PlayStation TV is a palm-sized “micro-console” that fulfills the role of a set-top box and streaming device for the PlayStation family of products. You can use it to remotely stream your PS4 games to a secondary television, play PS Vita games on a big screen and buy/rent movies from the PlayStation Store. But its biggest drawcard is probably the ability to download and play retro classics from the PlayStation One and PSP eras. Hurrah!
When Sony launched the PlayStation 4 late last year, it promised access to hundreds of classic video games such as Crash Bandicoot and the original Tomb Raider. This was great news for veteran gamers, but the retro titles failed to materialise in the months that followed. Fortunately, this is set to change next Friday (14 November) when Sony releases the PlayStation TV for the Australian market.
This is a small black box that connects to your TV via HDMI. The device is powered by similar components to the PlayStation Vita, including the same card slot for playing retail Vita games. You also get a USB port, a memory card slot and an ethernet port for wired connections. (While built-in WiFi is included, Sony recommends establishing a physical connection to your home network for added reliability.)
Sony is pushing the Remote Play and streaming capabilities of the PlayStation TV device, but we think one of its best features is retro gaming.
According to Sony Australia, there will be just shy of one thousand PSOne, PSP and Vita titles available to download at launch. Prices are expected to fall roughly in line with the existing PlayStation Store, which means you should be able to snap up classic titles for as little as $6.
To get you started, the device comes bundled with three PS Vita digital download vouchers which grant you Velocity Ultra, Worms Revolution Extreme and OlliOlli. We would have preferred a few older titles, but c'est la vie.
We've not tested the system yet so can't vouch for how the games look on a HD TV, but Sony has provided decent transfers in the past via the PS3. If you have reservations about the emulation scene, this could be one of the simplest ways to revisit old PlayStation favourites without dragging out your old hardware.
PlayStation TV will be available in Australia from November 14 for an RRP of $149.95.