While the introduction of the Vita TV to North America as the PlayStation TV doesn’t bode so well for the Vita name, it could be a big win for Sony. Coming this Fall in two SKUs ($99 alone, $140 with a Dual Shock 3, 8gb stick, HDMI cable, and the Lego: The Movie game), the minuscule box offers a lot of PlayStation synergy.
It can download and play “select” Vita, PSP, and PS One games from the PlayStation Store. It can stream “select” PlayStation 3 games from PlayStation Now, and it can remote play PlayStation 4 games across a local network. It will also enable buying and renting movies, TV shows and music from the PlayStation Store and since it’s basically a Vita it should also offer Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other entertainment apps. It’s a super tiny box and at least with PS4 remote play it addresses that complaint about family members hogging the living room TV.
Could it ever compete with Chromecast, Fire TV, or the dozens of other little plastic media boxes already established in the market? It’s possible but Sony will probably slack with keeping it updated. The one major selling point I see is Sony’s angle with Disney Infinity 2. Details were nonexistent at their press conference but at $99 for the console it could be the cheapest way for kids to get sucked into Disney Infinity 2.
Add on the marketing angle of the tiny box, the game streaming and media apps and it could be a surprise seller for parents this holiday season. I don’t think I’ll ever need one but it’ll be interesting to watch how this potential dark horse fares out of the gates.