I admit that the announcement of PlayStation Portal was an interesting topic for me. After all, I’ve long been a fan of portable consoles — or, to be closer to the truth, the convenience of being able to move between a TV and smaller equipment. Regardless of whether it’s playing with cables in the case of PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita, or docking your Switch.
I love having that choice – especially with a wife who also relaxes with her toys. It makes everything easier. And let’s face it – no one wants to use “that crappy TV”. Switching to portable mode is more convenient, and perhaps quite jarring. In recent years, this has been the case on Switch, and PlayStation Portal offered me a similar option (although with many limitations).
I was debating whether to go for it or not. On the one hand, it seems to me that 1000 PLN is a fair price, but on the other hand… We are paying for a console with a display. So I fully understand both sides of this “price fight”, and I do not intend to side with either. However, it prompted me to test how game streaming works with PlayStation 5. The conclusions turned out to be better than I expected!
genuinely? I never liked remote play. I took it as a curiosity that is out there somewhere, but on my side and not for me. Despite my aforementioned passion for playing in handheld mode, I was somehow not comfortable with this option. I don’t even know how I can justify it. I think that’s the case sometimes. The most important thing is that I was able to change it.
The impetus, of course, as I mentioned, was PlayStation Portal. I’m starting to wonder if PlayStation 5 games will work on such a small screen. You know, whether productions like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 or God of War: Ragnarok will be suitable for a good time on the small screen remains to be seen. Will the immersion and delight of the developers’ massive focus on detail still be great?
For testing – somewhat by accident – while shopping, I bought a special cover for the DualSense, which is also a holder for the phone. I didn’t think twice about it because I thought it would be worth taking advantage of those few dozen. I figured if it didn’t work out, worst case scenario I’d turn it into a headphone rack.
Today I can write that, unfortunately, my console headset still has to stay in its old place, because the cover was great. Using it and the Remote Play app, I tested several relatively recently released titles. I checked how to play Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections in free combat mode, UFC 5 with online battles and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which was mentioned some time ago. It has been…
…better than I expected!
I’m very impressed with how everything works. My smartphone’s screen is relatively small (6.1 inches), but it wasn’t a major hindrance in the long run – especially when playing games that, despite great attention to detail, didn’t demand the same from the player when it came to gameplay mechanics. The fighting games were good enough, and Spider-Man 2 was a lot of fun.
Furthermore, there were no liquidity issues, which of course I was very worried about. It definitely helped that I was playing within the confines of my apartment, but honestly, I don’t need this feature for anything else. There were absolutely no issues with smooth offline play, and to my positive surprise – there were none when I decided to compete in the Octagon online.
The only two problems I encountered were not with the remote play itself, but with the form of its consumption. The first issue is weight. After some time, your wrists start to hurt. When we hold the controller for a long time, which acts like one side of a lever being pulled to the other by a heavier phone, it becomes uncomfortable.
Another issue, of course, is sound. My smartphone has a good sound system, but I have to admit that it is better to play through headphones for comfort. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably guessed, when streaming audio is captured to Bluetooth headphones, it experiences significant delay. Even to the eye, even for a second, and – believe it or not – in video games, this is a lot and it quickly becomes annoying.
In the end, despite the negatives mentioned, I am satisfied. Especially since the relatively convenient use of remote play cost me… forty zlotys? And maybe even without a penny. It was worth it – even for those few hours of fun each week. Moreover, it proves to me that this type of streaming can work really well in the context of gaming at home, but not in front of the TV.
Although it may be controversial, I felt more encouraged to buy PlayStation Portal. However, thanks to the alternative, I don’t have to do it “here and now.” I will wait quietly for the promotions, because I believe they will appear. Then, when the price drops by at least tens of percent, I will likely be tempted. I hope to have more fun.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”