Review: Playstation TV
Since the invention of the home console, one problem has always arisen in a house with gamers and non-gamers: what if someone wanted to watch TV while another person wanted to play games on said TV? Normally, you’d have to take your console to another display in the house – something not everyone is willing to do (I know I can’t be bothered a great deal of the time!), or at times, able to do. If you’re a PlayStation 3 or 4 owner though, your prayers have been answered with the PlayStation TV.
Not to be confused with the PlayTV (Sony’s HD TV tuner for the PS3), the PlayStation TV allows gamers to stream games onto other displays in the house. After the initial setup, it’s as simple as turning on the PlayStation TV and connecting your controller to continue gameplay.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the PlayStation TV and it surprisingly works quite well with PS4 games. While this is fantastic news, the PSTV does have problems with some of its other features, most noticeably PS Vita streaming.
Being a streaming device, the PlayStation TV needs to connect to your home network through an ethernet cable or wirelessly. I would recommend a wired connection wherever possible as I experienced slight hiccups with a wireless connection, as well as a slight amount of latency (lag). The lag was more problematic playing an online shooter like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but for the most part the lag is negligible.
“So apart from playing your PlayStation 4 on another display, what else can can you do with the PlayStation TV?”
I’m glad you asked, loyal readers! While the PlayStation TV’s PS4 streaming is pretty darn cool, it’s also capable of more. You can also download PS One and Playstation minis to the PlayStation TV’s on-board memory (1 gigabyte, though that it does have a Memory Stick Micro card slot for expansion) as well as PS Vita titles. Now while this sounds pretty awesome I must point out that not all games are compatible with the PlayStation TV – for a full list you can check out PlayStation’s support website.
It might disappoint some to hear that the PlayStation TV is not capable of streaming apps like Netflix of Hulu. While this is somewhat disappointing, I feel the device has been designed around solely streaming games, which it does quite well for its pricetag. For better and for worse, Apple TV this is not.
Another problem the PSTV presents is the rather horrid up scaling of PS Vita games. Something has truly gone awry here as the Vita games look downright awful when scaled onto a TV or monitor. There’s also noticeable lag when using touchscreen controls, which is a shame.
The PSTV is a fantastic concept marred by a few problems. While it is quite cheaper than buying a second PS4, the PSTV’s only real value is in that is can play PS One and PS4 games without any real issues – something that might not match is price tag to a lot of people.
I’m optimistic that a revised version of the PSTV will be a vast improvement of the current model, though time will tell if this is something Sony wish to pursue or not.