Just as the dust had settled on the next generation consoles Sony has shaken up the gaming world with the most unlikely and simultaneously most exciting gaming product of 2013. PS Vita TV is that new product, Sony’s now not so secret weapon in the next generation console war.
The Vita TV is in essence a stationary PS Vita, bringing with it all of the positives and negatives of the handheld it is crafted from. Vita TV however isn’t required to be the most powerful device in your home, that’s the job of the next generation console or PC. The Vita TV is instead a media streamer, light weight (micro) console and gaming thin client that can extend Sony’s home entertainment universe, yes that means Remote Play.
Has the magic returned to Sony, have they pulled a rabbit out of their hat? Will Vita TV be the ultimate entertainment extender or will it be just a key ring for the PS4, gadget bling?
6 centimeters deep and 10 centimeters wide the PS Vita TV is simplicity itself, 4 ports and power occupy the rear panel, sleek design encasing the micro gamer. HDMI, USB, Network and audio to connect to the outside world.
Remote Play on Vita TV changes the game completely. Just as with the PS Vita handheld console Remote Play will be available to on Vita TV, eventually in any case as it won’t be ready for the Japanese launch. At the flick of a switch turn any TV’s into a remote PS4 gaming machine, sending the PS4 to any TV the Vita TV is connected to.
Being a Vita at heart the card slot has been carried over to Vita TV bringing a solid catalogue of AAA games. PS One games can also be downloaded from the Play Store along with a plethora of other gaming goodies.
Media playback is the bread and butter of the micro console and the Vita TV will stream with the best of them. Media streaming also extends out to the internet via the usual roll call of websites, YouTube, Hulu etc. All of the other software goodies that have evolved on the PS Vita will make the transition to the TV; web browser, email, LiveTweet and the PSN.
Other micro consoles (Ouya, MadCatz and GamePop) won’t be Vita TV’s only competition with media sharing devices such as the ubiquitous Apple TV or WD TV already well established. Luckily Vita TV is more than a media streamer or mere Android console, Vita TV is a brand new type of device, a new species in the PlayStation eco system. Microsoft is likely to have a similar device for the Xbox One at some stage next year, shifting the micro console market from baron to crowded in only a couple of yeats.
The PS Vita TV launches in Japan on November 14 for the bargain basement price of 9,954 yen, about a c note in USD for the console alone, $150 for the console with Dual Shock 3 controller and 8GB memory card. Release dates for the rest of the world are still to be announced.
Coming front left field Sony caught the gaming market napping with this one, and equally they may have been shocked by its success. In the few days since the announcement in Japan Amazon has already sold out of pre-orders.