Turns Out, PS Portal Can Run Native Stuff, But Sony Doesn’t Want To See You Happy

Forget a proper handheld, have a cloud-streaming PS5 accessory instead.

Story Highlights

  • A software bug in the PS Portal was exploited to run native games on it, but it’s been patched.
  • If the Portal can run native stuff, bug or not, why didn’t Sony design it so then?
  • Instead, we got a glorified accessory that can’t function alone and is only a cloud-streaming remote.

In the past, if a game was running on a particular device, it was always native; there was no other concept. Technology was not advanced enough to utilize sources other than the device’s built-in hardware. Now, through advancement, cloud streaming has become a thing. Your gadget doesn’t have the necessary hardware? Fret not. Connect it to the internet and it can still play games.

I say this so nonchalantly, but it’s not that simple, it never is. Though I genuinely appreciate the Cloud technology and its contribution to making gaming more accessible, it cannot replace native gaming no matter what. Take a look at PS Plus Premium’s catalog. These cloud-streamed games require strong internet, perfect connection, and complete stability, or your experience is practically ruined. 

The service would be supreme if only these past PS classics ran natively. So far, I’ll never justify cloud games over native, even more so if a particular device has zero native capabilities, like the PS Portal.

YouTube video

The PS Portal Native Bug Has Since Been Patched

Did you know that your PS Portal could indeed run stuff natively? Turns out, it wasn’t just a cloud-streaming device after all. However, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s now back to the useless streaming remote it once was

If you weren’t aware, there was a software bug (not a hardware workaround) in the PS Portal, that allowed people to sort of jailbreak it and run PSP games natively using the PPSSPP emulator. The person responsible for discovering this posted screenshots depicting the streaming-only device running some of the PSP games completely natively without issues.

This was a pretty big deal for people like me, who thought the PS Portal was nothing more than a glorified PS5 accessory with no identity or specific use that nothing else could do. The possibility of it running native games opened up too many horizons. 

Though resulting from exploiting a bug, the PS Portal can indeed run native stuff
Though resulting from exploiting a bug, the PS Portal can indeed run native stuff

Unfortunately, this happiness was very short-lived. Folks who discovered the workaround using the software bug reported the particular issue to Sony as the respectable thing to do, and this bug has since been patched now and can no longer be exploited to run games natively on the Portal.

The bug that allowed the potential hack of the Portal was fixed in the last update
byu/vicegold inPlaystationPortal

If The Portal Could Indeed Run Native Stuff, Why Didn’t Sony Design It So?

Do I mean to imply that the bug shouldn’t have been reported and continued to be exploited? No, they did the right thing by reporting it. It was a respectable move and not the target of my criticism. My complaint is with Sony and its design choice.

This bug and the resulting exploit tell a story. A story of what could’ve been if Sony had gone ahead and added native capabilities to the PS Portal. Of course, it could still cloud stream games and work as a remote for the PS5, but it would’ve featured a bunch of native functions and programs that could’ve made it an excellent device. It could break free of the PS5 restriction, and work as an independent device, too.

Kinda disappointed with the PS Portal
byu/IAmPvtron inplaystation

This story paints a picture of what Sony robbed us of. If people could exploit a bug to run native stuff, how hard would it have been for the company that designed this console to add the features itself? I don’t think it’s anything impossible to reach, not by a long shot. 

PS Portal Is A Failed Potential

Instead, Sony decided to create a glorified remote player solely for the PS5, something that only works through the internet, and is essentially something that can even be replaced by your mobile phone and a PS5 controller if you so wish.

The PS Portal is nothing more than a glorified accessory
The PS Portal is nothing more than a glorified accessory

There were a ton of routes Sony could’ve taken with this. I’m not saying PS Portal should’ve run PS5 games natively, but it could’ve been a perfect device to revisit classic games like the PSP and PS2. In fact, Sony could’ve killed two birds with one stone by making the PS Portal run the games of the PS Plus Premium catalog natively.

This would not only have made the PS Plus Premium a lot more valuable and worth-it purchase but also give PS Portal a ton of versatility and fame among gamers who grew up with these games and wish to go back on a trip down nostalgia. People still want to do it, but the Classics Catalog of PS Plus being cloud stream-only is a very big hindrance.

The Classics Catalog would've been a game changer if not cloud-streamed
The Classics Catalog would’ve been a game changer if not cloud-streamed

Plus, the Portal could’ve featured some multimedia capabilities to become a portable entertainment device when it’s not cloud streaming. That big screen could’ve been put to use otherwise if native games were too much to ask, which I’m sure is not.

PS Portal isn’t even a console?! All hail Handheld PC Master Race
byu/joeywithanr inpcmasterrace

A True Handheld Will Serve Sony Better

In the end, PS Portal is nothing but a missed opportunity for something that could’ve been much greater. I mean, just take a look at the PSP. It was a legendary console with a ton of versatility and was equally successful as well. On the other hand, the Portal is just a slap in the face of the PSP, and to some extent the consumers, too. Sony couldn’t make a new PSP even after 19 years.

The PSP was revolutionary and ahead of its time. Change my mind! One of the best handhelds till date.
byu/harshmangat inIndianGaming

But now, the time is ripe for a true handheld. People’s interest in portable gaming devices is through the roof these days, thanks to superb consoles like the Steam Deck. Sony needs to show some care for its users and look into the possibility of a true handheld device, rather than ridiculous, glorified remotes like the PS Portal.

Did you find this helpful? Leave feedback below.

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

Related Articles

Join Our Community

Enjoyed this article? Discuss the latest gaming news, get expert help with guides and errors, and chat about all things gaming on eXputer Forums and Discord Server. Connect with fellow gamers who share your passion by becoming a part of eXputer's community.