September 10, 2013
At a special press event yesterday in Japan, Sony announced a number of upcoming hardware releases including the PlayStation Vita TV, a small set-top box device that delivers content and games to HDTVs. Designed to connect Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited content to televisions, the Vita TV box can also play PS Vita and PSP games, and will be available with an optional controller. Sony also unveiled a new version of its PS Vita handheld game console and announced that the PlayStation 4 Japan launch has been pushed to February 2014.
The PlayStation Vita TV, a 6 x 10 cm console based on PS Vita hardware, will launch in Japan on November 14. According to Wired, the device will allow users to play more than 1,300 PlayStation Vita games on their televisions.
“The device launches… for the equivalent of about $99 as a standalone unit, and will retail for about $150 with a PlayStation controller and storage card,” reports Fast Company. “As well as serving up Sony-specific content, it can also act as a remote access portal for the PlayStation 4, meaning you don’t have to physically connect the device to the TV. It will also deliver streaming video services like Hulu.”
The PS Vita TV is expected to rival Apple’s TV device.
“The hardware is of a similar size and capability, and Apple is said to be planning a new hardware release soon,” notes Fast Company. “But it’s long been thought that the Apple TV could be Apple’s gateway device to the average user’s living room. The news at WWDC that Apple is planning Bluetooth gaming controllers with iOS 7 compatibility has also been seen as a suggestion that gaming apps could soon hit the Apple TV.”
Sony also announced a revised version of its PS Vita handheld console. “Sony has dropped the OLED panel that shipped with the original version of the console, swapping it out for a 5-inch LCD panel,” according to Electronista. “In return, the device will offer users an additional hour of battery life taking it up to 6 hours, despite slimming down. It will also come in range of new colors with availability expected on October 10.”
A one-minute video trailer of the PlayStation Vita TV is available on YouTube.
Why the Vita TV and Other “Microconsoles” are Destined to Fail, Ars Technica, 9/9/13
Sony’s New PS Vita TV Rivals Apple’s TV, Fast Company, 9/9/13
Sony Announces PS Vita TV, a Tiny Console to Take On Apple TV, The Verge, 9/9/13
Sony Surprises with PS Vita TV, Revised PS Vita Console, Electronista, 9/9/13
This Tiny Box Could Be Your PlayStation 4, Wired, 9/9/13