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Monday
Sep092013

Sony announces 'PlayStation Vita TV' for Japan, as well as a new, slimmer version of the Vita handheld system.

Sony announced, in the middle of the night here in the States, during their pre-TGS conference, a few things of note: a new, slimmer Vita and, more interesting and surprising than anything else, the 'PS Vita TV.' The new Vita model is 20% lighter, 15% thinner, sports an LCD screen instead of the original's OLED screen, a gig's worth of onboard storage, a quoted hour of extra battery life, and will be available in six different colors when it releases on October 10th in Japan for 18,980 Yen--which is just about $190 USD. As of right now, there is no word of a release or pricing for other territories, but I would be surprised if this new Vita model never shows its face anywhere other than Japan. But, as nice as it is to see a new Vita model, the out-of-nowhere announcement of the PS Vita TV is much more interesting.

I own an Apple TV; I also own a Roku and, believe it or not, an Ouya too. Despite owning all these different devices, I'm still in the market for something new, something different, because I have yet to own or use a cheap, streaming+ box that does everything I want. The PS Vita TV--which also doesn't currently have any release or pricing information for territories other than Japan--may just be the device I have been waiting for.

The PS Vita TV is, first and foremost, a sexy little device. I know a lot of people seem to be tired of white devices now, but I am on the other end, at least when it comes to specific types of devices; my Apple TV is black; my Roku is black; my PS3 and 360 are black; seeing the the PS Vita TV all dressed in white is refreshing and would also go quite nicely with my white Vita. But really, who cares about what the thing looks like, eh? What it does is the important question.

Like every other device, the PS Vita TV will include various ways of watching streaming video--don't ask me to find out what services are available in Japan--however, the PS Vita TV also includes the ability to play Vita games, PSP games, and PSone Classics using a DualShock 3 controller, and will, in a future update, let you play your PlayStation 4 via Remote Play with a DualShock 4. The PS Vita TV has slots for both Vita game cards and Vita memory cards--a new, 64GB card was also announced--and will be available in Japan on November 14th for 9,480 Yen--which is just about $95 USD; an additional, bundled version, including a DualShock 3 and an 8GB memory card will also be available for 14,980 Yen--which is about $150 USD. It's important to note that the PS Vita TV will not be able to play all Vita games because the DualShock 3 features no touch controls, but, for the most part, this shouldn't be much of a problem.

So, what do you think about the PS Vita TV? If it finds its way to the States, would you pick one up? I believe, in an ideal world, if the PS Vita TV is a good piece of hardware, it could not only do extremely well in the States (and other territories), but could also help increase Vita handheld sales because if you only have a PS Vita TV and find out you can play all those games you have for your TV device on a handheld system without having to buy them again; well, maybe it's just me and my history with similar-ish devices like the Sega Nomad, but I think it could be huge.

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