The Playstation TV is Sony’s attempt to bring the Vita experience onto the big screen. No idea why they called it the Playstation TV since it does not feature Youtube or Netflix, the two biggest entertainment providers. It is a gaming console that only features Crunchyroll and Crackle. It will play some Vita games as well as every PSP and PS1 title I threw at it, along with the every indie game in the “Playstation mobile” section. The reason some Vita games are not compatible is that the Vita has a front and rear touchpad, cameras and a gyroscope which the PS TV does not feature. A few games have been updated to allow a substitution for those missing inputs methods like Killzone Mercenary where you use the analog sticks in sections that requires swiping the screen. Another neat little feature is that you can stream your PS4 to the PS TV and play PS4 games on a different tv. Unfortunately I will not be covering that in this review since my wifi is god awful and the signal drops in a few seconds after connecting.
The console itself features 1 usb port, 1 Ethernet port , a slot for memory card, 1 hdmi out and a slot to insert physical Vita games. You can use either a PS3 or PS4 controller on this system but you will need a PS4 controller to play PS4 games. A Vita proprietary memory card is required to use the PS TV and you will need a Micro or Mini USB cable to connect your controller into the USB port to sync the controller and the console. The memory card is one fatal flaw that both the Vita and PS TV share. It is insanely expensive for the meager amount of GB Sony offers and they should have just gone with the mainstream MicroSD card to begin with. I understand that they had to incorporate it into the PS TV but it is an issue nonetheless. As for the visual appeal of the console it has a sleek low profile look and is about the size of a wallet.
How do games look on a 1080P TV you may be wondering by now. Well as some of us know the Vita itself is not true HD since it doesn’t reach 720P but the PS TV upscales it to 720P or 1080i. You can definitely notice a drop of image quality but if you don’t compare them side by side to the Vita the image still looks pretty nice, especially 2D games. Every game plays perfectly and the exact same that they would on a Vita which is awesome since you can have the same experience on the big screen as you would on the go. PSP games definitely look a lot more dated on the big screen as you can see a lot of jaggies but the most baffling part is that Sony got rid of the Bilinear Filtering option present on the Vita that would have helped the image immeasurably more on the big screen. PS1 games can only be played in a 4:3 ratio and no Bilinear Filtering unlike the Vita where you can play in fullscreen and use filtering. The removal of those features and why Sony would take them out greatly confuse me but the games themselves play perfectly fine.
The PS4 and PS3 controllers both work perfectly fine with no lag or anything of that sort. Strangely enough Sony kept the Vita’s bubble style layout on the main screen which is far more suited to touchpads than controllers. Web browser is intact and yes you can still watch anime from certain sites on it. Like the Vita you can either buy themes or use your pictures an the background. You can still take screenshots anytime in game by pressing the playstation button and the start button at the same time. The Playstation Shop is there and you can buy PS1, Vita, PSP, Minis or Mobile games on it. Every physical release on the Vita has to have a digital counterpart so every game that is compatible you can buy on the digital store assuming they are US releases. The PS TV is region free so you can import games from Japan and Europe or anywhere else in the world to enjoy them on the same console.
If you prefer to have physical Vita games then it will be quite annoying figuring out which ones are compatible since Sony stopped updating their official compatibility list a month after the console launched and you will have to ask around or rely on Wikipedia which is just another mind boggling decision by Sony. If you insert a non-compatible game in the Vita it will still show the game but you will not be able to launch it. Any of your previously purchased digital games can be downloaded on your console. Every non Vita game I have thrown at the console has worked without issue. A very annoying issue with Vita games is that most physical games do not save on the cartridge but on the memory card itself so you will have to transfer the save files every time you switch between the Vita and PS TV. You will have connect the Vita to the PS TV, copying over the save file or using the cloud if you have paid for PS+ to continue where you left off.