Those at Sony have now provided an official response when it comes to the comparisons that have been drawn between the PlayStation Portal and Nintendo Switch. This coming month, Sony will finally be launching the PlayStation Portal, which is a new streaming-based handheld that will allow PlayStation 5 users to play their games on the go. And even though the Portal isn't a proper handheld like the PSP or PS Vita, it has naturally led to many comparing it to Nintendo's Switch model. As for Sony, though, it doesn't believe that the Portal is very similar to the Switch whatsoever.
In a conversation with BBC, Sony Senior VP Eric Lempel was asked about the PlayStation Portal and whether it could serve as a rival to both the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck. Lempel said that he didn't see the Portal as something looking to compete with these other devices and instead described it as "really just something unique for the PlayStation audience." With this in mind, it's clear that Sony isn't looking to invade the handheld market in a proper manner and is instead just trying to give PS5 users more options to play.
Although Sony clearly doesn't view the PlayStation Portal as a proper successor to the Vita, it will be interesting to see if Sony ever looks to enter that field in an official capacity again. Despite failing to reach a massive audience with the Vita, the popularity of both the Nintendo Switch and Steam in recent years has shown that there's a massive market to appeal to. Whether or not past failure with the Vita will continue to deter Sony from making a larger push in the handheld space remains to be seen, but if nothing else, the Portal provides PlayStation users with a comparable piece of hardware for the time being.
When it comes to the release date of the PlayStation Portal, it's set to arrive this coming month on November 15. Currently, the Portal is available to pre-order both directly from Sony and through other retail chains and costs $199.99. Although this is a somewhat steep price for a streaming-only platform, the Portal does contain the same functionality seen with the PS5's DualSense controller, which makes it greatly improved when compared to other streaming devices.
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