The Meta Quest 3 made me even more annoyed by the PlayStation Portal

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

I reviewed the PlayStation Portal late last year and my main criticism of it was that it had more input lag and general wireless reliability issues than I would have liked to see in a streaming-only device.

I’ve used it a bit since that review, but it’s fair to say that was not the best $199 I’ve spent in a while. But I’d moved on from the frustration phase and just looked at it as an okay thing that’s sometimes useful.

Then I got the Meta Quest 3 this week, and one of the reasons was to play PC games in VR. Not only can you plug your Quest into your PC to play your Steam games in VR, you can even connect wirelessly over WiFi. Awesome, but I was skeptical that a wireless connection could stream a full game to the headset and have the headset send all its tracking data back to the PC without more lag than I’m used to with the Portal.

To my shock, the experience was flawless.

Here’s what I said about playing the same game on the Portal:

For racing games like Gran Turismo 7 and F1 23, I sadly found it basically impossible to play on the Portal. I am pretty serious about those racing games, so I may be more sensitive to these than others, but when you’re driving 200MPH and need to react quickly to cars around you, the lag was debilitating for me.

I’m pretty serious about racing games and while not everyone would notice a few dozen milliseconds of input lag, I absolutely do, and it made the Portal unusable for me in games like this. The Quest 3 had none of this lag, and all I was thinking about the whole time was how cool it was to be in an F1 car, not how I was battling input lag.

There are surely many variables involved, but as I noted in my review, the Portal inexplicably uses the many years old WiFi 5 rather than the current gen WiFi 6E, which is notably better for latency.

Anyway, I started the week bummed that I wasn’t enjoying the Vision Pro fun, but I didn’t expect to be bummed all over again about the PlayStation Portal. Blerg.