E3 was primarily about Games, and that’s great because, by definition, gamers really like games, but for me, one of the coolest things to come out of this year’s conference was information about hardware, namely the potentially brilliant PlayStation TV.
Via a little box (tiny, really – weighing in at 110g, and about the size of a deck of cards) PlayStation TV will add loads of cool little features to gamers’ lives, and at $99 (£85) it could be considered a real bargain, and become a genuine must-have accessory. And I’m not exactly the kind of guy to go throwing my money around for useless, gimmicky things either, so allow me to explain why I think PlayStation TV represents real value for money……
Firstly, and probably likely to be the most utilised feature of PS TV, is the fact that it will provide PlayStation owners with the ability to turn another TV in the house into a de facto PlayStation, by streaming whatever’s on the PlayStation to that TV.
Just getting to a really good bit in your favourite game, only to have somebody come into the room and insist on watching Britain’s got The X Factor Idols with Talent: 12 hour live show? No problem, just take your controller (PS3, or PS4), go to another TV hooked up to PS TV and carry on playing. It’s that simple!
Indeed, it’s hard to overestimate the value of this, and without being hyperbolic, there’s a very real possibility that this could save relationships, and reduce worldwide family-based arguments by something in the region of a million percent. One of the really great things about me owning both a PS Vita and PS4, for example, has been the remote play option, and it’s made life so much easier (and more peaceful), but the only downside has been that the Vita’s not nearly as good as my main TV set-up, and going from playing any game on a 46″ screen to playing it on a 4″ one is always going to be a pretty noticeable step down. My second TV’s not quite as good as the main one either, but it’s considerably closer!!
Conversely, PS TV will also have a PS Vita Card slot/Memory Card Slot, so if you’re loving a Vita game, but not the dimensions of it (and you’re at home obviously), you can just go right ahead and stick the game card into the neat little box, and play the game on a decent sized TV. If the positive feedback from Japan (where PS TV’s been out for a while) regarding upscaling and whatnot’s anything to go by– this has the potential to make the game you’re loving even more brilliant. It won’t work with every PS Vita game, particularly the ones that rely on the touchscreen features etc, but, given the PS4 controller has similar features, for example, even that might change in the future.
Then, because PlayStation TV is also a media streaming device, you’ll have access to most of the Sony content you currently have access to on your console (Music Unlimited, Sony Entertainment Network etc), as well as, hopefully, stuff like Netflix, Hulu or similar. For me, this is great news, as my main TV set-up includes three separate devices capable of accessing streaming services, but I currently have none hooked up to my secondary TV.
Given that Playstation TV is likely to be hooked up to a secondary TV anyway, that’s some pretty nice gravy, right there!!
Finally, aside from all of the above, PS TV will also allow you to access an “extensive library” of games from the get-go. For those of us in households with more than one gamer, we sometimes have to contend not only with other’s TV viewing habits, but also other’s gaming habits too. If somebody else has got priority privileges and wants to play on Minecraft, and you don’t, fear not, just go to your second TV and use PlayStation TV to play any of the hundreds of games it gives you access to, including PS One Classics, PSP and PS Vita games, as well as PS3 games too.
Then, as if that wasn’t enough, by the time PlayStation TV is released, PlayStation Now should be up-and-running, so this will potentially increase the number of games you have access to considerably, depending on how PlayStation Now works in practice, of course.
So, all things considered, but especially the price-tag, there’s every reason to think of PlayStation TV as an absolute gem, and that it could well become an essential addition to many households with at least one avid gamer in it. As I said at the time, the PlayStation TV reveal has shown us that Sony are not only putting thought into what games we can play, but also into how we can play them, which is very commendable indeed.
PlayStation TV is set to hit shelves in the autumn/fall, so please, feel free to form an orderly queue, right behind me……
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