What is PlayStation TV? How does it compare to Apple TV? Is it worth getting? All your questions answered.
The E3 conference in Los Angeles saw Sony launch its brand-new PlayStation TV platform. This diminutive box allows you to stream games and movies from the comfort of your couch. But is it worth getting? Let’s find out. Here’s everything you need to know about Sony’s new microconsole.
What does it do?
The PlayStation TV is marketed as a companion device to your PlayStation 4, allowing you to stream your games from Sony’s latest and greatest console, in addition to movies and music. It also comes with a slot for your PlayStation Vita games, although it doesn’t support every game from the expansive Vita catalogue.
Later updates to the platform are slated to offer the ability to stream games from the older PlayStation consoles, including the PlayStation 3.
Didn’t Sony release something like this already?
Er, kinda… Remember Google TV? Two years ago, Sony released the snappily named NSZ-GS7, which ran Google’s smart TV platform. Whilst being fairly well received by the technology press, the device was a relative failure.
Sony hopes that this new platform will capture the attention of consumers by allowing them to play their favorite games, whilst allowing them to consume movies and music.
Can it stream video like Apple TV?
There’s no word on whether it will support the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu. However it will support Sony Entertainment Network from launch, which offers a subscription movie and music service similar to the aforementioned streaming services.
Any problems with it?
Disappointingly, the Sony Playstation TV comes with a couple of serious major technical limitations. The first is that it can’t output 1080p video, topping out at 1080i/780p. As a result, games played on your PlayStation TV will never look quite as good as they would on the PlayStation 4.
Audiophiles will be sad to hear it also lacks surround sound, with audio limited to a meagre two channels.
How much will it cost and when’s it out?
The Sony PlayStation TV will be released across the PAL region in the third quarter of 2014. UK buyers will have to fork out £84.99 for one, although this comes bundled with a DualShock 3 controller. These can cost up to £30, making the cost of the console a bit more palatable, especially if you already own a PlayStation 4.
Should I buy one?
That depends really. If you’re buying into the Sony ecosystem with a brand-spanking new PlayStation 4, you might benefit from the ability to stream your games across your home network.
Likewise, if you’ve got a stack of PlayStation Vita games that you’re desperate to play on your big screen TV, this is the device for you.
However, if you’re just looking for a way to watch Netflix on your big-screen, there are far more affordable options available, such as the excellent Roku XS 2, which costs half that of the PlayStation TV, whilst costing a meagre £47 on Amazon.