Sony has announced a tiny set-top box that just might give the Apple TV a run for its money. The company announced the PlayStation Vita TV this morning. The device is miniature console that plays PS Vita games and connects to PlayStation controllers, and also offers access to Sony’s Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited service, karaoke, and more — all for around USD $100.
It’s a knowing nod to the likes of Ouya, NVIDIA’s Shield, and even Google’s Chromecast although it’s a little bit different again, attempting to broach both gaming and online media consumption. Other services ready for the PS Vita TV include Twitter (through Sony’s own client), Hulu and NicoNico Douga, with even more media providers signing up to offer their services on the new device, at least in Japan. Up close, you can see it includes HDMI output, space for a (proprietary Vita) memory card, a slot for Vita games (on the side), plus USB, power and ethernet ports.
Here’s a very cool feature, the PS Vita TV will also allow you to a PlayStation 4 for remote play, acting as a secondary terminal for gaming when you can’t be in the same room as your PS4 console.
A setup with a controller and one of Sony’s proprietary storage cars will run around USD $150. It will go on sale in Japan on November 14th. No word on a date for a U.S. launch.
(UPDATE: 9/13/13) – Crap, turns out Sony won’t be bringing the PS Vita TV to the United States, or the European markets any time soon.
In a roundtable interview with Tech On, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said the company is currently only targeting Asian markets for the product.
“The reason why it will be launched in Japan earlier than in other countries is that there is no leading company in Japan’s video streaming market,” said House. “The company is planning to sell the PS Vita TV in China, South Korea, etc, but not in the US and European market at this point. In the Asian market, SCE has high hopes for the Chinese market. This is not limited to the PS Vita TV. This applies to all of SCE’s products.”
So, the bad news is that the PS Vita TV won’t be coming to the U.S. any time soon, but the good news is, it freed up a hundred bucks to use to pre-order the Hyperkin RetroN 5 Retro Gaming System. So I got that going for me, which is nice.