Review: PlayStation TV

PlaySTation TV Design
The first reaction that you will have to the PlayStation TV is that it’s overwhelmingly small. The PlayStation TV sizes up at 65mm wide, 105mm tall and just 13.6mm deep. It weighs an almost unnoticeable 110 grams. Pictures really don’t do this little device justice. I can’t recall any other electronic device on the market that packs as much functionality as this does for the size. The Apple TV would be the thing closest to it in terms of functionality and size however it would still about 4-5 times the size.

PS2The PlayStation TV has a smooth matte black finish with a simple Playstation logo embossed into the system. It’s extremely minimal and will hide within any entertainment setup. At the rear, the device sports a power button, ethernet port, HDMI port, power port and a proprietary Vita memory card slot. On the side is the Vita cart slot.

playstation tv in the box
Included in the box is the unit itself, power cable, HDMI cable and a Vita case with 3 downloadable Vita games in it. These are OlliOlli, Worms Revolution Extreme and Velocity Ultra. In Australia, the device isn’t purchasable with any controller. The device is compatible with any Dualshock 3 or 4.

The device itself has 1gb of storage which is just enough to fit your 3 downloadable games and that’s it. This has been a major criticism of the Vita since the device launched and it’s even more present here. The device already comes in at $149.95 which is almost double what you can get the device for in other countries. Almost every single person that buys this device is going to need a Vita memory card of some sort which is going to set you back at least another $25. Add a controller for those casual entry level gamers and you’re going to be set back well over $200.

PlaySTation TV Functionality
The PlayStation TV was originally branded as the Vita TV in Japan and for most hardcore gamers, that’s what this device will be. There are quite a few gems on Vita that gamers have sunk 100s of hours in to and would’ve loved nothing more than to be able to play these games on their TV. For games like Persona and Freedom Wars, this device is absolutely perfect. You’re able to sit down and play these great games for hours on end with the comfort of a Dualshock 4 controller. It’s also worth noting that it’s incredibly easy to then take your game on the go with either the use of the PS Plus Cloud OR by swapping your memory card back and fourth either ease.

The main feature of the PlayStation tv for myself was being able to Remote Play from my PS4 to another room. This has always worked great on my Vita however the lack of the R2/L2 triggers and clickable analogue sticks has always made it an underwhelming experience. You’re able to use Remote Play on the Playstation TV in 720p/30FPS but unfortunately it’s almost unusable when connecting wirelessly. I’m not really sure why this is the case as connection wise, it’s flawless on the Vita. It works great once connected via ethernet cord however this isn’t going to be a possible option for most people who want to use this in another room. Hopefully this can be smoothed out with further firmware updates.

Another oddity about the PlayStation TV is the lack of games that are compatible with the device. The first thing that I did when I got the device set up was put my 64gb Vita memory card in. It took me about 5-6 games before I finally found one that was compatible. Games such as Uncharted, Little Big Planet and Tearaway all aren’t supported on the PlayStation TV. I understand that a lot of these games rely heavily on the PS Vita features however it completely makes you wonder about why this device was created in the first place.

Thankfully, there are a number of PS1/PSP titles that make this worth purchasing to the ultimate casual gamer or possibly someone that wants something smaller in their bedroom without needing to move their PS4 away from their main theater system. The compatible with these systems are a lot better and there is a ton of great games to replay or discover for the first time.

Another missed opportunity with the device is the lack of entertainment functionality. It would be a much more compelling device to the casual gamer if there was the ability to access entertainment networks such as Foxtel, Netflix and a variety of Free-To-Air catchup services. A lot of people are yet to upgrade their TV so this would be a great way for people to spend a minimal amount of money in order to access a great all-rounded entertainment device. In America, the PS TV can be used for PlayStation Now. This is also a great use of the device as it allows gamers to play PS3 games via streaming. Hopefully once internet in Australia improves and the service becomes available, we’ll be able to take advtanage of it as well.

PlayStation TV conclusion
The PlayStation TV has the potential to be the perfect entry device into gaming. Unfortunately the lack of polish and available features as well as a slightly high price-point will keep it from reaching it’s ultimate potential in the short term. I’d still recommend it for the ultimate Vita RPG fan or those that want a PlayStation device in another room. I’d highly recommend that you check what’s compatible before purchasing.

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