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[September 10, 2013]
PlayStation Vita TV is complicated and costly [Tulsa World, Okla.]
(Tulsa World (OK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 10--Well, it may be late to the party, but Sony finally announced a media streaming device. No, wait. It's a new version of the PlayStation Vita portable. But it's not portable, so it's another game console? Yes, the new PlayStation Vita TV is pretty baffling at first glance. I'll try to break it down for you.
The regular PlayStation Vita is a portable, dedicated gaming device. Don't feel bad if you had forgotten about it, as it's been selling horribly due to the price -- after a year and a half, the $250 price tag finally fell to $200 a few weeks ago -- and the requirement of stupidly expensive proprietary memory cards.
For instance, an 8GB Vita card costs $30, while regular 8GB memory cards can be found for less than $10 for little effort.
Vita TV has a much lower entry price at $100, but it gives up the screen, controls and portability. What you're left with is a small device that connects to your TV, similar to Apple TV or Roku. And yes, it has access to streaming media via Sony's Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, as well as Hulu and, presumably, more channels in the future.
Yes, it can play Vita games too -- with an asterisk. The Vita TV doesn't have the front and rear touchscreens of the regular Vita, so you won't be able to play certain marquee games like Uncharted and Gravity Rush.
Oh, and you'll still need those stupidly expensive memory cards. And a PlayStation 3 controller, which isn't included. Those accessories push the price within sight of the regular PlayStation 3, which is more powerful, has a vastly bigger library of games and has access to all that streaming capability at $199.
It's probably best to think of the Vita TV as an accessory for people already deep within the PlayStation ecosystem. For them, it could be useful as a way to extend PlayStation services and some games to a bedroom TV.
But as it stands right now, it does little to compete with all the other media streamers that provide more content for less money.
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