Should I Get PlayStation Portal Or Nintendo Switch As My Handheld Gaming Console?

What’s the best handheld gaming console to buy? Should I get the new PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch? If you love gaming but travel a lot, you probably have been on the fence between the two consoles as well.

Sony released the PlayStation Portal just recently- at the end of 2023. It certainly won the hearts of many PlayStation fans who hoped to play their favorite PS5 games on the go.

However, when we finally had the PS Portal in Australia and other global markets, it turned out the handheld console wasn’t a competitor of Nintendo Switch.

In other words, the Nintendo Switch console may still be the best for gaming on the go. It’s a “may” as the PlayStation Portal also brings all your PS5 games wherever you may be going.

But then, is the Portal any special from how you play PlayStation games on a phone/ iPad/ tablet without making any purchases?

Verdict: 6 Crucial Points about PS Portal and Nintendo Switch

  • Both PS Portal and Nintendo Switch have reasonable pricing
  • PS Portal and Nintendo Switch are both compact and highly portable
  • A PS Portal requires Internet, but Nintendo Switch can still work offline
  • The PS Portal only streams games, but a Nintendo Switch has stand-alone gaming
  • A PS Portal can’t download games, whereas Nintendo Switch supports local gaming
  • The PS Portal is only for gaming, whereas a Nintendo Switch  can install apps like Netflix

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch: Summary Specs of the Handheld Gaming Consoles

In this short guide, we’ll be comparing PlayStation Portal vs Nintendo Switch to determine which you should get for your handheld gaming. Before going to the in-depth review, though, here are the specs and summary features of the consoles:

 PlayStation PortalNintendo Switch Console
GenerationPS Portal (2023)Nintendo Switch OLED
Release Year20232021
Dimensions6 in x 14 in x 3.8 in4 in x 9.4 in x 0.55 in
Weight1.16 lbs (w/ built-in controllers)0.71 lbs. (0.93 lbs with controllers)
Processing ChipQualcomm SG4150P1 TFLOPS @768 MHz
Memory (RAM)4 GB LPDDR4
Storage64GB Internal + MicroSD
Resolution1080p@60Hz1080p@60Hz (Docked)/ 720p (Undocked)
ControllerDualSense ControllerJoy-Cons / Pro Controller
Supported Game FormatStreaming OnlyGame Cartridges & Digital
Rechargeable BatteryYESYES
Wireless ConnectivityWiFi 5, and WiFi 4WiFi 5 and WiFi 4
Wired ConnectivityRJ-45 (Ethernet)
Standard 3.5mm Audio JackYESYES
USB Ports13
HDMI OutputYES (V2.0)
Bluetooth Connectivity (PlayStation Link)YES (V4.1)
Built-in NFC ChipN/AYES
 Integrated DisplayYES (8 inch)YES (7 inch)
Built-in SpeakersYESYES

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch: An Overview of the Gaming Consoles

When the rumors of PlayStation Portal were out, most of us thought the product was an improvement of PlayStation Vista. I’m sure you were also eager to travel around with your collection of Assassin’s Creed Mirage, The Last of Us Part II, or Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Surprisingly, though, Sony innovated PlayStation Portal as a completely different gaming console. It is solely for streaming games from an existing PlayStation 5 (PS5).

The Portal is more of an optional peripheral for the PS5. Even with PlayStation 4 (PS4), it’s utterly useless to get the new Sony’s handheld console as they’re incompatible.

If lucky enough to have any of the PS5 boxes, the PlayStation Portal eases up the constraints of only gaming while docked. You can carry on with your games on the handheld display while your partner enjoys her Netflix on the TV.

That said, a Nintendo Switch is the best handheld gaming console, as you can play local and cloud games or stream. In the chart above, you can see it has multiple storage options: 64GB internal memory and a MicroSD card slot.

So, you can download and store games- available for both Nintendo exclusive titles, plus indie and third-party collections. Then, let’s not forget a Nintendo Switch also has a slot for game cartridges.

Read on below for more features, and perks, plus the pros and cons between the Nintendo Switch vs PlayStation Portal consoles.

Should I Get a PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch for Handheld Gaming?

In this section, I’ve broken down crucial aspects to help you decide between Nintendo and PlayStation handheld consoles. It covers the four main decisive factors, including pricing, portability, visual quality, and gaming experience.

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch for Budget?

First, PlayStation Portal and Nintendo Switch don’t target the same audience. The PlayStation Portal targets PS5 owners who wish to get the best of their larger console docked to the TV. Then, the Nintendo Switch is for anyone looking for a simple hybrid gaming console you can use at home or when on the move.

Fast forward, the pricing of the two consoles is similar at some point. If shopping in the US, the PlayStation Portal costs around $200, just like the Nintendo Switch Lite. The complete kit of Nintendo Switch 1 is a little pricier at $300, albeit the Switch OLED is the most expensive at $350.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch price in Australia now starts at $A300 – $A328 for the Lite model. The Nintendo Switch 1 (2019 Edition) kit is around $A429 – $A480. Then, the latest Switch OLED is still the priciest at $A489 to $548 (for Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Edition).

*The PlayStation Portal price in Australia is around $SA328, just like the Nintendo Switch OLED.

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch for Portability?

Both Nintendo Switch and PlayStation Portal are handheld gaming consoles for use at home or on the go. However, we saw (in the specs chart) that the Switch has slightly smaller dimensions than the Portal console.

Even better, the Joy-Con controllers of the Nintendo Switch on each side are removable. The controls of the PlayStation Portal are built-in, leaving it one long unit and slightly heavier from the vibration motors.

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch for Stand-alone Gaming?

In the PS5 vs Nintendo Switch review, we concluded you could use the latter as a handheld, tabletop, or docked gaming console. Most gamers use their Switch in the Handheld mode, as it only needs sliding the provided Joy-Con controllers on the sides.

The Nintendo Switch tabletop mode is best when you plan to be in the game for long hours. In this mode, you can use the controllers while strapped on your wrists or as a normal gamepad when attached to the Joy-Con Grip. (An optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is also available for a more solid gaming experience while at home or away).

In addition, the Nintendo Switch has all the essential parts for true stand-alone gaming. The core engine, yes, is not as powerful as we’d want it for the competitive cross-platform game collections. But it’s powerful enough to process and run its own games.

You can play Nintendo Switch games online or locally on game cartridges, internal storage, or MicroSD card. Thus, you necessarily don’t need to have an internet (WiFi), something unachievable with PlayStation Portal.

As I mentioned earlier, PlayStation Portal is a streaming games console for your PS5. The marketing pitch of Sony for the Portal is a “Remote Player” that “gives you access to the games on your PS5 over your home Wi-Fi”.

The manuals and company website don’t have many details about using the PlayStation Portal during travel. The only section I found about using your device remotely from outside your home is under the support section on how to use Remote Play on the PS Portal. And even then, Sony insists on making sure your PS Portal connects properly while near the PS5 console first.

Important Note:

If the remote connection of Portal and the PS5 box breaks, you also can’t play PlayStation games in your palm. It’s the reason Sony recommends a fast WiFi of 15Mbps for the best experience or a minimum of 5Mbps to work.

The three main situations your PlayStation Portal may lose connection with the PS5 are:

  1. Unstable/ no internet connection to the PS Portal and or PS5 console
  2. The PS5 in use has powered off and is no longer in “Remote Play” mode
  3. Your PlayStation Portal or PS5 develops a sudden technical error or physical damage

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch for Realistic Gaming Play?

One area PlayStation consoles have bested Nintendo Switches immensely is on the incorporated technology. PS5 is a real powerhouse, with all the processing facets superior to the latest Nintendo Switch.

Of course, the handheld PS Portal isn’t as powerful as this big gaming console. Sony has even intentionally failed to mention its processing specs in the manuals and online.

A PlayStation on Android Platform

After hours of research, I’ve come to learn the processor/ chip PlayStation Portal uses is Qualcomm SG4150P. Qualcomm has no direct mention of which type of chip is “SG4150P”. But when you google, the first results are for the Android platform Snapdragon 415.

If correct, Snapdragon 415 is an 8x Arm® Cortex®-A53 Processor @1.4GHz and with an Adreno™ 405 @500MHz GPU. The processor, launched in 2015, is often in older entry-level smartphones like Lenovo Vibe K5, Alcatel X1, Coolpad Torino/ Note 3S/, etc.

Despite a low-tier processing chip, the PlayStation Portal can play Hollywood-style studio games with next-gen graphics for a realistic experience. Titles like “Spider-Man 2” and “The Last of Us” get you in the game with real-life characters and backgrounds.

The PlayStation Portal can play these high-graphic games with a low processor as it’s just acting like a display. And as a display, it streams its games from more powerful hardware- PlayStation 5.

A Nintendo Switch on its Own

If coming from a PS5 to gaming on a Nintendo Switch, the drop in graphics is immediately noticeable. As I said, the Switch runs its own games saved on local storage or from the online cloud.

While you get to enjoy stand-alone gaming, the Nintendo Switch isn’t powerful enough for most Hollywood-style studio games. It’s more of playing family-friendly collections like Mario and Zelda that are animated.

Nonetheless, the animations of Nintendo Switch games are still vibrant and fun, even without the cinematic experience.

PlayStation Portal or Nintendo Switch Gaming Experience?

If looking for the best gaming experience, either a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation Portal could fit the bill. It all depends on the hardware you can afford, the type of games, and whether playing locally or online.

If okay with game-streaming from a PS5, the PlayStation Portal makes your gaming even more realistic with its DualSense Wireless controller. The controller has the iconic haptic feedback, the dynamic vibrations that simulate the feel of reverberations, explosions, terrains, and everything else from the character tools and surrounding environment.

Furthermore, the DualseSense controller has adaptive triggers that simulate the resistance level of different tools, weapons, and vehicles. Then, the overall ergonomic design is comfortable to hold for hours without feeling cramped or fatigued.

Speaking of comfort, the PlayStation Portal features a wide 8-inch LCD display that plays in the handheld mode at 1080p@60Hz. So, your games will appear richer in detail than the 7-inch screen of Nintendo Switch, streaming at 720p quality.

It’s worth pointing out that the two handheld consoles have built-in speakers for audio output and a standard jack for wired headsets. But in case you wish to connect to wireless headsets or speakers, only the Switch has Bluetooth support.

Instead of Bluetooth, the PS Portal console has a proprietary PlayStation Link™ for short-range peer-to-peer connections. Thus, you can only pair with other PlayStation Link™ -compatible audio devices like PULSE Explore™ earbuds and PULSE Elite™ headset.

Common Related Questions:

Is the new PlayStation Portal better than the Nintendo Switch?

The new PlayStation Portal is no doubt better than Nintendo Switch when it comes to the gaming experience. It offers a realistic in-game play with vivid cinematic graphics instead of animated characters.

The built-in controller of the PS Portal also has haptic feedback and adaptive triggers that enhance your gaming experience by simulating the feel of various tools, weapons, vehicles, and terrains in use.

What are the drawbacks of PlayStation Portal?

While better than the Nintendo Switch on the gaming experience, the PlayStation Portal has a few drawbacks you should know before investing in one. But first, the other positives of the handheld console you should know are:

Pros/ advantages of PlayStation Portal

  • It has a sleek, well-made design
  • Allows remote play from anywhere
  • Straightforward to set up and operate
  • Has a wide, bright, and smooth display
  • Features a decent battery life of up to 9 hours
  • You can use it for hours without getting fatigued

Cons/ drawbacks of PlayStation Portal

  • It requires internet/ WiFi to function
  • Has no local or cloud gaming option
  • Tricky to use for multiplayer gaming
  • Lacks Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • It only works when paired to a PS5 console

How Can I Watch Netflix On My PlayStation Portal?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to install the app to watch Netflix or YouTube on PlayStation Portal at the moment. The only way to watch videos on the Portal is when you improvise by opening the secret browse in the games.

Is the Nintendo Switch still worth buying?

Yes, the Nintendo Switch is still worth buying if you’d love to game at home and on the go. Some of the best reasons to get a Switch instead of a PS Portal are:

  • It has a reasonable pricing
  • Compact and easy to carry on trips
  • Works as a stand-alone or while docked
  • Comfortable to use for hours without fatigue
  • You can play games offline without the internet
  • Supports locally-saved games and cloud gaming
  • It has the option to install apps for YouTube, Netflix, etc
About Michael Wanjiru

Michael Wanjiru is a guest writer at Craving Tech. He is a professional writer and a regular contributor at Craving Tech covering tech-product reviews and how-to guides. As an SEO writer with marketing background, he has helped dozen of clients build their online footprint with high-quality content that engages and converts.

Have a topic or product review you want written? Drop Mike an email and he’s always ready to help.

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