Slagging Vita sales has made Sony look at their powerful handheld differently. With a definite cost in a market oversaturated with mobile gadgets and devices, Sony’s ploy is to lock Vita to the television.
The stylish, small $100 device will be known at PlayStation Vita TV (PDF link), and as of now, remains exclusive to Japan. Featuring an HDMI port, USB, LAN, Vita card slot, and puny 1GB of memory, Sony’s shot for low cost hardware could attract developers with a widening install base.
Resolution maxes out at 1080i, which means upscaling will be necessary to broaden Vita’s native resolution, 950 x 544.
Sony’s play is an intelligent means to not only deliver Vita units into the hands of users (at a subdued cost), but also act as an additional streaming device. The idea 0f portable games being played on dedicated home hardware is hardly outlandish either. Nintendo’s push with their Super Game Boy & Game Boy Player peripherals for Super Nintendo and Gamecube respectively were successful.
Vita has a distinct difference: Touch screen play. As such, while Vita TV will support all digital PSP software, control limitations will prevent some titles from being accessed on this new hardware (including launch darling Uncharted: Golden Abyss). Theoretically, possible updates could be issued to render those games functional on this new device should it prove popular.