The PS Vita TV has not been announced, and may never be, for the US or Europe, but that has not stopped me from being totally sucked in by the concept. A $100 system that plays Vita games on the big screen? Color me excited. That alone would not be enough to justify the price to my accountant (wife) though. So I came up with three major reasons that I need this new device in my life. Maybe they can help you justify an otherwise frivolous purchase to your significant bookkeeper.
Remote Play – The PS Vita TV is going to support Remote Play for the PS4. While the Vita can already support Remote Play for every PS4 game, there is a big difference between a 5 inch OLED and a 50 inch LCD; sometimes that small screen just does not cut it. For those moments when you are kicked off the TV during a major Watch_Dogs session, you do not have to settle for a compromised control scheme or screen size. Just sigh loudly in protest, swap over to the PS Vita TV, and continue ignoring your family in glorious HD bliss.
Indie Library – Sony’s judicious courting of indie developers has turned the Playstation brand into a thick orchard of sweet indie fruit. While you can already play all of these games on Vita or PS3, you can not play them for $100. PS Vita TV is positioned to be exactly what the OUYA was trying to be, sans emulators, un-sans a better controller. Plus the indie juggernaut Minecraft is making its way onto Vita (and by association PS Vita TV) making the PS Vita TV the cheapest way on the market to play Minecraft. Go ahead and try to build a $100 PC that can run Minecraft.
Besides the indies, you have access to a huge library of PSP and PS1 games that will run on this device. The PSP may have had lackluster acceptance, but it also has some quality games, especially for RPG lovers.
Video Out – While not a big deal for everyone, this is a major feature for me. Until now there has not been a way to record Vita gameplay except the horrid “over the shoulder” view. For someone who does video reviews and hosts the occasional gameplay stream, the ability to finally export video is exciting. Gravity Rush and Soul Sacrifice exist no where outside the Vita and having video of games like that floating around YouTube could potentially boost sales of the Vita itself, meaning more people playing Soul Sacrifice, meaning I do not have to wait in lobbies for so long. Video Out may not be a huge deal to your average consumer, but it will be great for anyone wanting to enjoy a cheaper streaming alternative.
Bonus Round: Gaikai – This is not included in the top three because it may never happen. But let your imagination take over and picture this scenario. You hear good things about Watch_Dogs 2: Reloaded but somehow Sony has secured a timed exclusive. You have not purchased a PS4 and your impatience is immense. In your despair you remember that PS Vita TV can run Gaikai (Sony’s own game streaming service) and that you could just stream the game. $160 later and your impatience has been warded off within the soft glow of Watch_Dogs 2: Electric Boogaloo.
The potential to turn the Vita TV into a $100 PS4 is astounding. Now a Sony next-gen console is $400 less than the competition, rather than only $100. It may be a sub-par experience compared to the PS4, but it would get the PS Vita TV into homes, and get those denizens into the Playstation ecosystem. After that it is just a matter of time before the devilish bargain of Playstation Plus has them in its clutches. It is an all too simple strategy to pull in the casual gamers and the cheap gamers at the same time.
It is for those reasons that, if PS Vita TV meanders its way to the states, I will be purchasing one. What do you think about the Vita TV. Does it have a strange gadget appeal to you? Or is it too peculiar an item to exist stateside? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.