Call it the Playstation Family, Range or Eco-system the level of device interactivity amongst Sony gadgets right now is a great example of forward thinking.
The latest addition to the fold is the PlaystationTV, a sleek little device smaller and weighing less than a pack of cards. The PSTV is essentially a Vita operating system in a box, it also offers enough entertainment to be on the Christmas list of anybody with a PS4 or even a Vita come to that.
The biggest drawcard for the PSTV is undoubtedly the Remote Play functionality, mirroring the Vita it allows you to plug the PSTV into an HDTV somewhere else in your house and stream your PS4 gameplay to that location. The system is set up for wireless connections, but wired options are recommeneded depending on performance.
Having tested it wirelessly I didn’t encounter any major issues, but moving the unit into a room where it could be cabled to the modem I did feel there was a lift in performance. As for the experience, it was quick and smooth, being able to play FarCry4 streamed into the study while the main TV was in use was not particularly different to being on the PS4 directly.
The unit can also sync up with both Dualshock4 and Dualshock3 controllers, along with adding a virtual control system for both models to mimic the Vita and it’s touch areas.
The unit acts like a console itself, having a Gig of onboard memory, but this should be extended by adding a spare Vita card if possible, because it will soon be eaten up by a couple of downloads and can’t be accessed if a Vita card is slotted in. Also, inserting a Vita card will give you access to play any compatible Vita games present on the memory card on your TV with your DS3/DS4. I’ll stress the word compatible though, because there are a number of titles I’d love to experience on the big screen with a controller, but they aren’t currently supported, looking at you Unit13.
The PSTV unit will log into your PS Plus account quite happily and after a quick setup will be sharing your activity, trophies and status across your Playstation family. Also worth a mention, but absent at the moment in my region is the access to movies and TV shows via the PSN Store, assuming it is coming soon, but still another valid reason to get one of these nifty little boxes tucked behind the spare TV. Also on the horizon is the Playstation Now service which will allow ‘comfortable’ streaming of PS3 games directly through the PSTV.
Remote play on the Vita was a terrific extension of the Vita’s functionality and being able to shift seamlessly to the device has been something I’ve used quite often. Now that functionality has been extended massively by allowing me to have a big screen Remote Play option too. Out of the box PSTV comes with 3 free downloads from the PSN Store, they will quickly fill up the onboard card, but certainly add to the value of the package.
Overall it’s a well designed, unobtrusive gadget and a very useful addition to the Sony family that really should be high up on any self respecting Playstation owners Christmas List.
Thanks to Sony Australia for supplying this Playstation TV unit.