PlayStation TV 1

It’s hard to shake the feeling that the PlayStation TV is little more than a fleeting distraction for Sony in Europe and North America. When the platform holder truly puts its weight behind a product, they have a tendency to fly – but so many of the firm’s smaller hardware launches have been treated with discontent. The recently released PlayStation Vita Slim, for example, should have marked a new chapter for its flagging handheld format, but its UK launch passed even us by – and we cover the world of PlayStation for a living. Similarly, the likes of the PlayStation Move and EyeToy came and went with barely a fluttered eyelash; they never really had a chance.

In a way, we’re surprised that it’s decided to bring its miniscule microconsole overseas in the first place. The global reception to the diminutive device was outstanding approximately a year ago, with Amazon Japan selling through its stock allocation in minutes. And that prompted the platform – which is named PS Vita TV in the East – to get off to an impressive start, moving 42,172 units during its opening weekend. However, like a bad period drama, its audience very quickly depleted, to the point where it now competes with the PlayStation Portable at the bottom of the Media Create charts. It hasn’t exactly taken off.

PlayStation TV 2

The PlayStation TV seems like something of a confused product, but we still think that it has reasonable niche appeal

It’s interesting, then, that it’s decided to proceed with a Western launch – especially after Andrew House, who’s in charge of the PlayStation business at the present, suggested that the firm would need to find an angle to make it work. With the likes of Apple TV, Roku, and even the Chromecast already well established in these parts, the PlayStation TV doesn’t look like a particularly appealing set top box – especially with many popular applications missing from the Vita operating system upon which it runs. As such, it won’t come as an enormous surprise that the manufacturer isn’t even touting the media capabilities of the console – despite it being front and centre in the name.

PlayStation TV 3

As a consequence, it seems like something of a confused product, but we still think that it has niche appeal. There are probably not an enormous number of people who want to play Vita games on a big screen – especially now that cross-buy is so ubiquitous – but with an impulse price point, the console’s likely to appeal to the few that do. The same can be said about those who want to bounce their PS4 into a bedroom, conservatory, or, potentially, even garden shed – but, again, there is a desirable application there. And with PlayStation Now also looking like it’s actually going to work, we can certainly see the draw of a device that can cope with all of these things with very little hassle at all.

And it’s the few people that all of this appeals to that we reckon Sony is targeting. Its commercial expectations are probably rather modest – although, it does appear to be tracking surprisingly well on Amazon – but it’s just another way for the organisation to embed consumers into its range of services on a more regular basis. We have a feeling that this time next year, you won’t hear the manufacturer even acknowledge the microconsole’s existence – but for those who know what they’re buying into, we reckon that it could still become quite a useful little piece of equipment.

Are you in tune with the PlayStation TV? Will you be picking up the miniscule microconsole, and why? Change the channel in the comments section below.

Will you be buying a PlayStation TV? (97 votes)

  1. Yes, the little black box has turned me on41%
  2. Hmm, I’m still not sure whether to get one or not27%
  3. No, I don’t see a use for the diminutive device32%

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What’s the primary motivation behind your purchase intent? (89 votes)

  1. Duh, I mainly want to play Vita games37%
  2. PS4 streaming is what I really desire21%
  3. Actually, I’m interested in it for PlayStation Now4%
  4. Er, I want access to the media capabilities3%
  5. I just told you, I don’t really want one34%

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