I was promised so much more.
The $40 sale price was all it took to convince me that I had to have a PlayStation TV. And lots of things are worth $40: a tank of gas; dinner for four; even an eighth if you ask nicely. I chose to spend it on a little black box that plays Angry Birds on the big screen.
The PlayStation TV is supposed to be a do-it-all media device that plays all your favorite PlayStation classics. Hell, I half-expected it to suck my dick after it extorted my credit card information from me. Sadly, as I discovered, the PlayStation TV does not perform fellatio.
So what does Sony’s little device do? Well, it plays Vita games. Just none of the ones you want to play. Dying to play Gravity Rush? Sorry — no can do. Project Diva? Not gonna happen. Alright, maybe I’m being a little unfair. After all, the Vita comes equipped with a touchscreen and rear touch pad that can’t be emulated on the standard DualShock controller. Fair enough. But it still won’t play anything you want it to play.
Try to purchase a digital copy of Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection and you’ll be greeted by this pop up.
It won’t even play a game that doesn’t require the touch screen. So then what does it play?
Fortunately, the games that are compatible with PlayStation TV are conveniently filed under “PS Vita Games (for PS TV)” in the PlayStation Store, where you’ll be able to select from a myriad of heralded Vita classics such as Foosball 2012 and Table Top Racing. Scrolling through the list, I was pleasantly surprised to find a sequel to an old favorite of mine: Lumines. The price may have been a little steep at $26.99, but I figured for such a fantastic series it’d be worth dropping the extra cash on it. Wait — what the fuck —
The PlayStation TV won’t even play a game it claims to be compatible with. Women play games with me all the time, and I ain’t even compatible with most of them. Okay, fine. If this thing doesn’t wanna play Lumines, then let’s try Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time from that same list of compatible games.
Well, at least it plays Table Top Racing.
Rather than the ubiquitous SD card or even the memory sticks of yore, the PlayStation TV relies on Sony’s proprietary, Vita-specific memory cards. A 4GB memory card has an asking price of $19.99, which’ll hold a whopping two full-sized Vita games. The more desirable 32GB card will run you an eye-watering $79.99. Thankfully, Sony was gracious enough to provide 1GB of internal memory, good for one copy of Table Top Racing and a list of games the PlayStation TV isn’t compatible with.
Some folks might want the PlayStation TV to play all their favorite PSP classics on the big screen. Those people may want to take out a loan:
Despite the outdated pricing of certain titles, it’s not all bad. Much of the PSP library is available for download on the PlayStation store, most at a reasonable cost. Most PS One classics are priced at a fair $5.99, comparable to the cost of N64 titles on Nintendo’s own Virtual Console. Flash sales do occur on occasion for those actively on the hunt for deals.
Too Little, Too Late
Of course, the PlayStation TV isn’t just a gaming device. It’s right there in the name after all: “TV”. And the little black box delivers: Netflix, YouTube, web browsing. It plays music through your TV speakers and streams all your favorite movies! Read your e-mail, set your appointments — damn, it does everything!
Except your computer does it all better. Hell, your phone does a far more efficient job of doing any of those things. In a world where televisions can connect to the Internet and watches can make phone calls, the PlayStation TV suffers in its own redundancy. And that redundancy lies in its roots — the PlayStation Vita. Everything about the PlayStation TV — from the user interface right down to the screen resolution — is ported over from the Vita. Many of these applications may see practical usage in the Vita format, but eliminating that portability and ease of use makes many of these features redundant or downright useless.
Those looking for a pure media streaming device for their television will want to look elsewhere. With a native resolution of 960 x 544, the image is upscaled to 1080i resulting in a stretched, unflattering image unfit for HD video viewing. For those in the market for a media streaming device, $35 will get you Google’s Chromecast, a dongle-shaped media player that plugs into your TV’s HDMI slot and streams media in full HD directly from your phone, tablet, or PC. Cool, huh?
Does It Do Anything Right?
Sure it does. The PlayStation TV has myriad of uses not advertised by Sony.
Feed it to your dog!
The PlayStation TV makes for great toilet paper.
And it fits nicely in the trash bin!
Michael B. likes all the same things you like. He also thinks your hair smells nice. Check out his music at: https://soundcloud.com/satellite-99