I might purchase a PlayStation Portal 2 if it had this one function

A Pulse Elite, DualSense, and PlayStation Portal sit on a table.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

I’ve had a little bit of a love-hate relationship with the PlayStation Portal because it launched. Initially, I used to be disillusioned by Sony’s cloud streaming system. I used to be impressed with its display screen and appreciated its DualSense integration, however its slimmeddown options made it really feel like an inexpensive model of a good suggestion. I’ve since discovered to discover a use case for my PlayStation Portal that turned it into an integral part of my gaming setup. It’s very imperfect, however that doesn’t imply it’s not helpful.

Ever since its launch, I’ve been hoping for a refreshed follow-up, whether or not that be a Pro mannequin or a real PlayStation Portal 2. It could also be manner too early to begin discussing that contemplating that the Portal simply launched in November 2023, however the promising system has sufficient obtrusive flaws that I’d welcome a fast-tracked successor. If Sony had been to make a PlayStation Portal 2, although, there’s one function that’s nonnegotiable: Bluetooth.

If you’re unfamiliar with Sony’s distant taking part in handheld, you is perhaps a bit of confused. Surely, a conveyable gaming consoled launched in 2023 has Bluetooth help, proper? Weirdly, that’s not the case — and it’s the system’s largest downside.

Sony's Pulse Explore earbuds sit next to a Nintendo Switch OLED.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

Currently, you solely have two audio choices on the PlayStation Portal. There’s a headphone jack on the again of the system that permits customers to hook up wired headsets. You can plug in any earbuds or gadgets you need. However, wi-fi audio fans are out of luck. The handheld doesn’t function Bluetooth help. At the second, you merely can’t use most wi-fi headsets with it, which is a serious downside for a gaming handheld.

There’s a purpose for that … and it’s a bit of infuriating. The PlayStation Portal as an alternative makes use of a brand new Sony audio tech referred to as PlayStation Link. Sony claims that its proprietary connection know-how permits for decrease latency and higher audio high quality, alongside sooner connection speeds. That all sounds nice on paper, however there’s a giant catch: only some particular gadgets really use PlayStation Link tech. If you need to use a wi-fi headset together with your Portal, you primarily want to purchase a $150 pair of Pulse Elite cans. And if you need earbuds, you’ll probably must seize the $200 Pulse Explore.

It’s not that these aren’t strong audio choices. I personal each of those gadgets and so they’re completely strong (although costly) audio choices that simply pair with the Portal. I can’t say that I’ve observed a distinction between PlayStation Link and Bluetooth, although. From an informal perspective, the connection pace, latency, and high quality dsn’t really feel very completely different from what I get with the gadgets I usually use. That’s left me skeptical about PlayStation Link, which feels extra like a advertising and marketing gimmick that’s forcing gamers within the PlayStation 5 ecosystem to purchase expensive new headsets.

A man wears a Pulse Elite headset.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

It could sound like a small grievance, however PlayStation Link is presently the Portal’s largest weak level. A conveyable gaming system is constructed across the idea of flexibility. Its energy hinges on the thought that you could play PS5 wherever, at any time when. To so closely prohibit what audio gadgets gamers can carry together with them is to promote the complete thought quick. PlayStation Link must reside alongside Bluetooth, not change it. If the tech is actually pretty much as good as Sony says it’s, gamers ought to naturally need to put money into gadgets that help it by alternative.

Missing Bluetooth help isn’t the one function I’d need in a PlayStation Portal 2. I’d love for a follow-up to come back with its personal carrying case or maybe an improve to an OLED screen. But for the second, these are secondary needs. The very first thing I’ll be in search of is whether or not or not I can use my favourite wi-fi headsets with it. If the following PlayStation Portal nonetheless received’t let me try this, I can’t think about I’ll be upgrading anytime quickly.

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