By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief
The Tokyo Game Show is coming soon and Sony came out early with some significant announcements. The biggest among them being a new piece of hardware. The PSVita TV is a $100 piece of equipment the size of a deck of playing cards that has a lot of potential.
The hardware is currently slated for release in Japan, but I can’t see any reason why Sony wouldn’t bring it over to North America at some point soon.
Its primary purpose will be to allow people to play PSVita games on HDTVs using a DualShock 3 controller (the controller that comes with the PS3). This is great for people who were interested in the PSVita game library, but were not interested in paying over $200 for a handheld device. The announcement left us to wonder about how they will make the touch screen controls in many of the PSVita titles work, but I am certain that Sony will fill in the blanks as they get closer to the launch.
That’s not all it can do though. The PSVita TV will also be able to play the role of a retro-PlayStation machine by playing Playstation Classic titles that are downloaded using Sony’s Playstation Store. This makes it a great option for people who are looking for a bit of nostalgia.
Lastly, the device is going to allow media streaming much like the current Roku boxes and Apple TV. This will include things like Netflix and Hulu. I know that just about everyone has more than a dozen devices in their home that can stream like this, but it is never a bad idea to include the features.
Those features are fine, but what really struck me as interesting about this device is its potential integration with other Sony products and services.
Presumably, this product will be able to connect to the PS4 remotely and allow people to play their games on a separate TV without moving the main box. As someone who plays a lot of games while my wife is watching her own shows at night, this is an attractive feature. The implications of allowing a child to play PS4 games on the “playroom” TV while leaving the actual PS4 unit protected in a parent’s bedroom or an office sounds like it would be a great idea.
Sony also purchased a company in the last year called Gaikai that was developing technology to allow people to play streamed games similarly to the way we watch movies on Netflix. Sony intends to, at some point, give people access to their library of games through that service. This would be an excellent piece of equipment to do that with.
We’ll have to see how it all plays out in the long run, but for right now this is a pretty exciting device. What do you think? Would you buy one? How would you use it? Sound off in the comments section!