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Sony’s PlayStation Portal gives a confusing first impression

The PlayStation Portal resting on a glass coffee table.
The Portal boots up and prompts you to connect to your PlayStation 5. Beyond that, there’s not much going on.

Sony’s new PlayStation Portal that launches November 15th is a $199.99 device that does just one thing: it streams games via Wi-Fi off of your home PlayStation 5, requiring that you already own Sony’s pricey console.

It doesn’t do any kind of cloud streaming like Nvidia’s Geforce Now or Sony’s own PlayStation Plus Premium subscription, and it can’t run anything locally (not even YouTube or Netflix). The Portal is purpose-built to use a singular feature Sony first debuted with the PS3 and PSP back in 2006 that’s also widely available on other devices you may already own, making me wonder: why does this exist? After spending a couple of days with it, I’m still not sure.

The Portal hardware is essentially what you’d get after sticking an…

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