Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Phil Hayton

The PlayStation Portal is still out of stock, so I made my own this Cyber Monday

PlayStation Portal next to Logitech G Cloud.

I've been testing the PlayStation Portal, but since it's out of stock, I decided it was worthwhile re-exploring alternatives. So, following up on a previous project, I decided to transform the Logitech G Cloud into a makeshift handheld to see if it felt like an appropriate substitute. Now that I have the real deal to compare the handheld to, I'm pleased to say it's up to the task of providing a reliable PS Remote Play experience, and you don't even need Cyber Monday to grab it for less than MSRP.

Again, it's PlayStation Portal stock issues that primarily inspired me to revisit this project, having previously whipped together my own Project Q handheld using the Logitech G Cloud. That and the fact I suspect the cloud streaming device could revert back to its original price for a little bit once Cyber Monday gaming deals actually wrap up for the year. It's currently down from $349 to $299, and while this isn't the first time we've seen this discount, there's always a chance it'll shoot back up for a little while.

But enough about the Cyber Monday deal side of things, let's chat about how I actually transformed the Logitech G Cloud into a PS Portal alternative. It's admittedly anything but complicated, and it really just involves downloading the Remote Play app using the Play Store. Being able to do that alone arguably makes buying a G Cloud over a Portal worth it, but that's not so much of a feat than an unfortunate self-own by Sony.

(Image credit: Future)

Using the Logitech G Cloud as a PlayStation Portal alternative

Installing the PS Remote Play app on the G Cloud, and in turn creating a PS Portal alternative, is much the same as doing so using a smartphone. You simply install the Play Store app, follow the on screen instructions to sign in and that's a bingo. The only issue is, Sony's app seems to ignore any controllers that aren't either a DualSense or a BackBone One, but Logitech has thankfully included a workaround that sort of bridges the gap. 

By using the G Cloud's built in ‘key mapping’ feature, you can assign each physical button to a virtual input, meaning you'll be able to trick it into thinking you're using the touchscreen. The only caveat to this is the fact you'll have the UI on screen, but I stopped noting the on screen buttons after a few hours playing Final Fantasy 16, so it's not as annoying as you'd think.

Using this workaround effectively provides you with the same Remote Play functionality as the PlayStation Portal. Naturally, you'll miss out on other perks like having full DualSense pads at your thumb tips and the slightly bigger screen, but those are the only real trade offs I can think of. In fact, not to spoil my upcoming review, but the G Cloud also has the power to launch games from the handheld without having to connect to the PS5 first, whereas the Portal can't do a thing until it links up. 

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy a Logitech G Cloud over a PlayStation Portal?

Full disclaimer: I'm not saying you should automatically buy a Logitech G Cloud over a PlayStation Portal, especially if the latter comes back into stock. Ultimately, Sony's handheld is the best remote play device out there at the moment, and while it's a one trick pony, it feels more like the real Mccoy than anything else. However, if you also love the idea of being able to also stream Steam games, Xbox Game Pass, and access your PC library through Nvidia GeForce Now, it might be worth just spending the extra $100 for a device that can simply do more. 

That said, while it's potentially my favorite makeshift Remote Play handheld, it's not the only PlayStation Portal alternative out there. For most people, I'd actually recommend picking up a BackBone One instead, as you've likely got a perfectly good smartphone in your pocket waiting to become a DIY portable PS Portal substitute. Technically, any modern Android device with Wi-Fi capabilities can become one, but I'm placing a focus on reliable, physical controls over hooking up Bluetooth controllers to larger tablets and PCs. 

If you're looking for a third solution, it's worth noting I'm also playing around with turning the Razer Edge into a PlayStation Portal alternative, and I actually have some exciting news on that front. While the Android device can run the same Remote Play app as the G Cloud and use virtual button mapping, swapping out the tablet's included Kishi controller actually produces better results. Remember when I said the app plays nicely with the BackBone One? Well, clipping that on the Edge instead provides full direct controller compatibility. Boom.

Much to my dismay, the Razer Edge sat Cyber Monday out this year, so if you're into the idea of using one for Remote Play, you'll have to pay full price. However, I do actually prefer the G Cloud's larger screen to the Edge's elongated OLED display, and I think many of you pining for a real PS Portal will feel the same way.

In any case, I'm still working on our PlayStation Portal review, so watch this space for more on that. I'll also be sharing something more in-depth in regards to PS Portal alternatives shortly, and this rundown is more of a PSA than an in depth look. 

If you're not really keeping your head in the clouds, you'll find some more of the best Cyber Monday handheld deals down below, including portable PCs that can do a lot more than link up to expensive home consoles. 

Looking for a proper console? Check out Cyber Monday Nintendo Switch deals and Cyber Monday PS5 deals for bundle offers and more.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.