Yesterday Sony announced a small device (6 x 10 centimeters) that is as much a surprise as it is a game-changer. Effectively, it’s a PS Vita attached to your TV via HDMI, and it’s only $99. The Vita TV works with the PS3’s DualShock 3 controller and has a slot for Vita games. Users have the ability to play those Vita games, watch video and network streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.). Importantly, you won’t need to own a Vita to take advantage.
Not all Vita games are playable due to touch/mic and other interfaces. According to Sony, over 100 Vita, 600 PSP and 600 PS 1 games are available. The Vita TV will be available in Japan on November 14th - no US date has been announced as of this writing.
My reaction is, of course, positive. Sony has now entered a new space that has been dominated by Apple and Roku while integrating their biggest asset: gaming. You may initially think this will undercut Vita console sales. I believe this will increase Vita game exposure which will lead to more console sales.
When the Wii U was revealed I envisioned playing Nintendo DS games on my Wii console/tablet. Even as far back as Episode 51 of our podcast, I voiced this concept. I think Nintendo missed the boat by not supporting their mobile games on their home consoles. I loved the GBA attachment for my GameCube. If only Nintendo carried that tradition forward, this announcement by Sony would seem like all the others: following in the footsteps of competitors.
Hat-tip to Sony: the PS Vita TV is a solid innovation.