PlayStation TV to Take On Set-Top Boxes Like Apple TV and Roku

Source: thinkstock

Source: thinkstock

These days there are dozens of options if you want an Internet-connected device to plug into your television. You’ve got the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire TV, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromecast, and Roku — and that’s not even taking into consideration game consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced that it is preparing to release a set-top box of its own, called the PlayStation TV. The device will be available this fall for $100.

Already released in Asia under the name Vita TV, the PlayStation TV is essentially a PS Vita in a new package. Just like the handheld gaming device, the PlayStation TV will be able to play video and audio content from the PlayStation Store, and if Sony gets its way, services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and Hulu. Those third-party apps haven’t been confirmed yet, but Sony says it is working with streaming service companies that have apps on other PlayStation devices.

The chief differentiator between the PlayStation TV and its similarly-priced competition is its gaming capabilities. While you can play a small number of casual video games on some of the competing devices, the PlayStation TV will be a relative gaming powerhouse, with over 1,000 compatible games at launch. Using various methods, the PlayStation TV will be able to play games originally made for PlayStation One, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita. It can even stream some games from a nearby PlayStation 4 console, if you have one.

One other advantage the PlayStation TV will have over its competitors is Sony Entertainment’s vast amount of content, which the company may be able to use to the device’s advantage. In addition, Sony has already lined up exclusive new content, like a TV show based on the comic book series Powers.