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e3 2015

Sony: PlayStation TV Isn't Successful Because It's Not Easy To Explain To Customers

by Mike Futter on Jun 19, 2015 at 09:14 AM

The PlayStation TV made landfall here in North America in October last year, promising to give players access to a wide range of Vita titles and media streaming options. The device hasn't lived up to expectations, with only about half the titles compatible with the mini-console.

Retailers have rapidly dropped the price from the original suggested price of $99.99 to as low as $39.99. We asked Sony president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida about the future of the PlayStation TV and what went wrong.

"It didn't capture the consumers' imagination," he says. "It's a hard concept to explain. You could say it's a mini-console, it's a video streaming device. If we say it's a mini-console, like other mini-consoles, people expect a better device like PS4 or Xbox One. It's short in that delivery. When you say it's a video streaming device, there are other devices with higher def video. It has some unique things like remote play of PS4 games. It can do many things, but it's not easy to say this one thing is extremely good. I think that's the reason we were not able to convince people at the original price."

Yoshida also tells us that the reason that there aren't any additional AAA first-party games for the Vita is because of consumer expectations. "We are not making games like Killzone Mercenary, big budget Vita games anymore," he explains. "The expectation of the graphical quality and size of the world for these type of games have risen after the launch of PlayStation 4. The same thing happened with the PSP. People were so excited to be able to play PS2 graphics games on the go. After PS3 launched, expectations grew. The types of games on PSP were not as attractive."

Yoshida says that the future of the Vita is cross-buy games and indies that can take advantage of the system to offer similar quality experiences. He points to a number of titles that will be coming to both PlayStation 4 and Vita, like Volume and Super Time Force Ultra as examples of what we can expect moving forward.