PS Vita TV is the Device No One Knew They Wanted



By: Jason Siu


4 min read

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Since Nintendo decided to announce a 3DS without 3D, it was only natural that Sony would announce a PS Vita without a screen.

Last night during Sony’s PlayStation Japan press conference, the company unveiled the PS Vita TV, a device that no one knew they wanted, until they saw it. But the PS Vita TV will be more than just another home entertainment device, it will inspire developers to create amazing games for the Vita handheld console.

When the OUYA was first announced in 2012, the general public went wild over the idea of a $100 home console as evident by the millions of dollars the Kickstarter raised. But now that the OUYA has been released, people realized that it’s an underwhelming console, since at the end of the day, it plays Android games. It’s not that mobile games can’t be great, but it’s not the same quality experience that a console game can deliver. So even at its competitive price tag, the OUYA really isn’t considered a true competitor in the market.

The Vita on the other hand, was released on February 22, 2012 in North America and has enjoyed moderate success in the market place, to be generous. Its library of games hasn’t been overly impressive and developers just haven’t jumped on board with the system as quickly as Sony had hoped. But with the promise of the PlayStation 4 supporting cross-play and the recent price drop to the Vita, it’s turning into an appealing and powerful handheld console since it’ll serve more than just the purpose of playing Vita-only titles. Plenty of indie developers have already committed to bringing their games to the Vita.

But similar to how Microsoft is including a Kinect with every Xbox One so that developers aren’t afraid of spending resources in making their games Kinect-compatible, Sony’s PS Vita TV will give developers an enticing reason to develop games for the Vita. Look at it this way: The PS Vita TV is a $100 home console that can potentially play real good games. When, not if, the PS Vita TV makes it to America, it’ll be so much more than just another add-on to plug into your television to stream video services. Combine it with the fact that it’ll have access to the library of PSP and PS One games, it blows the OUYA proposition out of the water. Except for the price, it wouldn’t even be comparing apples to apples in terms of the entertainment you can get for the money.

The PS Vita TV measures in at 6.5 cm by 10.5 cm and weighs just less than a quarter of a pound, which means it’s extremely portable. You normally have your PS4 hooked up to your living room and want to continue playing your game in the comforts of your own bedroom? Just pick up the PS Vita TV and hook it up to the television in your room and start streaming where you left off. Going on a vacation and taking your PS Vita with you? Carry the PS Vita TV too and you can hook it up to the television in your hotel while your Vita is charging.

Sony is boasting that more than 1,300 software titles will be available on the PS Vita TV. And of course, the PlayStation Plus service can be enjoyed on it as well. Even if you own a Vita, the PS Vita TV is an extremely compelling option simply because you’ll be able to play Vita games on your television and not have to worry about the battery life on the Vita.

Other features of the PS Vita TV include quick resume with Standby Mode. Similar to the PS Vita, players can put their PS Vita TV in standby mode to temporarily save the system status. Users won’t have to turn off their system completely and can instantly resume the game where they last left off.

The PS Vita TV will also be able to play games with PS Vita users via Ad Hoc mode. Up to two DualShock 3 controllers can be connected to the PS Vita TV, which means you can enjoy some of the multiplayer classics from PS One.

As for its hardware, the PS Vita TV is powered by an ARM Cortex A9 quad-core processor and will have a PlayStation Vita card slot, a memory card slot, a USB 2.0 connector, HDMI output, and a LAN port. It also has built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It will also ship with 1 GB of internal memory and can support up to 1080i output.

Sure, the total investment could tally over $150 in the U.S. if you don’t currently own a Vita memory card or a DualShock 3 controller, but even then, it’s an amazing deal. It’s worth mentioning however that Vita games that rely on the touch interface of the handheld console won’t be compatible with the PS Vita TV. However, we suspect once the DualShock 4 is compatible, Sony will find a way to make those games work through the DualShock 4’s touch panel.

The PS Vita TV will be released in Japan on November 14, 2013, though PlayStation 4 cross play will be available in the future through a system update. That’s not a huge deal for Japanese owners since they won’t be getting the PlayStation 4 until February 22, 2014. The big question is whether or not the PS Vita TV will be released in America around the same time as the PlayStation 4’s launch of November 15. It would obviously be more advantageous to have the PS4 cross-play functionality in place by the time it’s released in America.

Now where the heck is our Final Fantasy Type-0 port.

PS Vita TV Gallery

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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