Were you totally excited about Sony Computer Entertainment Japan's reveal of the PlayStation Vita TV? I know I was; the little featureless box is not for everyone, but I was looking forward to its PlayStation 4 streaming capabilities and being able to play my Vita games on my TV. When Sony announced the product, they didn't mention any regions outside of Japan, but we all assumed that a North American release date for the microconsole was forthcoming right?
In a roundtable interview with Tech On, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said the company is currently only targeting Asian markets for the product.
"The reason why it will be launched in Japan earlier than in other countries is that there is no leading company in Japan's video streaming market," said House. "The company is planning to sell the PS Vita TV in China, South Korea, etc, but not in the US and European market at this point. In the Asian market, SCE has high hopes for the Chinese market. This is not limited to the PS Vita TV. This applies to all of SCE's products."
It's a blow to my beautiful early adopter dreams, but I guess I'll survive until Sony decides to bring the box to our shores. The first sentence of House's reply explains the company's reasoning: in North America there are already a few major competitors, including the Apple TV and the Roku 3, with Google's Chromecast recently joining the fight. In Asian markets, Sony has the chance to be a first mover with the Vita TV, and success for the Vita TV can translate to success for the Vita and Sony's PlayStation platform overall.
It's a shame because House said that PlayStation 3 games could come to the Vita TV via Sony's undetailed game streaming service. We know the service is based on Gaikai's game streaming technology, but Sony has yet to clue us in on how it will work, how much it will cost, or anything concrete.
"In the future, SCE will offer games developed for the PS3 to PS4 and PS3 by using a cloud-based game distribution service," he said. "Technically, the PS Vita TV can support such games. Therefore, SCE is considering providing PS3 games to the PS Vita TV by using the service in the future."
House also explained that the Vita TV is aimed at casual gamers, so the company's main focus in the development process was keeping the price lower that 10,000 yen ($99.50).
Sony Computer Entertainment president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida took to Twitter to say that House's comments just meant that PlayStation Vita TV is "releasing first in Japan". So a North American launch is in the cards, just not on the schedule currently.
So, no Vita TV in the near future for us folks. On the bright side, Sony believes that core console gamers reside in the West, so we're getting the PlayStation 4 months before Japan. So really, which one would you rather have first?