Sony to Take On the Ouya with PS Vita TV

Posted by at 11:14 am on September 9, 2013

PSVitaTVAs a follow-up to their announcement of a redesigned PS Vita for the Japanese market, Sony’s other Vita related announcement is a new micro console that appears to be targeted at the Ouya and other sub-$100 TV/gaming consoles.

The PS Vita TV is essentially a headless PS Vita offering the ability to access the Vita’s game, video, and application library in a cheap external device to be hooked up to a TV.

Being based on the Vita hardware in a miniscule 6.5cm x 10.5cm x 1.3cm package, the game situation for PS Vita TV will be relatively straightforward. The PS Vita TV will initially be paired with Sony’s DualShock 3 wireless controller, making it possible to play many but not all PS Vita games.

This includes both download games and cartridge games through the inclusion of both the Vita game cartridge and Vita memory card slots. However games that specifically require the Vita’s front and rear touchpads present an obvious challenge. In a Sony promo video the PS Vita TV is also shown to be working with a DualShock 4 controller, whose touchpad should alleviate most of those issues.

Meanwhile Sony is being a bit vaguer about media options on the console, which of course will play into regional restrictions. The standard PS Vita currently supports Sony’s PSN store video, YouTube, and Netflix, while Hulu was specifically mentioned in Sony’s conference as coming to the PS Vita TV.

In terms of connectivity the PS Vita TV offers the Vita’s standard WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity suite, along with a full size USB port, an HDMI port for video out, and a 100Mb LAN port for hardwired Ethernet.Sony’s spec sheet unsurprisingly notes that it has limited TV out resolutions. 720p is supported, but 1080 is limited to interleaved mode with 1080p unsupported.

Along with PS Vita game support, like the PS Vita the PS Vita TV is also slated to get PS4 Remote Play support, powered by the same real-time video streaming mechanisms that make Remote Play possible for the Vita. This the first time we’ve seen a major console offer a satellite micro console in this fashion, and consequently the first to allow playing games on a remote TV.

The PS Vita TV will initially be launching in Japan. Arriving November 14th, Sony will be selling both the bare console for ¥9,480 JPY (about $95 USD) and a kit containing the console, a DualShock 3 controller, and an 8GB Vita memory card for ¥14,994 JPY (about $150 USD). No launch date was given for North America, but given the timing of the PS4 in the West, the DualShock 3 bundle may be unique to Japan as the DualShock 4 will become available shortly thereafter.

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