In a somewhat surprise move, Sony has announced the new mini sub £100 games console, the PlayStation Vita TV. Aiming squarely at OUYA and other cheap Android game consoles, as well as Apple TV on a media front, it promises much potential thanks to PS4 connectivity and a backlog of Vita games, combined with a VERY keen entry price for a PlayStation console, £64 converted from Yen.
Key Features of the PlayStation Vita TV:
– Plays PS1/PSP Games – 1,300 available
-Plays MOST Vita games (more on that later)
– Games are played with a bundled Dual Shock 3 controller
– Apps like HULU and other Japanese Netflix style services (not announced UK/US services but they will come, except the usual suspects)
– PlayStation Store
– Local Multiplayer
What We Know So Far:
The Vita TV will be launched in Japan first, and will cost 9480 yen (£63) / 14,994 yen (£96 with Dual Shock 3 and 8GB memory Card) on the 14th of November. no official confirmation of a Europe/North America launch but why would they not?
The basic Vita TV bundle is ideal for current PS3/Vita owners as why pay again for controllers you dont need? The Vita based games are outputted at 720p/1080i which should look very good. Sony have released a list of games that will work on launch, and some huge titles like Uncharted and AC3 are missing. However Sony have not ruled out patches for these games. The most obvious reason they are not available is the Vita TV lacks the touchscreen of the Vita. So games would have to be modified for this.
To use the touch pointer you hold down the PS button, then click in and move the R3 or L3 button.
Potential Uses of the Vita TV:
On a business point of view, this is a cheap way to get latest PlayStation hardware on the big screen. There are a huge amount of gamers in places like Brazil, but they still use PS2. This would allow Sony, if they released the Vita TV there, to get a device they can add games to an online library without needing the distribution channels. There is also no reason Sony couldn’t release Gaikai, their streaming service for PS3/PS4 games on Vita TV. Since the PS4 is a loss leader, while I imagine the Vita TV is not, if you have a good enough connection it could be the device to buy the latest PS3/4 games from the PlayStation store and stream without needing the expensive (for both Sony and the gamer) hardware. Wouldn’t work for everyone, but in fast broadband countries, this could be VERY interesting. There would be controller issues with PS4 games, but PS3/indie titles would potentially “just work”.
The other confirmed Vita TV application relates to something adults will remember unfondly. In my childhood I remember it being a pain to move my console from the lounge to my bedroom. If you are lucky enough to have a PS4, you could just move yourself to the Vita TV room and continue your game.
14 year old me is happy.