Over the past six or seven years, Sony’s answer to online streaming offerings for consumers mainly consisted of connected apps on its high-end systems like the PS3 and its Blu-ray players. While this made sense for Sony, it didn’t stop Apple and Roku from undercutting the one time king of the living room hardware space with simple but powerful little net-tops that consumers have snapped up by the millions.
Now it looks like Sony finally has an answer to these low-end but popular boxes with the PS Vita TV. Today the company announced the new box that allows consumers to stream popular services like Hulu and Netflix, play Playstation Vita, PSP and PS2 games, and also use the device as an extender in the home to play PS4 games, all for $99.
I think the PS Vita TV is a really smart idea. A low-cost entrant into the streaming market is something Sony should have offered up a while ago, but now that they have, they’ve actually added significant value by tapping into Vita, PSP and PS1 games and also offering what I expect could be a really popular extender option to its PS4.
I wouldn’t be suprised if they bundled the device with their PS4, which would come in at the same price (or even just slightly lower) than the Xbox One.
I’ve been writing for some time about Microsoft’s need to enter the low-end streamer market with a stripped down Xbox 360, but it looks like Sony beat them to the punch.