Sony’s PS Vita device, a roughly palm-sized set-top box that streams media content to HDTVs and also allows game play, surprised and intrigued everyone at its recent launch. But the Vita TV appeared to be a Japan-only affair, in common with some earlier Sony marketing habits. Now the company is suggesting it will launch the device for the European and U.S. markets.
Speaking to Engadget, a Sony spokesperson said the European and American interest in the device during a recent press event was noted, and was more than Sony had expected. This seems to have tipped Sony’s hand a bit, and now the company is saying that “of course” it’s looking into launching the Vita in these regions, but it has to “watch the timing and watch the environment carefully.”
By watching the environment, Sony’s certainly referring to potential competition from two companies in particular: Google and Apple. Google’s recent Chromecast device is an intriguing move into TV connectivity for Google, transmitting content from compatible Android devices through a dongle to TV screens. It’s not as fully functional as the Vita, but it is cheap and potentially very useful. Apple, meanwhile, has had a surprise sleeper hit with its Apple TV devices, and is said to be planning an overhaul of both the hardware and software for the TV in a near-future launch event. Considering Apple’s also supporting Bluetooth games controllers in iOS7, the most fascinating idea is that the Apple TV may become a gaming console, too.
[Image courtesy Sony]KE