(Note: This Review is my Opinion only. This is not a paid post, I am not a professional reviewer. This is just one man’s opinion. All photos were taken with my PS Vita and all screenshots were taken on the PlayStation TV.)
It’s been, what, close to three years since my review of the PlayStation Vita? I remembered how I had such high hopes for this system. And to me, it delivered. There are some good games out there, some original, some ports, that make the system worth it. But with smart phones and tablets becoming so prevalent, and with Nintendo’s ever popular 3DS, the VIta has struggles, at least outside Japan. Sony, however, has tried to make it an accessory to it’s home consoles, especially the PS4. Remote Play, promised for the PS3 but never made it, is a big part of the PS4’s plan. This connectivity, built in from the start, is the basis for the PlayStation TV.
With the PlayStation TV, you can stream your PS4 games to any TV your PS TV is hooked up to using remote play, You use a PS3 or PS4 controller paired with the PS TV to control the games. You cam even stream PS3 games through your PS4 using the PlayStation Now service (imagine the bandwidth fees!). Like the PS Vita, the PlayStation TV acts as an extension or your PS4.
But, at its core, it is a PS Vita. The interface is the same as the Vita, with the bubble icons. It uses the PS VIta memory cards for it’s expandable memory (it only has an internal memory as 1 GB.) There is a slot for your PS Vita games so you cam play them on a bigger screen. It even up-scales the game to improve the graphics (a feature the original PS Vita had, but it was never implemented.) Now you cam play your potable games on your home TV.
“But,” you might ask (or maybe not but… just play along!), “most Vita games have touch controls. Do all Vita games work on the PlayStation TV?” The answer is no. From what I tried, PlayStation All Stars and Metal Gear Solid 2/3 HD do not work. Samurai Warriors 4, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1 & 2, Dead or Alive 5+, Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remix, and Senran Kagura do. Borderlands 2 did not work at first, but will after you update the title (even gives you the console control scheme!), so there is a chance more games will work. For Touch controls, you click on L3 for front screen and R3 for rear pad controls, with a pointer appearing on screen. With the PS4 controller, you can control the pointer with the touchpad. It might be a little awkward, but it works.
Another thing that works are some of your PSP and PlayStation One games you have digitally on you Vita memory card. These games, though up scaled on the PS Vita, might look a bit rough, especially some of the PS One titles, but it is nice to be able to play some Vita games on a larger screen. Like on the PS Vita, you cam remap some of the controls for your games. So you can map the D-Pad to the Right analogue stick and give some PSP games the control scheme it needs.
All and all, it seems the Sony is looking for ways to extend the Vita’s brand.. I do not have good internet at home so streaming of PS3 games from PS Now is not in the cards. I hope to use it to extend my PS4 to the living room so I can game and watch for the mail. The PlayStation Vita might give Vita games another chance (maybe convince some to buy it,) but it is a good way to extend you PS Vita gaming at home.
3.5 out of 5