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Sony announces PlayStation Vita TV microconsole

Sony announces PlayStation Vita TV microconsole

The PlayStation Vita TV is Sony's answer to microconsoles like the Ouya and Apple TV, and plays PS1, PSP and Vita titles as well as extending PS4 games.

Sony has surprised everyone with the announcement of a new PlayStation console which isn't the PlayStation 4: a tiny box dubbed the PlayStation Vita TV.

Apparently deciding that small, low-power home gaming consoles - like the Ouya, the Kickstarter record-smashing but ill-received device based on a low-end smartphone chip and a customised Android installation - have a real place in the market alongside the multi-hundreds-of-pounds high-end console it plans to launch later this year, the company announced the new device in Japan this morning.

Measuring just 6cm x 10cm - significantly smaller than the DualShock 3 controller with which it will be bundled - the console is designed to compete both with Android-based microconsoles and with the Apple TV, offering as it does both gaming and entertainment functionality.

First, the gaming features: the console lacks an optical drive, as you might imagine from its size, and is designed to play content purchased from the PlayStation Network (PSN) Store. This includes emulated games from the original PlayStation, games for the PlayStation Portable and even selected games from the company's latest hand-held console the PlayStation Vita - although not, we'd imagine, those that rely on the console's touch-screen or rear-facing touch control surface.

Those planning on picking up a PlayStation 4 in November will be interested to learn that the PS Vita TV can also be used as an extender: if your main TV is in use, you can fire up a PS4 game and stream it to the PS Vita TV over your home network.

The device is also set to include various entertainment functionality including access to video and music streaming services, eReader software and even a Twitter client for those who for some reason would rather post 140-character messages from their TV rather than a smartphone, tablet or PC.

Sony has confirmed plans to launch the PS Vita TV in Japan this November, possibly as an apology for the delay to getting the PS4 released in that country, priced at ¥9,480 console-only or ¥14,280 bundled with an 8GB memory card and DualShock 3 controller - around £61 and £92 respectively, excluding taxes. International availability has yet to be announced, but the company has provided the teaser video below to whet your appetite.

18 Comments

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Woodspoon 9th September 2013, 12:51 Quote
Interesting.
A nice little device for a spot of retro gaming at what appears to be a great price, I'm not a console prson but I'd definitely go for one of these even if it's just to play wipeout on.
edzieba 9th September 2013, 12:56 Quote
Essentially a media-extender for the PS4, with integrated controller passthrough. I can see this being actually pretty useful if you have TVs or displays in multiple rooms too far to run a HDMI cable between, and out of range of the console wireless. Certainly cheaper than buying a second PS4.
lacuna 9th September 2013, 12:58 Quote
I am very interested in this. It would be perfect for my bedroom tv. I presume the vita games on ps plus would all work on it?
xaser04 9th September 2013, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
I am very interested in this. It would be perfect for my bedroom tv. I presume the vita games on ps plus would all work on it?

According to Eurogamer it would appear to have a "compatability list" of games which it supports (all in Japanese though). The main problem is the touch controls which would require patching to be supported by the controller. Not impossible but would need to be done. IIRC the PSN has the majority of Vita games released.

I do like the sound of this device though, especially if they can patch it to support ALL Vita games (It also has a slot for physical Vita games). Would make a perfect companion to a PS4 sat in another room.
Narishma 9th September 2013, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
IIRC the PSN has the majority of Vita games released.

Make that ALL the Vita games released. All Vita games are available on PSN, but only some of them are available at retail.
sandys 9th September 2013, 15:22 Quote
Assuming things are patched to support it, I could be up for one of these, though they need to get a few more TV apps on Vita like netflix etc.
schmidtbag 9th September 2013, 15:24 Quote
I wasn't aware there were any single-system multiplayer games on PSP or Vita, though obviously the video proves that wrong. In some ways I think they'd be better off just keeping it a single player device, ditch the block thing, and stick it in the controller instead (using something like widi for video transmission).

Considering they used a separate system from the controller, I think they could have also fit the PSP optical drive in there but o well.
azazel1024 9th September 2013, 15:32 Quote
If it can stream media content off your home network and netflix, and not simply from the PSN, then maybe count me in. I'd love a media player that can also bundle something like some "retro gaming" (OMG, that makes me feel REALLY old to consider PS1 gaming retro).

My current media streamers are a little long in the tooth. I wouldn't mind paying to grab a few older PS1 games to play on it, plus access to netflix and my home media library for around $150, I'd be in heaven. Get me some CSoTN, FF7, GT2 and maybe some MGS and I'd be a happy boy.
Bloodburgers 9th September 2013, 15:38 Quote
Awesome i may get to play g*police once more. Love that game
maverik-sg1 9th September 2013, 16:23 Quote
I have the original Vita and to me it's a bit like the WiiU, very little marketing and an identity crisis because of it - I fired it up for the first time in about 5 months and found a huge update for download, but can't even see what it was for....apart from stability improvements???

Still it passed a few minutes as I played Marvel Heroes while I was at the doctors, can't beat a bit of arcade magic.

Could it be that my handheld Vita will be able to perform a similar function as this?
fix-the-spade 9th September 2013, 17:26 Quote
I want to see this bundled in with the PS4.

The PS Eye/Kinect NSA Edition don't really appeal to me, an TV extender that can also play Vita/PSN games independently practically sells itself.

What are the chances of using it for local multi player across two screens?
greypilgers 9th September 2013, 21:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
I'd love a media player that can also bundle something like some "retro gaming" (OMG, that makes me feel REALLY old to consider PS1 gaming retro)..

LoL... PS1 gaming is definitely NOT 'retro'...

;)
DriftCarl 10th September 2013, 01:20 Quote
That is a damn good price if it makes it to ripoff Britain at a smidgen over 60 quid.
I have a 42" TV on my living room wall I hardly ever use, so I might be up for some vita tv to actually make a use for it. I wont be getting a PS4, I have a PC to play real games, the vita TV can be for friends and family fun games.
memeroot 10th September 2013, 07:55 Quote
i suspect an android will have better graphics, cheaper games and stream from a pc by early next year.
sandys 10th September 2013, 09:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by memeroot
i suspect an android will have better graphics, cheaper games and stream from a pc by early next year.

Problem is there aren't many games on android or iOS for that matter that can match a dedicated games machine either in depth or control, this will be better for a long time to come, the tablets/smartphones have had more grunt than the Vita pretty much since launch and you can't really find many comparable big game experiences to the quality of what is on PS.

Streaming from PC might be cool, I might use it once or twice but I'm gaming on PC to experience the HQ graphics and performance, do I really want to compress it down to vita level experience when I have a £700 graphics system, not really.

This'll probably be £100.
lacuna 10th September 2013, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys

Streaming from PC might be cool, I might use it once or twice but I'm gaming on PC to experience the HQ graphics and performance, do I really want to compress it down to vita level experience when I have a £700 graphics system, not really.

The purpose of streaming from another more powerful system is that the work is done elsewhere, ie by a PS4. You can get the same level of performance from a little box because it doesn't do any, or very little, of the processing. This is how cloud gaming will theoretically work as well.
sandys 10th September 2013, 12:52 Quote
I understand this and I have been a supporter of cloud services having used gaikai, onlive and remote play etc. I even like the Wii U implementation, but none of these match the source machines best possible delivery, these remote systems have always been delivered around a set of compromises, reduced resolution, compression artefacts, latency etc, my PC gaming experience is about no compromises, I compromise on a console as the hardware can't keep up.

Do I want 650w of PC churning away to play on a 5 inch screen in my front room when there is a dedicated big screen attached to it, not really.

Where for me this Vita thing comes in handy is you can play the vita games on a big screen when at home on native hardware, which should be fine, always managed with PSP through component, sure when PS4 drops I can use it to stream that when there are TV contention issues instead of buying two consoles but that wouldn't be a primary want for it especially as like PC streaming it's not going to be the best experience, its unlikely to be doing 1080p/60 for example when streaming.
lacuna 10th September 2013, 14:38 Quote
I would expect any limitation would be the wireless connection rather than the receiver (vita). There is no reason why there should be a limitation on streaming a 1080p signal with an underlying control I/O. Theoretically, for streaming PS4 the controller could interract directly with the PS4, even in another room, rather than through the vita but it probably won't work like that.
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