PlayStation Portal makes battery replacement unnecessarily complicated. (Image: Jacob R, YouTube)
PlayStation Portal makes battery replacement unnecessarily complicated. (Image: Jacob R, YouTube)

The PlayStation Portal is a somewhat peculiar gaming handheld that only works in conjunction with a PlayStation 5. A teardown now makes clear that the device hardly has enough power for games other than streaming. The case without screws looks stylish, but makes repairs difficult.

The PlayStation Portal has been available via PlayStation Direct since mid-November. At a price of US$199.99, the gaming handheld is roughly the same price as the Nintendo Switch Lite (available in blue, yellow and gray via Amazon). Although PlayStation Portal offers a larger 8-inch 1,080p display and a full-fledged, integrated DualSense controller, it can only stream games from a paired PlayStation 5.

Jacob R’s teardown video (embedded below) shows the inner workings of the handheld. Since no screws are visible from the outside, the triggers and the black plastic strips attached with clips on the front have to be detached before the back can be removed. The analog sticks can then be swapped by loosening a few screws. However, all other repairs are extremely difficult – even a simple replacement of the 16.6 Wh battery requires removing the display, which is glued into the casing, while the battery itself is also glued.

The battery takes up most of the available space; the gaming handheld’s mainboard is comparatively small. As recently revealed, Sony has installed a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, an 11 nm mid-range chip from 2019, which has four ARM Cortex-A73 performance cores with clock speeds of up to 2.0 GHz, four Cortex-A53 efficiency cores at 1 .8 GHz and an Adreno 610 graphics chip. This means that the PlayStation Portal barely achieves the performance of a cheap mid-range smartphone, which might explain why the device is exclusively limited to game streaming.

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