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This PlayStation Portal alternative is a Cyber Monday bargain

Turn your phone into a portable games console with this Cyber Monday deal...

This PlayStation Portal alternative is a Cyber Monday bargain
Andrew Williams
27 November 2023

The PlayStation Portal is a bit too new for a Cyber Monday bargain, having been released just a couple of weeks ago - and it's also incredibly hard to come by - but the best alternative is on sale.

We’re talking about the Backbone, a set of controllers that hook up to your phone.

The version on sale for £69.99, from a previous price of £99.99, is the Lightning edition. This means it supports iPhones up until the latest iPhone 15, which saw the series switch to USB-C.

So is this worth biting at a 30% discount? We think so.

The Backbone controller functions a bit like the Joy Cons of a Nintendo Switch, but it can work with numerous phones.

A securing strip runs across the back of your phone, making them feel study rather than just holding on to the end of your mobile.

As it uses a direct connection, rather than wireless, there’s none of the latency you might experience with a Bluetooth controller. It even adds a physical headphone socket to your phone, which is nice.

The white and black versions are functionally the same, but look close and you’ll notice the white one uses the same button icons as a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. It's officially licensed too.

A Backbone is recognised as a standard controller, so you can use one with standard iPhone games or as a gamepad for services like PlayStation Remote Play or Xbox Cloud Gaming with Game Pass. It works brilliantly.

Hook up Remote Play and you’ll get basically the same experience as a PlayStation Portal just with a smaller (if probably more advanced) screen.

The Portal is also more like a phone than you may think. It runs a heavily customised version of Android and has the Snapdragon 662 processor, seen in a bunch of budget phones over the years.

Is the PlayStation Portal rubbish, then? Absolutely not. But the Backbone is a lot cheaper, and isn’t a bad way to test how well Remote Play will actually work with your home Wi-Fi and Internet setup.

£30 off!
£30 off!
Backbone controller for £69.99
This classy controller turns your phone into a games console. Ideal for PlayStation Remote play and Xbox Cloud Gaming, now at 30% off!
Buy now at Amazon