When Sony announced that it would only be bringing one new version of its PlayStation hardware to the living earlier this year, that wasn’t entirely accurate. Announced today, the Sony PlayStation Vita TV may have the name of a gaming console, but Sony is positioning it as a direct competitor to the Apple TV.
Debuting in Japan for just around $95, according to a press release from the company, Sony’s taken the internals of its PlayStation Vita mobile gaming console and put them in a set-top box.
The PlayStation Vita TV will allow users to do many of the things other set-top boxes are known for including streaming from the company’s own Sony Unlimited music and video services, and other Japanese specific services like Hulu. According to the company, entertainment app availability will depend on each individual market that the tiny entertainment console launches in.
Sony isn’t forgetting its gaming fans in the move to a cheap living room console either. The PlayStation Vita TV allows users to connect to the console with a Sony PlayStation Dualshock controller and play many of the games that were released for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation One. The PlayStation Vita TV will also allow users to play PlayStation 4 games through the console using a feature it calls remote play. Users will have to own both the PlayStation Vita TV and the PlayStation 4 for the feature to work.
Each PlayStation Vita TV will also come equipped with applications that expand the device’s functionality. Sony says these applications will include a web browser, email client, internet radio service, a Twitter client and compatibility with the company’s Reader eBook products at launch.
Unfortunately, only Japanese users will be able to pick up the console on November 14th. However, language it today’s press release does make it clear that the company has plans to roll out the device to other markets over time.
If or when the PlayStation Vita Television makes it to the United States. The device would be a worthy competitor to other set-top boxes, including the Apple TV. While most set-top boxes provide access to streaming music and video, very few of them offer a compelling gaming experience at all. That’s especially true at the price that Sony is offering the PlayStation Vita TV to users.
Sony is also due to launch the PlayStation 4 gaming console this November. At $399, it’ll offer all the features of the PlayStation Vita TV, plus ability for users to enjoy next-generation gaming experiences with better graphics.