In a market absolutely glutted with set-top boxes, it may seem that the last thing that it needs is another contender. Sony, however, is about to cast its hat into the ring with the PlayStation TV. The $99 device is a comprehensive media player that will also provide support for hundreds of classic PlayStation titles.
The PlayStation TV has already been available in Asia for some time, and consumers in that region have generally been very enthusiastic about it. At Sony's E3 2014 press conference, the Japanese electronics giant revealed that the system will make its way to North American and European shores this fall.
Like other set-top boxes, the PlayStation TV will support streaming media channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Where the system sets itself apart is in its gaming capabilities. PlayStation TV users can access the PlayStation Network store and purchase PlayStation and PlayStation 2 classics, as well as most games available for the PSP and Vita.
To play these games, all users need is a DualShock 3 controller. In fact, a bundle with the system, a memory card, a controller, and a voucher "The Lego Movie Videogame" will be available for $139.
The PlayStation TV's gaming credentials don't end there, though. Provided that a user has a PS4 elsewhere in the house, he or she can stream games and other media from the PS4 to the PlayStation TV. This could be helpful for users who want to play PS4 games in both a living room and a bedroom, but don't want to shell out $400 for another console entirely.
PlayStation TV will also support PlayStation Now, Sony's upcoming game-streaming service. This will stream more than one hundred PS3 titles in either a subscription or à la carte format (to be determined). Between PlayStation Now and the PlayStation TV, gamers will be able to play some of Sony's greatest hits for much less than the cost of a PS4, or even a PS3.
For non-gamers, the PlayStation TV may not offer enough to justify the fact that it costs twice as much as a Roku Streaming Stick. That said, users looking into hybrid systems like the Amazon Fire TV need look no further: the PlayStation TV will offer classic core games alongside favorite streaming services.
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