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Editorial: Why PS Vita TV is a pretty big deal

PS Vita TV is a pretty big deal--even if it may not seem that way at first.

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PS Vita TV is a pretty big deal--even if it may not seem that way at first. Currently announced for Japan only, PS Vita TV is Sony's answer to Apple TV. It's a microconsole with games that people care about--at a price point that's incredibly attractive to consumers. For $99, PS Vita TV is the cheapest way of entering the PlayStation ecosystem. It's half the cost of the cheapest PS3. And although Vita TV may not have the largest library of games, the combined collection of Vita, PS Mobile, PSP, and PSone titles on the PlayStation Network makes it a pretty viable gaming platform nonetheless. For gamers, PS Vita TV seems to offer more than the similarly-priced OUYA. And Vita has as much (if not more) support from the indie community than the curious Android-powered competition. If that weren't enough, there's a tremendous amount of potential with Remote Play. PS Vita TV can become an additional hub for PS4, enabling you to have the next-gen console in your living room, and give you the ability to play those same games on a different TV in the same house--without shelling out another $400. And once Sony launches its Gaikai-powered games streaming service, PS Vita TV will gain access to an even larger library of PS3 and PS4 games.

Comparing PS Vita TV to Apple TV and OUYA

Apple has been taking their sweet time prepping a gaming-enabled TV device that everyone has been asking for. Touch Arcade calls PS Vita the set top box "that does what we wish the Apple TV did." For now, Apple TV only supports streaming iOS games via AirPlay--mirroring games you play on your iOS device on the big screen. Of course, with its $99 price point, PS Vita TV also opens up the market to non-gaming types that simply want a cheap media player for their TV. Sony's device doesn't have the comprehensive app support that Apple TV does. But, it has the major players: Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube. In addition, the PlayStation Store offers much of what iTunes does in terms of video rentals and purchases--and Sony's recently relaxed DRM makes that content portable across multiple devices. If marketed correctly, PS Vita TV can reach a truly broad audience. And if it takes off, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Vita library grow as a consequence. However, there are still challenges for Sony. The name is a bit confusing, and even hardcore gamers will probably be unclear what games will work on the device. And who knows what the next iteration of Apple TV will hold? Although Sony's announcement may have beaten Apple to the punch, it's unlikely that Cupertino will continue letting this potential market go unchallenged.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    September 9, 2013 11:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Editorial: Why PS Vita TV is a pretty big deal.

    PS Vita TV is a pretty big deal--even if it may not seem that way at first.

    • reply
      September 9, 2013 11:02 AM

      Oh wow...this could be an incredible curve ball for Microsoft:

      If that weren't enough, there's a tremendous amount of potential with Remote Play. PS Vita TV can become an additional hub for PS4, enabling you to have the next-gen console in your living room, and give you the ability to play those same games on a different TV in the same house--without shelling out another $400.

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      September 9, 2013 11:04 AM

      I foresee a lot of confusion in the coming months ahead. I'm gonna wait until the dust settles on this. Meantime I'll stay put with current gen and my WiiU. Lots of moving parts and balls in the air.

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        September 9, 2013 11:09 AM

        Current gen? Is it really?

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      September 9, 2013 11:06 AM

      I'm sold. Here, take my money.

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      September 9, 2013 11:09 AM

      Definitely interested by this. If it does come stateside I probably wont be an early adopter. I'd probably hang back and wait to see how it works in the wild.

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      September 9, 2013 11:09 AM

      If anything I think Sony has found a whole new market they had previously left unfilled. I think it's the perfect device to get a lot of new people into their so called Playstation ecosystem. The device just makes sense and adding Vita game support shows that they really understood that they needed a defining factor to compete with the other cheap streaming devices out there. Not to mention the PS4 remote play just ties everything together really well.

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      September 9, 2013 11:10 AM

      $100 bucks to play my Vita library on my TV screen?

      Sure.

    • reply
      September 9, 2013 11:15 AM

      That is a much better deal than the Gamecube GBA tv adaptor.

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      September 9, 2013 11:21 AM

      The only real qualm I have for this is that if this takes off, then developers, in the interest for developing for only the common denominator, will forego the touch screen functions in games.

      Not a huge loss but just saying.

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      September 9, 2013 11:25 AM

      I'm assuming you also need to buy a controller though right? I doubt $99 includes a controller.

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        September 9, 2013 11:27 AM

        It doesn't come with one at $99 but it works with PS3 and PS4 controllers.

        They are also releasing a version that comes with a PS3 controller and an 8GB memory card for $150 though.

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          September 9, 2013 11:34 AM

          Note that pricing and bundle has only been announced for Japan so far.

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          September 9, 2013 11:36 AM

          Ok, I was thinking a PS4 controller.. which will be a bit more. It shouldn't be too expensive to find a PS3 controller somewhere.

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      September 9, 2013 11:27 AM

      Yup, I will buy this.

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      September 9, 2013 11:32 AM

      Now, does PS3/PS4 play Vita games at all? Or is it like a tiny fraction?

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        September 9, 2013 11:36 AM

        No, PS3/PS4 do not play Vita games.

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          September 9, 2013 11:41 AM

          So this is totally awesome then. SOLD.

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      September 9, 2013 11:46 AM

      Here's a fun question: Can the Vita TV's remote play be used to extend the PS4's video output to use both TVs? In other words: dual-monitor PS4?

      My dream: Only needing one copy of Borderlands 3 that my wife and I can co-op through with our own TV screens.

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        September 9, 2013 11:52 AM

        That seems unlikely, as the PS4 would have to be rendering the game twice.

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          September 9, 2013 12:02 PM

          Understood, but the Wii U is doing this for games so people can co-op between the TV and the gamepad. The gamepad only displays in standard def, but the WiiU is also a weaker system. I would think the PS4 could do something like this, perhaps at the cost of some level of graphics detail.

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      September 9, 2013 12:01 PM

      Seriously thinking about canceling my PS4 pre-order and getting this instead. I'll play more Vita games this year anyway, and when I do eventually get a PS4 I can use it as an extender.

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      September 9, 2013 12:03 PM

      Wait so this is a standalone unit and doesn't require a vita?

      Well that's cool, but how much internal space does this thing have and what kind of external memory does it use?

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      September 9, 2013 12:08 PM

      honestly, i wish they made an app for my ps3 that let me stream my ps4 to it on another tv. no way in hell they can convince me(after this announcement) that they can't do it.

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      September 9, 2013 12:30 PM

      I think I'd rather an Android device; a digital library on Android just seems more future-proof.

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        September 9, 2013 12:42 PM

        I prefer the homebrew element of the android devices personally, even though I don't think they'll kick off and more than all of them I'd still prefer a HTPC.

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          September 9, 2013 12:47 PM

          Also Oyua and Apple tv are both 1080p, deal breaker for me that this is only 1080i.

          The remote play could be good though cause I do tend to buy 2nd room consoles.

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      September 9, 2013 12:41 PM

      Can I use a PS Vita to play games on my TV if I have a PS3/PS4?

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      September 9, 2013 1:54 PM

      Note: $99 gets you nothing but the box. No controller, no memory card, nothing. Want to play the games? Better own a PS3 already or buy a DS3 or the $150 controller/8gig MC bundle.

      I wouldn't get so hung up on that $99 price point since it's missing very important components especially for the supposed new "entry level" consumer who probably would not have either of these.

      • reply
        September 9, 2013 8:37 PM

        Good point, it's gonna be right below the price point an old PS Vita in order to be useful for gaming.

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      September 9, 2013 2:44 PM

      Sony needs to get HBOGo on their machines.

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      September 9, 2013 7:49 PM

      Yup, though I think if they should of made it compatible with digital PS3 games too. It's like a micro size PS3.

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      September 9, 2013 8:27 PM

      Wait a minute, why would it not support ALL Vita games? Because of touch controls?

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        September 9, 2013 8:29 PM

        yep, that be it

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          September 9, 2013 8:33 PM

          yeah but it would be incredibly stupid if you couldn't use a PS Vita itself as a controller and use the Vita TV only to stream to the TV.

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      September 9, 2013 8:38 PM

      This is their budget console to compete against such lofty contenders as the ouya and that apple product that doesn't play games. It's a stand in the $99 ps3 that we're still waiting for.

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      September 11, 2013 5:47 AM

      One small correction: You don't have to be in the same house for remote play. The latest commercials from Japan show it working abroad, and Shu confirmed it over twitter in June.