Ever since Sony first acquired Gaikai, gamers have speculated what this would mean for the industry. For the most part, the addition of Gaikai was viewed as a way to make the PlayStation 4 backwards compatible, which would give them a huge edge when compared to the Xbox One. This was exciting for many, though the lack of information left us with a healthy bit of skepticism. That is, until Sony made the announcement of PlayStation Now at this years Consumer Electronics Show.
The announcement was largely what gamers expected. PlayStation Now would offer PlayStation 4 users the ability to stream PlayStation 3 games over the internet, but it turns out Sony had much bigger plans. In addition to working on the PlayStation 4, it seems the service will also work on a number of devices, up to and including televisions. Needless to say, this is quite exciting news, though it has left many wondering what this means for the PlayStation Vita TVs future and whether or not it will come to the west.
While the Vita TV has already released in Japan, it has been met with tepid sales. Considering the Vita itself has been a much bigger success in that country, Sony even bothering to release Vita TV here is a valid concern considering the company plans on launching PlayStation Now in the North America first.
As of now, the main focus of PlayStation Now is to stream PlayStation 3 games. This makes a lot of sense, considering a lot of them are up for digital distribution and a number of PlayStation 2 games got HD ports. While Sony revealed they’re “considering measures to offer other content in the future,” this will most likely start with PlayStation 1 games, because Sony has already brought them to the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita in a limited capacity.
Since we already know PlayStation Now has its focus elsewhere, the PlayStation Vita TV actually makes more sense than before. As you all should be aware, Sony has their own line of smartphones and televisions, which will be the first to get PlayStation Now. However, it’s quite likely that Sony will not offer PlayStation Now to other competitors and will instead opt to sell an optional peripheral, which logically should be the PlayStation Vita TV (most likely renamed the PlayStation TV).
Its $100 price tag would make it a higher end streaming device, but wouldn’t price it out of the market. If anything, it would steal sales from the Roku 3, which also offers the ability to play games like Angry Birds. This makes it a no brainer for Sony and an obvious choice for anyone looking to stream and play video games, especially given the interest in the device prior to PlayStation Now being announced.
Despite this, the Sony has still yet to announce the PlayStation Vita TV for the west. This will hopefully happen soon and it could be that Sony wanted to announce PlayStation Now first. Regardless of what their reason might be, PlayStation Now can only help the PlayStation Vita TV be more successful. If only as a Netflix playing machine that has the ability to play The Last of Us.