Sony’s PS Portal is a curious device, entering the handheld gaming market with more caveats than any of its rivals – if you can call them that. That hasn’t stopped it launching as November’s fourth best-selling system in the US, however.
Circana analyst Mat Piscatella broke the news over on X (formerly Twitter). It seems the cards were stacked against Sony’s portable from the outset according to their statistics
Gaming hardware sales experienced a 24% year-on-year decline as customers tightened their belts, with Nintendo Switch suffering more than most. PS Portal also launched with limited stock, selling out its entire inventory in Japan. It’s possible Sony underestimated the popularity of the device, but it wouldn’t be the only one.
PS Portal is a remote play gadget that’s inherently limited to streaming your PS5 games around the house. Unlike Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally, there are no native capabilities, so you can’t take it with you on-the-go. Pair this with a $199.99 MSRP and the need for a good broadband connection, and it’s a pretty lofty ask.
Despite its constraints, Sony reportedly asked Circana to track PS Portal as console ahead of release. Usually, these kinds of gizmos would be lumped under accessories. It seems like a strange choice at first, given that Portal leans so heavily on the PS5. Still, we consider PC-powered VR headsets like the old Oculus Rift as its own platform rather than a Windows accessory, so I get it.