Measuring in at an amazingly tiny 6.5 x 10.5cm, The PS Vita TV is going to take the world by storm.
The PS Vita TV is a small set-top box that connects to an HDTV via HDMI, streams media, supports PS4 remote play, and can play some PS Vita games of the cartridges. It also supports PSP, and PS1 games, which leads me to believe that it will eventually be exploited into running VHBL. No word yet on whether this box will support uPNP or not, but if it does I’ll definitely be replacing my current Sony set-top boxes with some of these. In addition to supporting PS4 Remote Play, CEO Andrew House has been quoted saying: “SCE is considering providing PS3 games to the PS Vita TV by using the service in the future” . When he says, “the service”, he’s referring to the Gaikai streaming technology that will power the pseudo-backwards-compatibility on the PS4.
The PS Vita TV will be controlled via a DualShock3, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they added support for the DS4 when the PS4 is released. As such, the tiny console only supports PS Vita titles that don’t make use of the touchscreen, rear touch panel, or microphone. If I was Sony, I’d add DS4 support, and then we could have microphone games at least (the DS4 has a mic port). Only time will tell if PS Vita developers will stop using the console’s bells and whistles, or if they’ll just start releasing alternative control schemes. For example, Dragon’s Crown (which we’ve reviewed), supports using the touchscreen for the on-screen cursor, but also allows you to use the right stick + shoulder button, which means that it is completely playable on the PS Vita TV. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the later, as not doing so would possibly mean people would pass on your game because it wouldn’t work on their console. We’ve taken the liberty of translating Sony’s Japanese list of supported titles, which you can find here.
The PS Vita TV sports HDMI, Ethernet, USB, and can accept PS Vita game cartridges.
CEO Andrew House has said that Sony has no plans to bring the PS Vita TV to the United States or Europe, at least not yet. He was also quoted saying that PS Vita TV will be released first in Asian markets (Japan, China, and South Korea). The first is curious is the US and Europe aren’t on the roadmap. Given the clamor online, I wouldn’t be surprised if the PS Vita TV saw a US release within a year. Saying it won’t be released here helps them avoid the PS Vita TV taking a bite out of holiday PS4 sales.
The PS Vita TV releases in Japan on November 19,480 yen (roughly $95). There will also be a bundle which includes a DualShock 3 and an 8GB memory card for 14,280 yen (roughly $143).