If you’ve been on any video game or technology blog within the last 24 – 48 hours, chances are you’ve seen the buzz created for Sony’s new set top box, the PS Vita TV. The system is said to be able to do the following for the low price of $95:
Stream PS4 games via remote play
Play PS1/PSP games w/Dualshock 3 (PS3) controller
Access apps like Netflix/Hulu, along with Sony media services and
Has slot which allows it to play “select” PS Vita w/Dualshock 3 controller
Also comes with memory card slot for saving of Vita game data
The ability to play PS Vita games in the home could perhaps be the thing Sony needs to save the Vita from failing in the handheld market.
It’s no secret that when it comes to handheld sales, the PS Vita has been getting it’s ass kicked by the Nintendo 3DS. Although the Vita holds an advantage in almost every available category used to judge technology the one category Nintendo continues to win, is the game library. Put simply, games are what sell consoles and the 3DS has them by the boatload.
The Vita boasts a great library in its own right. Sony promised “console-quality” games for the Vita before it’s release. They’ve delivered on that promise with major franchises like Uncharted, Killzone, Rayman, Street Fighter, Persona, and Assassin’s Creed games on the handheld. Add in indie classics like Hotline Miami and Spelunky, plus PS1/PSP compatibility and it’s easy to see the Vita has the hardware necessary to cater to a wide range of gamers.
The problem is, the entry point is expensive and its library is still lacking compared to its competition.
Enter PS Vita TV.
A $95 set top box with the ability to play Vita games with a Dualshock 3 controller might not sound all that great of an idea, until you realize one of the problems with the Vita is the lack of market penetration. It’s a strange chicken/egg concept. Developers won’t make more games for the system until it starts to sell. The system, however, won’t sell until developers start making more games.
With the Vita TV, Sony may be able to get the penetration it’s looking for. When you take into consideration that for $95 you can have a device capable of streaming PS4 games on ANY tv, a cheap alternative for Netflix and Hulu which is bolstered by Sony’s vast video game collection, there’s a real chance this thing could fly off the shelves.
All of a sudden, developers aren’t looking at just the amount of handheld Vitas being sold, now they can take into account the number of Vita TVs being sold as potential profits. Potential profits which will encourage them to make games for the system. This will allow more Vitas to be sold. If games are key for the handheld Vita’s success and developers need a high install base to incentivize making games for the platform, the Vita TV could provide the proper opportunity for developers to do just that.
It’s a win-win for everybody.
In short, I believe the Vita TV can be a great boost to the handheld Vita. As a person who went home with the system on the day of it’s release and has poured in hours playing much of the content available, I’m excited for the shot in the arm I believe the Vita TV will provide the console. Because let’s face it, more games never hurt anybody.