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.
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I looks like sony is starting to look at what Apple is doing and wants a little peice of the pie or should I say, apple pie. I know that was corny but I thought it was hilarious.
I feel like it would mainly be used (in the west) for a household with several tv's. Say you want to go to bed and finish your game in there, stream the game from your ps4 in the living room, finish up, and go to sleep without having to move your console.
So the dad isn't japanese?
I really enjoyed the TV out cable for the PSP, and I am glad that something like this now exists. I really hope this comes out here, but PS products are usually region-free and this is fairly cheap, so it is no big deal if it does not.
I do hope that a touch pad controller comes out for it eventually, so all Vita games are compatible.
i don't care i want this
Japan has to have something to play with while they wait for the PS4. This may just make time go by a little faster for them. I'm putting $100 down on my OLED Vita November. My PS4 is paid off already.
Looks great but wouldn't this drop the sales of the vita? anyways i might pick this up if more great game appear on the vita... then again the games i have feel better on a portable device :/ (RPG's and platformers)
I don't see myself getting this if it releases in the U.S
If done correctly, this could be a huge success and could potentially undermine 3DS. A high caliber gaming system that comes in at $100 and will have extensive PS4 support, is a dangerous combo. The only thing they could do to make it better is include a special PSvita Controller where it has a touch pad on both the front and rear of the device so it can play the whole library of games without compromise.
I think I turning Japanese, because I will pick one up if released here in the U.S. While do think you create the problem in development on whether or not to include something like touchscreen controls, in the end whether it is a Vita or a VitaTV the consumer base for the Vita games increases. With the Vita struggling to get in some new consumers a move like this might be met with slightly more games being developed for it.
I would be interested in playing vita games on the tv. But not enough to pay $100. Even a tv out cord would work. Using a normal controller would be nice, but so many vita games use the touch screens or other censors.
One word: Why?
Interesting thought I guess.