Especially abroad, players interested in the device have had to set up apps to be notified when stores have availability of the remote player, and even then they only have a few minutes before it’s sold out again. While the global shortage of chips seems to be a thing of the past, the lack of stock is most likely due to Sony not expecting Portal to be so popular. Many were hoping to wait until the holiday season to get their hands on the console without the need to pre-order, but apparently it’s still incredibly popular and elusive as on day one. Sony likely underestimated demand for Portal because its previous handheld, the PlayStation Vita, failed to meet sales expectations back in 2012.
However, the cause of that debacle was not the console itself, whose qualities in some respects have not yet been replicated by modern platforms, nor player aversion to portable gaming, but the price. Not only was the Vita much more expensive than its competitor, the Nintendo 3DS, but it also had very expensive proprietary memory cards that made it even less accessible. However, Sony attributed the financial flop of the console to a lack of interest in portable gaming, and shifted its focus to what was thought to be the future of gaming: virtual reality. Nevertheless, VR still remains a niche market and, although sales are improving year by year, it will be a long time before virtual reality headsets become an essential accessory.
And besides, Nintendo has once again shown PlayStation how popular portable gaming can be with its hybrid Switch, which has quickly become the second best-selling console of all time. At just over 200 euros, Portal is much more affordable than VR and allows PS5 owners to play their favorite titles even when the TV is off, far away, or being used by another family member. Of course, fans hope that the success of PS Portal will point the way forward for the Japanese company, and that another PlayStation-branded portable console may be on the horizon. Recent rumors, on the other hand, make this very likely.
*Written by Georgina Young for GLHF* © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED