Friday, 14 November 2014

PlayStation TV: Is It Worth The Money?

PlayStation TV (AKA PS TV, or PS Vita TV) launches in Europe today. Sony's micro-console is said to cost around £90, but Mini Gamers asks what does it actually allow users to do, and is it really worth the money?


Firstly, for those of you who are unfamiliar with PlayStation TV, this device is like a non-portable version of the PS Vita handheld console. It connects to most standard TVs via an HDMI cable. It allows PS4 users to stream some games content onto a secondary TV, which is a great bonus for those gamers who wish to extend their PS4 gaming  beyond the living room, especially if someone else is needing to watch the main TV.

PlayStation TV can also be used as a dedicated gaming device. However, in order to do this, players will have to invest in additional memory cards, as the micro-console itself only comes with 1GB of storage. However, the system does come with a games bundle, including a Playstation Store voucher for three downloadable games - OlliOlli, Worms Revolution and Velocity Ultra, so users can start having fun with PlayStation TV right from the beginning.


The device is Plug 'n' Play, so it is fairly simple to set up. If you are familiar with the PS3 or PS4 consoles, you should not have any trouble in setting up and accessing this device. The system uses the standard PS Vita operating screen. The traditional touchscreen 'swipe and flick' functionality of the PS Vita is now duplicated by pressing the 'O' button on a DualShock 3 or 4 controller.

PlayStation TV is great for playing PS Vita games on a standard HD TV too, but one of the major downsides of this is that not all of the PS Vita games currently on the market are compatible with this device. Sony has included a list of compatible PlayStation TV software on its website though, so it might be worth checking this before deciding to part with your hard-earned cash. PS Vita titles can either be downloaded onto the system via the PlayStation Store, or played by inserting the game card into the available slot.

The answer to this is both yes and no. It is currently possible to rent and watch some films or TV programmes through the Sony Entertainment Network app, but unfortunately, the system seems to sadly lack Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV or the other great entertainment or audio apps found on the PS4 and even on the older PS3 systems at the moment, which is a bit of a shame, and a definite drawback for those users who were hoping that PlayStation TV would act as a multimedia streaming device. These entertainment applications will not work using the 'Remote Play' function either.

Truthfully, that depends on exactly what you were hoping to do with PlayStation TV in the first place. For PS3 and PS4 gamers who just wish to stream their content in a different way, rent a few films or TV shows and have a further use for the 'Remote Play' function on their other PlayStation devices, then the PlayStation TV micro-console is absolutely perfect!

If you are a PS Vita owner, being able to stream your favourite PS Vita titles to a large television certainly has its appeal, but as discussed, the drawback here is whether or not your favourite PS Vita titles are actually compatible with the PlayStation TV system at present. Many original PS Vita titles will not be compatible, nevertheless, future PS Vita releases are likely to be developed with the micro-console in mind. Thus, it may be worth purchasing a PlayStation TV micro-console when a larger catalogue of compatible PS Vita games becomes available. 

If you were hoping for a miniature multimedia streaming device, then you are likely to be most disappointed by what the PlayStation TV system currently has to offer. Nevertheless, there is huge scope for development here. Now TV and Netflix were added to the PS3 after its original development, so there is no reason why a version of these applications could not be developed for use with PlayStation TV at a later date. Moreover, the recently hinted at PlayStation Vue application would definitely go very nicely with the PlayStation TV system should it be added at a later date. Nevertheless, at the moment, with its skeleton multimedia functionality, PlayStation TV is unlikely to appeal to those people who prefer video and film streaming over gaming.

The PlayStation TV micro-console has both its good and bad points. It is small, easy to set up and use and offers new and exciting ways for PlayStation gamers to access and stream their media. However, it seems somewhat lacking in content at the moment and will not appeal to all PlayStation users. Unfortunately, it may not be worth its £90 price tag for some people right now.

Nevertheless, with more content and multimedia applications sure to be added to the device in the future, we have no doubt that PlayStation TV will eventually be a great addition to the PlayStation range. If you are in any doubt about whether or not to purchase Playstation TV, then the advice from us here at Mini Gamers HQ  is to wait until there is more PlayStation TV compatible content available. Watch this space!

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