The lights are on
Early this morning, Sony conducted a press conference for its Japanese customers. Among the announcements was the reveal of the Vita TV microconsole for living rooms.
The device will be offered at less than 10,000 Yen and is small enough to fit in a pocket. The device measures 6cm x 10cm (2.36 in x 6.93 in), and will access media services like Hulu and play select PSP and PlayStation Vita games. When the PlayStation 4 launches in Japan, the Vita TV will also be able to remote play PS4 games (like the Vita).
The device will be released on November 14, 2013 for 9,480 yen ($95.31) or in a bundle with a white Dual Shock 3 and 8GB Vita memory card for 14,280 yen ($143.58). There are currently no announcements about whether Vita TV will come to markets outside of Japan.
At the press conference, Sony also announced the release date of the PlayStation 4 in Japan. The console will be coming to that market on February 22, 2014, for 39,980 yen ($401.97). This is significantly later than the November 15, 2013 and November 29, 2013, release dates in North America and Europe respectively.
Update: A press release from Sony includes the specs for the Vita TV.
It's also worth mentioning that the release does mention the DualShock 4, but only in relation to remote play features for PlayStation 4. There is no direct statement that the DualShock 4 controller will be usable with PSP, Vita, or PlayStation 1 titles.
[Source: Sony Computer Entertainment Japan]
Our TakeWhenever a new gaming hardware device is introduced, I ask myself one question: "Who is this for?" In the case of the Vita TV, I'm not sure. There are a number of reasons that it hasn't been announced yet for the West, including a mismatch between market desires and product.
Sony, a Japanese company, is launching PlayStation 4 later in its home territory than in the West. There is room for the Vita TV this fall in Japan, but Sony would be foolish to introduce it in the West this year (if it is planned at all).
The Vita TV would compete for mindshare with the PlayStation 4, even though they are devices with different intent. It would also confuse those outside the core (read: parents) who will only know to ask for "the new PlayStation" when walking into a retailer this holiday season.
I don't expect the demand for a device at that price point to play PSP and Vita games on the TV exists in enough volume in the United States to warrant release. Sony's Gaikai service could conceivably fill the same role here.
Sony has created a problem for itself with the Vita TV. Either it pushes the hardware with developers, forcing them to make a choice between using the Vita's baked-in features (touch screens, gyroscopic control) and designing for universal play, or allows the Vita TV to exist merely as an afterthought. The marquee Vita game of the fall, Tearaway, is a perfect example of the conundrum Sony has just created.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Interesting thought I guess.
This actually looks really cool!
I actually find this device really intriguing... It can be used as basically another PS4 on a different TV and it can be used to stream Netflix
why not make a cable to connect to the vita and hdmi to your tv like the cable on the psp that way when were home we can play are vita games on tv and when were on the go just take our vita or a reverse remote play that puts our vita games on our ps3 or ps4 and use our ps3 or ps4 controllers or the vita its self
vita must really suck in japan for them to make a stripped down version of the vita with no screen lol but the vita hasnt been selling anywhere anyway cause theres no game support but its funny we dont here all the hatred towards it like the wii u
unclear what it does, but at least its segregated so it wont affect any plans already made.
That's so weird that Japan has to wait such a longer time to get the ps4. I also don't really understand this vita tv thing, but it may sell well being so cheap.
Why get that when you an get a portable one! But, one thin that this has that the original vita doesn't, local multiplayer.
Sweet I could see this being used in places like car or Rv where there is limited space for a full sized console. But you wanted to use a normal controller and didnt want the handheld console.
Well, this is pretty cool if for no other reason than It will allow for remote play for PS4.
I'd buy this just to catch up on psp titles and vita exclusives on a better controller when i'm at home. I like the concept of remote play where I could possibly hook a ps vita tv in my bedroom and stream ps4 games in my bedroom when i don't feel like playing in the living room. If it lets me stream netflix and other tv streaming services then i'd pick up one. The only downside I see is no UMD support which would've been a nice alternative to those who still have them for their psp.
This new interface is interesting and I love the idea of playing handheld type games on a larger screen and hope it works well. ^_^
Holy Crap! They are playing Devil Dice! One of my all time favorite games.
hmm, I'm very interested, hope it makes it here.
This looks like it can be pretty useful. Definitely an interesting little device.
What flavor of gamers is this aimed for? I do not see this as a hardcore centered gaming device. If you want to play games on the television just get the PS4.
it would be easier for me since I am selling my PS3 and getting an Xbox One. I love vita games but I traded it in when I was low on cash...might have to get this one.
sorry futter, but I believe you are underestimating the potential of the Vita TV. I am hopeful it will be successful and gets an American release.