Sony’s new PlayStation Vita TV lets you play over 1,300 PlayStation Vita games (they mean all the playstation 1 and indie games on psn...) on your television, essentially transforming the handheld platform into a low-cost, low-profile home game console.
But if Sony gets everything right — and that’s a big if — PS Vita TV could become much more than a low-cost alternative to high-end game consoles. It could itself become a high-end game console.
As it stands, PS Vita TV is already a pretty attractive value. It’s a low-cost (9,954 yen in Japan, which will surely translate to $99.99 for the eventual U.S. launch) machine with a big library. In Japan, Sony has a massive collection of games on its PlayStation Network download service that will work with Vita TV right out of the box. Most of these games are from the libraries of the original PlayStation console and the PSP. Throw in the ability to play Vita native games and use video streaming services and it’s an attractive set-top box, something on the order of Apple TV or Ouya, but with all the power of PlayStation behind it.
Vita TV can also be used as a sort of Slingbox for the PlayStation 4. Buy Sony’s $399 next-gen game machine when it hits this year, and you’ll be able to hook up a Vita TV to your secondary television and stream your PS4 games from one room to another.
But the potential game-changer is Gaikai, the game streaming service that Sony acquired last year for $380 million.
Gaikai’s technology allows users to play games that are being processed not on the hardware they own but on remote servers. The scenario that Sony has laid out so far is that even though the upcoming PlayStation 4 will not be natively compatible with games from the PlayStation 3, Sony could stream those games to PS4.
Recently, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s CEO said that the plan is to roll out Gaikai on PlayStation 4 in North America in 2014, then eventually bring the service to PlayStation 3 and Vita.
That means that Sony already plans to let PlayStation Vita TV users, at some point, play PS3 content via streaming. If it can get that up and running, there’s no reason it couldn’t do the same with PlayStation 4 content as well. The technical challenge of streaming games has nothing to do with the power of the server-side hardware, it’s all about minimizing input lag and scaling the service so it won’t choke under the weight of millions of PlayStation owners.
And that’s really the big “if” here; can Sony solve these technical issues so that streaming can be a viable replacement for owning the actual hardware? If it can craft a service that reasonably meets players’ expectations, it might be able to seriously expand the reach of the PlayStation 4 platform.
This is all contingent, of course, on the PS Vita TV actually selling well enough to make such a move worthwhile. Value is in the eye of the beholder; there may simply not be a big enough audience out there that wants a $100 game console in the first place.
But if it does catch on, it could be the best home for the Gaikai service. Playing PlayStation 3 content on PS4 would be a neat additional feature that few players would really take advantage of — why play your old games when you can play so many brand new ones? But playing next-generation console games on a $100 box that fits in the palm of your hand? That could be the biggest deal of all.
tl;dr this $100 little box could stream playstation 3 and 4 games. if sony can get their gaikai game streaming service to be viable. if all else fails, it'll play final fantasy 7 and netflix.
ur fave console, ontd? idk, talk about video games