Playstation Portal Reviews and Discussion

https://x.com/VGC_News/status/1724064861754200409?s=20

Excuse me while I go out and get one.

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The sad part is, the specs and design aren’t bad for the price, but the feature that lacks consumer friendly (especially bluetooth device exclusive) and supposedly lagging held back. It makes it worse that it’s a niche product for a niche approach.

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https://x.com/vicious696/status/1724072866764001732?s=20

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It reminds me of their phone product. Got some impressive specs and features, but the cons make it a case of “one step forward, two step backward.”

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Just seems like a pointless waste of money

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Yes, I can’t even construct a scenario where this would be useful to me.

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The functionality is so limited, and it’s not even like it does an unbelievably excellent job at the one specific thing that it does… it does an okay job. I really feel like the audience for this is just big PlayStation fans who primarily want to collect PlayStation hardware. Like the people who enjoy collecting every controller color variant. :sweat_smile: No one’s actually buying this because of its functionality.

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I have some takes here that are going to be considered insane:

1) The portal would be a cool second screen controller Personally speaking the game dev in me loves the idea of controllers with screens in them as second screens for games. I know Microsoft tried something with Second Screen for the Xbox One, but I think the implementation would be better on the controller.

There is obvious benefits to games like Madden. But I think every single game could benefit. Just think of the implementation across the Xbox Game Studios games…

I play a lot of Forza Horizon, and it would be great to look down at the controller to see the map and choose my next destination. That works well with Grounded as well. The touch screen interface works perfectly for zooming in and out and selecting objectives.

Playing Starfield, it would be great to have the menu system on the second screen on the controller. Being able to load up the Star Map, inventory, or select my next mission quickly.

Playing Halo Infinite, having it to see the player scoreboard and easily mute players would be great. Ping and framerate information can be taken off my TV and put onto this. Infinite is getting to the point where there is too much functionality for the amount of buttons you have. So having some touch screen buttons on the right side of the screen where your thumb can easily find it would help. That’s where I would map ‘mark player’ or ‘change grenade type’.

Having a portion of the screen (like the left ¼ cut vertically ) dedicated to OS would be great too. Capturing screenshots, recording gameplay, Twitch stream controls, etc.

Local multiplayer games could have each controller labeled so people know what player they are. Battery life can always be displayed. Achievements can pop up there instead of the screen if people like.

So I personally look at the Portal as a cool looking device that could be a second screen controller. It’s got the form factor that you want for a console controller.

Of course, $199 USD would be too much for a second screen controller. The size of the screen would be a bit large, too. Having a smaller 4:3 screen in the middle would make more sense to me so that the controller is not as wide.

2) I love wide controllers because it’s better for posture The GameCube had a controller with a keyboard in the middle of it. As you can imagine they were pretty wide.

When we hold controllers our shoulders are shrugged in which shrinks the muscles in our pecs over time. A wider controller would allow you to sit with your back straight with your core tightened and your shoulders in their proper position. You can actually do this yourself by using two Xbox controllers when you play your games using the co-pilot feature. The problem is because the controllers aren’t fixed to each other it’s hard to play well (someone needs to 3D print a cradle to hold them both together).

The Portal is a wider controller and it looks like it would work well in this regard.

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Insane was a good description, lol.

I would hate to have to look at the controller, blergh.

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What if it was on your arm like a PipBoy ?

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The only device where 2 screens really worked was the Nintendo DS.

I had a WiiU and there was not a single good idea on this console with the second screen. I would even go further, a second screen in your lap is just a really bad idea. Refocusing your eyes every couple seconds or minutes gave me a headache.

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Nah, focus is on the main screen always. I’m an immersive gamer and constantly looking away from the screen sounds like a horrible idea in that aspect as well.

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I always really enjoy your posts, because they tend to present a different and thoughtful, interesting perspective from mine. I would never think of the ergonomic advantage to this/wider controllers, but it makes a lot of sense.

I guess a controller being wider would likely make it heavier most likely, and it might be more difficult for people with smaller hands to comfortably access everything (my partner had to be cajoled into trying the Series controller because every previous iteration was too uncomfortable for his teeny hands)

I agree with your other point in principle, but in practice I’m not sure how beneficial that would actually be. Personally, I don’t think I ever look at my controller when I’m playing. I would love a way to have useful information available at a glance but actually moving my neck to look down at my lap/knees or moving my controller up to eye level feels like it might be too much of an interruption.

The ideal version would be some sort of AR thing I suppose, where you could see information displayed around the television, but that probably wouldn’t work well for monitors and it’s very much a pipe dream.

At the end of the day, I think the closest we’ve ever gotten to this concept is the Wii U and… I don’t know that too many people are willing to revisit the ideas that system offered. I think I remember there was a patent for a controller that had a screen in it a year or so ago? That might be a good middle ground.

I’m not sure about this - you would know better than me - would that be “free” in terms of memory or what-have-you? I’m sure that basic things information relay can be implemented in such a way that minimizes performance effect (maybe especially if there’s something OS-level to facilitate that?) but even if so, that’s still predicated on devs being willing to put in the time to craft that.

I realize that I started out by complimenting your post and then crapping all over it, sorry :sweat_smile:

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An interesting thing I’ve seen in comments on reviews has been people saying “I have the Portal preordered, so I tried some Remote Play on my phone to get a preview of how it will work in my home.” Which kind of gets at the whole issue of how this device solves an already solved problem.

If you’re someone who uses Remote Play frequently already, maybe on your phone, and you like the idea of “graduating” to a more convenient, dedicated device… all right, I can see how that makes sense.

But if you’re someone who’s apparently never felt the need to use Remote Play in your home before now, when great solutions have already existed for years… what’s going to change after you’ve spent $200 on this new device? :sweat_smile:

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For many of us, this is the most recent example of “is everyone else crazy?!” I can recall. Every review I’ve read makes comparisons to the Steam Deck or ROG, and yet none of them grasp the fact that none of those other devices require another to function. The necessity of a local PS5 on and running, made this one of the most asinine products - for wide market, growth, etc. - I have seen Sony make in years; I’m not saying it doesn’t have use for those that already have a PS5, but it’s useless for anyone else and therefore in a league-of-incompatibility all its own. Then you run into the fact that because it’s just a streaming device, your experience is going to be wholly beholden on your local network (again, this is NOT the case for any of those aforementioned devices, as they are their own host).

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We had two generations of two screen devices/apps, and developers repeatedly refused or were unable to capitalize on them - the best was Nintendo with the DS/3DS, but even that had a mountain of titles that barely used the second screen for more than a map. The other problem with that is the sync bandwidth between the device and the PS5 - if it can barely sustain consistent performance just streaming the game, do you really want to add additional cycles to send to the device and back? Seems like something that would strain the device more than it already is based on actual feedback.

Or just get a backbone or similiar addons.

The “style” of this device has me fearing the controllers will just snap off and then you’re left with broken pieces.

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The coverage of this device since it was announced has been incredibly bizarre to me. It’s almost like everyone is scared to point out what it really is. What’s worse is that so many headlines I’ve read make this seem to be a new PSP or Vita which it is clearly not.

I know we all talk about the obvious bias that exists in the games media, but I get the feeling that sites and “games journalists” are actually afraid of Sony, and worse, afraid of their incredibly toxic fanbase. Even Paris seems to be tiptoeing on eggshells to not make the device sound bad.

The whole situation feels off to me.

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As someone just recent got a Sony Xperia 1 Mark V I think there isn’t a better phone on the market, that has a headphone port and a camera that slaps. The screen is to die for.

Ironically the first thing I installed was the Xbox apps. :sweat_smile:

Sorry, on topic, my phone already does all the features that this does. Haha. With a better screen!

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Why is this a thing? Only streaming locally is pretty stupid and pointless

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