The PlayStation TV, which was released last week, is a small set-top box that you can hold in your hand. It allows you to play PS3, PlayStation One, PS Vita, and PSP games through Sony’s streaming-game service, PlayStation Now.
It can also read games from a memory card or from the Vita’s game cards.
It can’t stream Netflix. Or Hulu. Or YouTube videos. You can download those apps, but they don’t work.
And it doesn’t look like Netflix will ever be available for the device. “We have no current support plans for Netflix on PS TV,” Netflix reps told Gizmodo.
But that isn’t the point of the PlayStation TV. The point is playing games. And in that respect, it seems to do a good job.
Rather than a streaming device that plays games, think of the PS TV as a Vita that hooks up to your TV.
It’s $US99 for the system itself. You’ll also need to buy a DualShock controller, which must be purchased separately and costs about $US40. Or for $US139, you can a bundle that includes a controller and a Lego game, as well as an 8GB memory card.
That might seem crazy to release a $US99 device that doesn’t have a controller. But keep in mind that many people buying the PlayStation TV are probably already in the PlayStation ecosystem and probably already own at least one controller.
It doesn’t play every game that Sony offers, only the ones on this list. Some of the Vita games aren’t compatible yet, but that could be fixed with a system update. It’s still a huge bevvy of games, and having the option to play old PS One classic games is a win. It’s similar to what Nintendo does with the Virtual Console on the Wii U.
But its killer feature is something called Remote Play, which is where you can sync it with a PlayStation 4 and play PS4 games on another TV in the house. That’s great news for families or roommates who want to share the PS4 but not all the time.
The one caveat is that in order to have a really smooth playing experience, both the PS4 and the PS TV should be connected via an Ethernet connection. Still, that might be a small price to pay for essentially a second PS4 in a different room.
Microsoft doesn’t have a set-top box or a “remote play” feature with the Xbox One.
The PS TV isn’t for everyone. Renting games through PlayStation Now can be expensive and complicated. And $US99 seems pricey for a little box that doesn’t stream. Sony has hinted that it’s working on a subscription plan for PlayStation Now, however.
But for people already in the PlayStation universe, or for people just entering the gaming world (and who don’t want to drop $US600 on a full-on console), the PlayStation TV might be a sure bet.
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