PlayStation TV: Cheap But Too Slow?

Sony’s PlayStation TV is set to arrive in stores this fall in North America and Europe, and it has already been tested. So how did it do?

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the new device, the PlayStation TV is a micro-console that allows users to stream videos and games to a secondary TV. The device allows players use the PlayStation 4 to send action to another TV. Older PlayStation titles and Sony’s Vita system games are available through the PlayStation TV.

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House mentioned that, in the future, the PlayStation TV could potentially play PlayStation 3 games through cloud-based streaming.

According to Newsmax, the PlayStation TV already debuted in Japan as the PSVita-TV. The PlayStation TV debut week in Japan sold around 42,000 units.

The PlayStation TV is being compared to other media-streaming set-top boxes like Apple TV and Chromecast, but will have a huge library of quality games. It will also have Vita’s software features, such as the email client and Internet browser.

Aesthetically, the PlayStation TV is sleek and is about the size of a deck of playing cards. It is very light, weighing only 110 grams, or 3.87 ounces. The micro-consoles have been seen in white and black.

The PlayStation TV will be relatively cheap, selling for around $99 in retail stores. Japan has featured a bundle which includes an 8GB memory card and a DualShock 3 controller for about $50 more. Whether a bundle will be offered to North American and European users is yet to be seen.

PS Vita TV

Eurogamer’s Richard Leadbetter tested the PlayStation TV and concluded that the micro-console was a bit slow over regular Wi-Fi. After some intense rounds of testing, Leadbetter concluded that there was a “…100ms to 116ms delay between the exact same frame displayed on PS4 making its way via WiFi to the Vita – and the same occasional lurches in refresh.”

However, the lag is less of an issue when the PlayStation TV is directly wired via an integrated ethernet port. Yet the visuals are downscaled to 720p and 60fps games are cut in half to 30fps when the PlayStation TV is used as an extender.

Some have suggested that the PlayStation TV is better accepted as a streaming device for such applications as Netflix, rather than a primary gaming tool. Leadbetter concludes with, “If you’re happy with the performance of the handheld Vita, PlayStation TV should more than meet your expectations as a PS4 gameplay extender.”

However, people will have to decide for themselves how to make the PlayStation TV worth their time and money once it arrives in the fall.