Excellent Gaming Platform
Sony offers this small console, with almost the same footprint of a smartphone, with which you can play Vita games as well as PlayStation games. It also enables streaming of video content and streaming videos and music from the Sony store. You can also connect the device with several PS3 DualShock controllers, to enable an effective gaming. The console was released in Japan in November 2013 at around $99. It resembles an Apple TV in many ways, with mobile hardware fitting your television set. However, it is based on the PlayStation Vita handheld, so it offers an excellent platform for gaming apart from other media functionality. In short, it offers the games, the content and the controller. The Vita TV is available in only white color, looking compact and austere.
The PS Vita TV is really a very small device measuring 65 x 105 x 13.6 mm, being a very tiny console. The footprint is similar to a smartphone device rather than a gaming system. The design is minimalistic, with a silver logo on the top and an embossed legend on the side on its plastic frame. The console boots silently within a few seconds from standby. The Vita TV can go into a standby mode in the midst of a game and then resume within seconds.
The Vita TV can be placed lengthwise, enabling the IO ports to point backwards. The experience may not be as good as that offered by Apple TV or by Roku. In addition, you will need a PS3 or PS4 for controlling and using the Vita TV, which is not part of the basic package. The built in storage is 1 GB, but you may need more by using Sony’s Vita memory cards. You can also buy a Value pack consisting of a PS3 control, a memory card of 8 GB and a PlayStation Plus for three months at a cost of around $150.
Interface on TV – Not too Intuitive
The PS Vita TV copies as well as pastes the software, almost resembling the smartphone, on the big television screen. This is then manipulated using a D pad and the buttons. The system is the same with applications and games having their separate icons. When you press them, you can access the Live Area to get related information and begin the game. It works well for launching features. However, the icons don’t have a four-way grid, so it is not very clear where the buttons will take you. It is also quite difficult to type with the keyboard on the screen. Closing the apps and returning to the home screen is different from PlayStations. After entering an application with O, the home button has to be pressed if you want to return to Live Area Screen. The X button has to be held for a few seconds, simulating the touchscreen gesture.
The output of the Vita TV is 720p but everything becomes large on a television. For instance, the Twitter application displays only four big tweets at one time. Most of the usual user interface elements, namely the clock and the notification icons seem much larger when compared to the PS3.
The Vita TV is effective as a gaming machine and does a good job. It offers good support for PS one games as well as PSP and PS Vita along with several other retro titles from the PC Engine. The games are up scaled to a resolution of 720p. However, as there is no touch input, many of the Vita games are not compatible with the Vita TV.
The price is excellent and the hardware is efficient and offers a god option of playing games on a big screen. Yet, there is no touch control and the media capabilities are not so excellent.