Announced unexpectedly a few weeks ago, and now shown at this week's Tokyo Game Show, the Sony PS Vita TV is part Ouya-esque micro-console, part second-room mini Sky box set, ready to be released this autumn in Japan in lieu of the Sony PS4 – which goes live in the West first – but with no plans currently for a wider showing. We hope Sony reconsiders, as this is like an Apple TV box with a purpose.
Sony PS Vita TV: Size and build
It is effectively a Sony PS Vita without the screen and controls, reduced to a tiny and svelte 6cm x 10cm chassis – that's smaller than an iPhone 5 – which plugs into your telly, is controlled by a DualShock 3 joypad and runs games, TV services and ebooks on your big screen on a budget.
Sony PS Vita TV: Connections
The unit is minimalist and white, ultra portable and flexible, packing an audio jack, HDMI out, memory card slot, ethernet and USB ports, plus a power button along one side, the rest sleek and lacking intrusion. A very small stand can prop up the unit vertically, PS2-style, with the wires running down like a common or garden router. It's really quite cute.
Sony PS Vita: Games
The first appeal is playing PS Vita and PS Classics games on your big screen – your already downloaded PSN titles sync automatically but also offer smaller developers another way to the main telly, building the community's recognition. The UI looks initially a bit stretched in resolution terms, but games actually run surprisingly well, and if you sync it up to a PS4 you're quickly into the next gen machine's new aesthetic layout.
Sony PS Vita: Streaming
The second appeal, however, is the PS Vita TV operating as a second entertainment box in the house, Sky-like, streaming PS4 games to a spare room in a Remote Play style when necessary thanks to quick and easy connectivity.
Once the boxes are synced you can not only access the PS4 UI, but also use the DualShock 4 controller for appropriate game interaction, and you can also pause and continue your game in any room you wish with the tap of a button.
Sony PS Vita: Verdict
While this is an Eastern curiosity at present, we're rather taken with the PS Vita TV. A cheap, sleek-looking alternative that could see off Android-run competitors due to its sterling gaming history and decent streaming options, this new set-top box can be a standalone addition to your entertainment armoury or part of your growing, always-on PlayStation fun palace.
Sony PS Vita TV review: Hands-on
Sony PS Vita TV review: Hands-onT3
The Sony PS Vita TV is a neat box that lets you play PS Vita and PS Classics on the big screen. T3 went hands-on in Japan...
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