Sony’s new PlayStation Portal is the latest handheld on the block, but unlike the versatile Nintendo Switch, it offers a singular purpose. How do the Portal and Switch compare, if at all?
So, let’s get the elephant out of the room immediately. These devices might be handheld machines designed for gaming, but that’s about it.
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The Nintendo Switch is a standalone gaming machine that can used to be play physical and digital games independently. PlayStation Portal is pretty useless without the PS5 console. It’s sole use (right now, it wouldn’t surprise me if this changed) is to facilitate Remote Play, which is streamed games from the PS5 console itself.
So, now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at those similarities…
PlayStation Portal vs Nintendo Switch display
Sony has oped for a large 8-inch LCD panel with a 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. There is no OLED technology here to enhance brightness, contrast and colour accuracy, which might be disappointing to some, but is reflective of the £199.99/$199.99/€219.99 price point.
Nintendo does offer an OLED version of the Switch, which is slightly smaller at 7-inches. That display is only 720p though, as it is with all Switch models (the original and Switch Lite).
PlayStation Portal vs Nintendo Switch controls
The Portal has a controller designed to replicate the DualSense PS5 controller. Imagine it cut in half and with a screen stuck in the middle and you’ve got the essence of the entire product. They aren’t detachable like the Switch (with the exception of the Lite version).
Nintendo offers the Joy-Con solution which can be used together or apart, with motion controls (a la the Wii) or split between two people for Mario Kart sessions et al.
PlayStation Portal vs Nintendo Switch functionality
So, the PlayStation Portal doesn’t compare to the Switch’s functionality. You can’t play games independently, you can’t download games for it, you can’t hook it up to a TV to play games. It doesn’t have powerful internals that power gaming experiences. Instead it relies solely on Wi-Fi to bring gaming experiences from the PS5 console to the PlayStation Portal.
Indeed, when you think the Switch Lite has a similar display to the Portal, can play games in its own right and offers much more for the same price, it offers far greater value for money. But as an accessory for PS5 gamers who don’t always have access to the main TV in the house, Portal could be very useful.