Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Vita and PlayStation TV getting a network media player

We should all know by now that the PlayStation TV will let you play Vita games on the big screen and PS4 games on a second TV, plus a few other bits and pieces. Until we get a true PlayStation 4 Portable, its all we have to look forward to in the way of new Vita hardware.

Hamstrung by all kinds of minor limitations, we wait to see if it is really a worthy option alongside full consoles, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, micro Android boxes, Nvidia Shield and a host of other TV-hangers-on. See the list of incompatible Vita games here.

The list of compatible games is key to if you'll like it or not, while PlayStation Now could help sell it, whenever that launches in Europe. Along with the usual info on features that PlayStation Vita TV micro-box will offer on a new FAQ, there's this little snippet from Sony.
We would also like to announce the Network Media Player app that will be coming to PS TV and PS Vita soon, which will allow you to access media servers over a network. The Network Media Player can be used to view photos and stream music and videos from a media server located on your home network. You can also copy photos, music and video files from the media server to your system. Further details about this app will be shared at a later date.
If this is to "make up" for the lack of Netflix EU services, Amazon Prime and other major media apps, then Sony can take a running jump. Especially as Sony's own Unlimited service doesn't offer HD content.

On the other hand, come launch, Sony could drop a neat load of apps and suddenly the unit could have wider appeal. As it is, it doesn't sell in Japan (around 1,000 a week) because no one has PS4. And, it probably won't sell much in the west because no one has Vita while PS4 owners growl when anyone comes near their main TV.

Many are asking does PS TV support DLNA? Typically, Sony asks that question on its own FAQ and then doesn't bother to answer it. Which is probably a "no"! UPDATE: The US blog with a near-identical post manages to say "no" properly. But even the US doesn't say if Netflix will play on it!

That leaves the PS TV as quite a quirky little beast then, Sony are trying to sell something to a small user base of Vita owners and a growing PS4 userbase who just spent a lot of money on a console. Hard to see it standing out from the crowd.

Also out of luck are owners of Sony's own gaming headsets like the Wireless Stereo Headset 2.0 or 1.0, the Pulse Wireless Stereo Headset, the new Gold model. None of them are supported, which will chafe for Sony loyalists!

 

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