Earlier this month, Sony announced a slimmer, lighter PlayStation Vita. At the same time, the company announced a set top box called the PlayStation Vita TV that allows users to play Vita, PSP and PS One games on their TV. At the time of its announcement, Sony had no plans to bring it to the U.S., but those plans may be changing.
In an interview with Engadget, Sony's Masayasu Ito said that the company has seen a strong response from North American and Europe regarding the Vita TV. In fact, the demand from European and U.S. gamers was more than they expected.
So, all that demand must mean we're going to see the Vita TV launch in the West, right? Well, not so fast. Ito says that Sony is considering a U.S. launch, but that it has to consider the timing of a potential launch. More importantly, he says that Sony also has to "watch the environment carefully."
The environment that Ito speaks of is the growing segment of microconsoles that are hitting U.S. stores these days. The Ouya launched earlier this year to a collective "meh," but other competitors like GameStick are just about to launch. Sony may be watching to see the reception these microconsoles receive before jumping headfirst into the U.S. market.
Of course, Sony would have an instant advantage over the Ouyas and GameSticks of the world if it launched in the U.S. The PS Vita TV has access to thousands of titles available on the PSN for both the PSP and PS One. I'm sure some people would buy a PS Vita TV just to play some of their favorite PlayStation titles, like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon, again. Not to mention the PS Vita TV's Remote Play functionality that allows it to stream PS4 games to another TV in the house.
In short, the PS Vita TV would have a leg up on the current microconsole competition in the U.S., but it doesn't mean that microconsoles themselves will be anything more than a passing fad. Sony has to take that into account before it thinks about releasing the PS Vita TV stateside.[Image: playstationjp/YouTube]