Sony Bringing its PlayStation TV Microconsole to the US this Fall
As someone who doesn't own any of the current-gen consoles, there hasn't been too much coming out of the ongoing E3 to truly grab me. A major exception, though, is Sony's PlayStation TV, a "microconsole" device that's set to compete with the likes of Amazon's Fire TV.
Released in Japan this past winter as "PlayStation Vita TV", the device ties into Sony's PlayStation Network to deliver all of its content. That content can include movies, TV shows, and of course, games. It's the latter that helps this device scream potential: Sony is experienced at making game consoles, and great games, too.
The PlayStation TV is in effect a non-portable version of the PS Vita, so anything that portable can do, so too can PlayStation TV. That of course includes the ability to play PS Vita games, as well as other games available on PSN, like those for the PSone and PlayStation Portable. PlayStation Now support will also be included, which is Sony's upcoming service that will allow people to stream PSone, PS2, and PS3 titles. While Sony hasn't outright claimed that the PlayStation TV would support all of those, it could given it's simply streaming video. Own a PlayStation 4? You'll be able to use the PlayStation TV to stream those games to another room.
While the PlayStation TV is set to retail for about $100, that excludes the gamepad that will be required to actually use it. The reason the device won't simply ship with a gamepad is because anyone who already owns a DualShock 3 or 4 gamepad will be able to sync up with the device. Those who don't have a gamepad already can expect to shell out about $150 for a bundle, which in Japan includes an 8GB memory card.
Specs-wise, the PlayStation TV features a quad-core ARM A9 SoC, 512MB of RAM, 1GB internal storage (with support for a PS Vita 4GB~64GB memory card), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 10/100Mbit Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and a slim frame of 65x105x13.6mm with a weight of 110g. Via its HDMI port, the device supports resolutions of 480p, 720p, and 1080i.
For its asking price and the gaming capabilities, I am going to jump to conclusions and say that Sony's got a winner here. It'll have far more limited use for those who own a PS4, but for those that don't, it really does open up some great potential. The downside? At this point we're not sure if it will include support for some of the more popular Web services, such as Netflix. If it doesn't, Sony's high-potential device is undoubtedly going to be crippled.