PlayStation Portal could offer cloud gaming one day — but not for a while

PlayStation Portal being tested.
(Image credit: Future)

The PlayStation Portal was announced as a device for remotely playing games from your PS5 console — no matter where you might be. But a question on a lot of peoples’ minds is why there’s no cloud gaming functionality, especially with PlayStation Plus’s recent push back into that area. Well apparently it is possible, Sony just hasn’t added that feature yet.

Hideaki Nishino, SVP of platform experience at PlayStation, told AV Watch that the PlayStation Portal is theoretically capable of streaming from the cloud. After all,  Nishino confirmed that the only major difference between remote and cloud streaming is that Sony owns the machine your game is running on.

Being too patient?

Rather than rushing that feature out for the Portal, Sony is apparently just biding its time. Specifically Nishino claims that Sony is cautious about adding cloud gaming to the Portal, and it still needs to ensure that Portal users would get an unproblematic gameplay experience. 

That means having the same kind of experience as gaming from a physical PS5 console in your home. Nishino added that Sony wants to make sure the whole system is stable enough to support the addition of handheld cloud streaming before deciding on whether it will be available to consumers.

Otherwise he fears that gamers may dismiss cloud gaming and never give it another chance. Which is a fair assessment. Gamers can often be very stubborn with these sorts of decisions. Plus if you’re paying $200 for a dedicated handheld, and $18 a month to access cloud gaming, it’s not unreasonable to expect everything to run smoothly.

Half-baked results

It’s disappointing that the PlayStation Portal can’t link to the cloud from day one, though we can kind of understand Sony’s logic. Then again it makes me wonder whether the handheld should have been delayed until the company was confident it could offer both. Especially since it isn’t possible to stream PS5 games to some other kind of mobile device.

But hey, it could happen one day. And if you want to pick up a PlayStation portal in anticipation of that, or simply because you want to stream games to a device that isn’t your smartphone or tablet, then be sure to check out our guide on where the buy the PlayStation Portal — and which retailers actually have the device in stock.

Then again, based on our own time with the PlayStation Portal, you may want to hold back a bit. The handheld has some problems, and the imposed limitations may put you off picking it up. Check out our PlayStation Portal review for more details on that.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.