The PlayStation Portal Has Been More Popular Than Sony Anticipated

Sony is focused on producing more stock.

The PlayStation Portal is proving to be a bigger hit with players than Sony had initially anticipated.

That’s according to an interview with PlayStation’s VP of product management Hiromo Wakai who spoke to Game File’s Stephen Totilo at length about the conception and launch of the device. “Although we don’t have any numbers to share, the demand has continued to exceed our expectations,” Wakai told the outlet, speaking to the device’s consistent sell-out status globally (here in Australia it’s still tricky to find in retail stores with online orders the go-to).

The VP assured that supply is the top priority for the Portal currently. “The production is running smoothly and we’ve been shipping more units consistently.”

Elsewhere in the piece, Totilo quizzes Wakai on how the concept of the Portal came to be and how it’s positioned in comparison to a dedicated handheld like the PlayStation Vita.

“The original idea of the PlayStation Portal remote player came from our goal to provide high quality console gaming experiences in the players’ hands,” Wakai said. “We presumed that we would be able to achieve this goal at an affordable price by utilising a technical solution often referred to as ‘Thin Client’, while maintaining the full features of a DualSense wireless controller and a screen that is capable of displaying content with crisp image and text.”

“The initial discussions of this product started out from the question of how to expand the PS5 console game experience, not launch a separate handheld device.”

Wakai told Game File that the Portal team knew the device would appear niche at first, acknowledging that the initial reaction to the Portal was mixed. “From the beginning, PlayStation Portal was intended to be a product best suited for people with specific needs and those who want to play in a specific way, so the reactions after the announcement were very much within our expectations.”

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Recently, a team of Google engineers claimed that they had hacked the Portal to run PSP games natively via an emulator, a feat which came after Totilo’s interview. Still, it was confirmed that Sony has nothing to share regarding future plans for the device as of yet.

In my review, I called the PlayStation Portal the best PlayStation remote play solution yet, saying, “The PlayStation Portal gets a lot of things right. It’s got the proper DualSense controller experience, a big and vibrant screen, decent battery life and seamless PS5 connectivity over WiFi. All of that is enough to make it worth considering over other PS5 Remote Play solutions, but some missing features and the unpredictability of WiFi in general mean it’s not going to cut through to a wider audience.”

Read the full interview piece on Game File here.

Amazon has the PlayStation Portal in stock in Australia here.