You need a PS5 to use a PlayStation Portal. More than that, you need them to be on the same Wi-Fi network and in reasonable proximity because of just how the portable system works. That means the PlayStation Portal isn’t meant to be played away from home.
You may also be wondering if you can use a PlayStation 4 with your PlayStation Portal instead, and unfortunately, you can’t. However, you play PS4 games on the handheld if you’ve got them installed on your PS5 console.
The PlayStation Portal allows you to essentially mirror games from your PS5 to your handheld through remote play, a function that’s been a part of Sony’s console offerings for quite some time now, on its 8″ screen. The big advantage is then that the PlayStation Portal doesn’t require you to play on a TV, freeing it up for other people if you live in a household where that’s a concern. Additionally, it lets you use built-in controllers like those for the regular PS5.
That, of course, comes with some drawbacks. In cases where you have ready access to a TV, a PlayStation Portal may simply not be as useful. Additionally, if you’re in an area with poor or no Wi-Fi, it’s likely not the purchase for you.