to play comfortably for the extended time that I played isn’t completely realistic – but it can certainly be frustrating.

An unexpected bonus

In my house, we reject the brightness of ‘Big TV’ – and so we will never have a television in the bedroom. “There wouldn’t be space anyway,” I hear you say? Look, you’re not wrong, but you don’t have to be so loud.

On the one hand, not having a TV in the bedroom creates a warm, dimly-lit environment where you can unwind and settle in for bed – perhaps scrolling on your phone, reading a chapter of a book. On the other hand, sometimes a girl just wants to keep smashing out games on her PlayStation.

When bigger game releases line up with each other, hitting review deadlines can occasionally necessitate smashing through a whole lot of content in a relatively short amount of time. When I review on PlayStation 5, that can mean staying up late in the living room, instead of winding down.

The PlayStation Portal allowed me to finish up any final quests from the comfort of my bed – and while it might not be doing wonders for my sleep quality, it’s definitely made a world of difference with how late I stay up.

Final thoughts

It’s certainly been an interesting month, using the PlayStation Portal as my primary means of play. I’ve been incredibly pleased with how well it slots into my day-to-day routine, and while there are certainly areas where it slipped for me, the overall impression I have is positive.

If you’re looking for a sleek, crisp approach to Remote Play that feels like a tangible step up from your phone, it’s a great option.

Four stars: ★★★★

PlayStation Portal
Release Year: 2024
Price: $329.95 AUD

A PlayStation Portal was provided by PlayStation AU for the purposes of this review. GamesHub has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small percentage of commission for products purchased via affiliate links.

Steph Panecasio is the Managing Editor of GamesHub. An award-winning culture and games journalist with an interest in all things spooky, she knows a lot about death but not enough about keeping her plants alive. Find her on all platforms as @StephPanecasio for ramblings about Lord of the Rings and her current WIP novel.