The Portal of Power is a pedestal used to transport the Skylanders, who are frozen as toys in our world, into the game in the Skylanders series, connecting to the player's console of choice and bringing the toys to life in the game.
A Portal of Power can also be used as a viewer, giving Portal Masters the ability to seek out evil doers -- allowing the Skylanders to know exactly where to go. In Skylands, the Portal of Power serves as a transport pedestal to take the Skylanders to other areas or distances. Portals are also used to see into places that are near and far.
In the 3DS versions of both Spyro's Adventure and Giants, the Portal Master cannot summon Skylanders alone. They need the help of certain characters to summon the Skylanders; Wendel uses his magic staff to help, while in Giants, Hugo uses the Portaltron 9000.
To bring the toys into the game of Skylanders, you'll need the Portal of Power. You'll simply place the toy in the center of the Portal and instantly the character will appear in-game. This circular device glows different colors according to the elements of the characters and has the ability to recognize two characters placed on it at once to allow for multiplayer co-op or PvP battles.
The Portal of Power is included with the game and is able to connect to each console (and cross-connect to some, see section below), however the 3DS has its own unique, smaller, and wireless Portal of Power (but can connect to PC via USB cable).
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure portal compatibility for consolesEdit
The Xbox 360 portal will only work on an Xbox 360, and on a PC USB port while playing Skylanders Universe. The player may choose to use the web codes to unlock their Skylanders within Skylanders Universe, and simply return to the Den to change between Skylanders, OR the portal may be used to "scan in" Skylanders to unlock them, then be removed, requiring the player to go to the Den to switch between Skylanders, OR the portal may be left plugged in to PC USB port and used in Skylanders Universe in the same manner as in the Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure console game. The 3DS portal is universal and will work on any system except an Xbox 360. The PS3 and Wii have the same portal and will be interchangeable and can also work in the PC version of the game. The PC portal will only work on the PC version of the game.