A few reasons why you might want to consider this little device
Wait, what is it?
Don’t be fooled by the name. PS TV is Sony’s streaming mini console, which launched in Japan under the name “PS Vita TV” earlier this year, and was released in North America this month. Priced at $99 for the standalone device ($140 with a 8GB memory card, DS3 controller and a voucher for a download of Lego Movie game), it may seem like an unnecessary peripheral for most of us.
We’ve given it some thought and came up with a few scenarios where it would make sense to grab one.
PS4 Remote Play
This is a no-brainer, and probably the single most important use of the PS4. It’s what sold the device for me, and will likely be how I spend 90% of my time on this device. Now my wife can go and watch reruns of Sex and the City while I shoot into a cave for an hour.
Pros: extends your PS4 gaming.
Cons: 720p resolution and stereo sound
Considerations: Decent wireless connection, preferably wired
Alternatives: Remote play on Vita; 2nd PS4
Play Vita games
For those of us who don’t have a Vita, this is a cheaper way to try out some* of the games that Vita users have been enjoying, and could be a way to maximize those PS+ subscriptions we have. One caveat – many of the games that rely on the touchscreen will likely not work unless they receive patches that remap that functionality on a controller
Pros: Vita games on a big screen!
Cons: Not all titles are supported; Resolution might suffer when blown up to fit the TV
Considerations: You’ll need a Vita memory card, as the internal 1GB memory on the PS TV won’t be enough.
Alternatives: Buy a PS Vita
Play PS games now with… PS Now
Playstations new streaming “game rental” service was launched in open beta a few months ago and the PS TV will allow you to revisit those classics, or catch up on those backlogged games you’ve since traded in. I did have a few reservations with PS Now, but that can be remedied if they fix the pricing or offer a flat rate subscription.
Pros: No need for physical discs or old consoles
Cons: Price; library won’t have everything, but they have a decent selection so far
Considerations: Good internet connection will be needed since it’s streaming
Alternatives: PS Now works on a variety of PS devices, and will probably roll out to more Sony electronics in the future (TVs and laptops?).
The small size of the device (about the size of a deck of cards) means you’ve got yourself a neat little portable gaming device – as long as you have a TV to hook up to. Perfect for those Thanksgiving trips to your boring relatives house, or during work conferences when you’d rather play games in your hotel room.
Pros: PS TV, controller, wires will easily fit a backpack or your man purse
Cons: TV needed (of course)
Considerations: Decent internet will likely be required if you’re playing PS Now; A memory card will be a requirement if you want to download a Vita game.
Alternatives: Lugging around your console.
Streaming audio and video
This thing is named PS TV after all. While Sony’s launch day entertainment apps (CrunchyRoll & Crackle) were a bit lacklustre according to sources, an update that includes Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming media sources would be a great alternative to devices such as Chromecast or Roku. Granted, it’s a bit pricier than some of the alternatives – but you didn’t really want to buy this as a media extender, did you?
Pros: Nice little add-on
Cons: No apps yet except for the Sony ones, and Crackle sucks.
Considerations: If you’re not using this at all for gaming, then maybe stick to a different media streaming device, or check out your Smart TV functions
Alternatives: Lots. Chromecast, Roku Streamer, Apple TV, etc…
So there you have it. Are you excited about this new peripheral, or is this another piece of equipment that we can do without? Let us know in the comments below!