Feature | Tech Up! PlayStation TV Review

By Albert Lichi 01.11.2014 5

The PS Vita and PSP handheld gaming devices that Sony manufactures are decent machines with some really interesting and varying games in their respective libraries. While Sony's level of support for these has been wildly unpredictable, it has managed to provide an alternative range compared to Nintendo. Always region free, the PS Vita and PSP were never restrictive and gave users a lot of freedom in terms of customisation and software variety. With PlayStation 4 integration, the option to play PSP and PS Vita games on the big screen all for $99 - or $140 for the bundle, which includes a PS3 controller, 8GB memory card and a voucher for Lego: The Movie: The Game. Does the PlayStation TV realise its full potential, though? Time to find out…

Image for Feature | Tech Up! PlayStation TV Review

The PlayStation TV is a lightweight and decently built piece of hardware that is sleek and black, with a matte finish and sides that have a glossy sheen to them, as well as the PlayStation logo emblazoned on the surface. The unit is roughly the size of a deck of cards - about 4 x 2.5 inches - has an Ethernet, USB and AC adapter port, plus a slot for the PS Vita proprietary memory card and another for actual PS Vita game cartridges. It feels sturdy enough in the hand, yet also feels like it could shatter if dropped.

When everything is set up and finally running, the interface should be very familiar to anyone who has booted up a PS Vita before. The layout is pretty much exactly the same, only without a Touch Screen, meaning navigation is done with either a Dual Shock 3 or Dual Shock 4 controller. It all works very well once accustomed to interface and shortcuts implemented to accommodate the lack of touch on the front or back. If inserting an existing PS Vita Memory card, all content will be immediately accounted for, but some fiddling around with settings is required and updates need to be done before any gaming can begin. Various synchronising and activation processes having to be completed are just barriers between the user and games, bringing along barriers that do frustrate, but have become unfortunate mainstays in today's current technological climate.

One the PlayStation TV is all hooked up, all the activations have been initiated, and the accounts are all finally synched… then the gaming can begin. Right? Not so fast cowboy! Not all games are compatible with the PlayStation TV... Therefore, consideration needs to be given to the fact that not all PS Vita games will work on the PlayStation TV. This is understandable given how some releases are so heavily focused on features like the touching or use of the twin cameras for the AR technology. However, it is absolutely mind-bogglingly irresponsible on Sony's part for not having all PSP or PS1 classics compatible on the PlayStation TV, especially since if it is already available and running on the PS Vita hardware, why is the PlayStation TV not doing it? The whole purpose was to be a Vita alternative to play software on the TV. There are a lot of high quality PSP games that are playable on the PS Vita, like Valkyria Chronicles 2, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles or Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and so many others that are not yet compatible. Allegedly there will be updates to support future titles, but why bother releasing this unit if this could have been rectified? This also applies to many PS1 classics as well. It is very disappointing that users will have to wait for updates until an unspecified date to be able to play games that they might have already purchased. Buyers beware!

Image for Feature | Tech Up! PlayStation TV Review

Overcoming the above hurdles, owners are then ready to play. When the PlayStation TV works, it works excellently. Persona 4: The Golden and Muramasa Rebirth run flawlessly and look as good as they ever have. The PSP games that the PlayStation TV does run will now finally be able to fill the screen and be played with even more options available for both analogue sticks. While is does not display in 1080p, it does run games up to 1080i and 720p. This is perfectly acceptable for most of the titles but is not ideal for streaming video - and the same goes for the extremely limited audio capability, with only two channels. Speaking of streaming services, it does not yet have Netflix for some reason, but will eventually get Sony Video Unlimited, while the much-touted Remote Play features are usable, yet ultimately depend on the user's connection as with a weak connection the visuals will take a noticeable hit.

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

At the time of this review, so many PSP and PS1 games are surprisingly not compatible with the PlayStation TV. The video streaming services are not up yet and there are numerous PS Vita games that may never work on the unit. That being said, the PlayStation TV does come recommended for a certain type of user. Anyone who is looking to play PS Vita and PSP games on the big screen will find it to be a very good and affordable option. Hopefully the complete PSP and PS1 library of titles will eventually be supported. It will be especially handy for those who would like to play their PlayStation 4 games in other parts of the house without having to purchase another console thanks to Remote Play. Until Sony updates the PlayStation TV, it can only be recommended to those who really want to play PSP and PS Vita games on a television set.

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Comments

sounds like they should have just allowed the vita to share its screen with the tv

or just... you know...
be compatible with all psp and ps1 classics.


Hopefully the compatibility will be stepped up soon cos' I'd love to play most of my psp games on a big screen such as Corpse Party. Smilie

I play games... sometimes.

Sandy Wilson said:
Hopefully the compatibility will be stepped up soon cos' I'd love to play most of my psp games on a big screen such as Corpse Party. Smilie
. Corpse Party is compatible.

In that case... I will wait till it costs less. XD But I think it would be an interesting gadget if they keep it update which being a sony product... isn't too likely.

I play games... sometimes.

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