Whoa! You can play PSP games on the PlayStation Portal — but there's a catch

PlayStation portal restock
(Image credit: Sony)

The PlayStation Portal let a lot of fans down when it turned out to be a remote play accessory rather than a true successor to the PSP and PS Vita. That might change now after a pair of engineers revealed they successfully made a PlayStation Portal PSP hack using the PPSSPP emulator. A lot of fans are now wondering – will this PSP hack be available for anyone to download? 

Here’s what we know so far.

Google engineers reveal PlayStation Portal PSP hack 

PlayStation Portal on a coffee table

(Image credit: Sony)

On February 19, Andy Nguyen and Calle Svensson, a pair of Google engineers, announced in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that they successfully got the PPSSPP emulator running on the PlayStation Portal. According to Nguyen’s post, the project took them months to complete. Now they can run PSP games directly on the Portal. 

Don’t get too excited, though. Nguyen followed up his original post in a thread to add that “There's no release planned in the near future, and there's much more work to be done.” So, it looks like this hack won’t be available to the masses for the time being. However, Nguyen did mention that his team might share a demo of the PlayStation Portal PSP hack in action.

Why is a PSP emulator a big deal for PlayStation Portal? 

The response to Nguyen’s posts on X/Twitter were overwhelmingly positive with Nguyen even adding in his thread, “Wow this is my most liked tweet by far.” The reason for that level of excitement over this hack is clear – these engineers found a way to make the PlayStation Portal do something many fans wanted from the beginning.

PS Vita

(Image credit: Future)

At first glance, the Portal looks like the spiritual successor to the PSP and PS Vita. Yet, it’s merely a $200 accessory instead of an independent device. It doesn’t even have any usable onboard storage (Nguyen noted that his hack is software-based). So, it’s purely limited to streaming games from your PS5 library with no option for an independent mobile gaming experience like on the PSP. 

That’s a big let down for what could have been a great addition to the portable gaming market. Some users even replied to Nguyen’s post saying the option to play PSP games on the Portal might lead them to actually buy one. So, clearly there’s demand for this feature. 

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Sony will add an official PSP emulator to the Portal. Luckily, there are clever hackers like Nguyen and Svensson creating fan-made solutions. Hopefully Sony will take notice and make their next handheld a fully fledged device – and maybe even include an official PSP emulator.