Just days ago, Sony revealed PlayStation Vita TV, their answer to filling a void in the microconsole, set-top box and companion device category, effectively (I think) giving the OUYA a big boot kick out the door (and is competitively priced at around $100.00 USD).
For those who missed the action or even the reveal, this trailer will catch you up to speed.
Along with playing select Vita titles (others can be patched for play) it also allows one to play PSP and PSone titles and stream video services.
It will also be using the cross-communication features that SCEI is attempting to put into play.
In addition to those features, there’s one appealing aspect of it that makes it even more exciting: PS4 Remote Play over a private network or online. Any TV that you have PS Vita TV hooked to, can stream PS4 games from your PS4 system in a completely different room, to completely different TV in 720p.
Of course, this will depend on several factors: Network setup, speeds (if you plan on playing from home and at a friends house), etc. But let’s say you have a Dual Band, multbeam, high range wireless router (I guarantee your phone/cable company didn’t supply this and you’ll have to buy it) that can bypass walls and floors in your house, this should be able to give you the greatest advantage on using this feature.
ALL OF THAT OUT OF THE WAY, TIME FOR THE MEAT AND POTATOES
What’s exciting about this whole thing is a little idea from a few years ago called SimulView. SimulView is a process in which the PlayStation 3 would render not one, but two different images on a 3DTV, which the TV would then send to your 3D glasses.
Several titles supported it, and it works well, but with 3DTV kinda, let’s be nice and say “fading”, this concept will probably never be used by most people, BUT that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be applied in a different manner.
Since the PS4, like any system, can render split-screen multiplayer in certain games (ex. Call of Duty and Gran Turismo) it’s already rendering images twice, very much like SimulView, an image for Player 1 and an image for Player 2.
2 Images> Rendered on PS4> Wireless Network> PS Vita TV>Split-Screen WITHOUT Splitting
Is it possible? I want to say yes, given SimulView and the process of displaying 2 different images already being available, but re-configuring it to instead have the PS4 send Player 2′s image over your wireless network and to PS Vita TV to display elsewhere in the house.
This could change multiplayer gaming in ways that SimulView couldn’t, since ANYONE could do it with PS Vita TV and a PS4, and no 3DTV with cumbersome glasses being required. I’d even say they could call it SimulBeam since the image would essentially be being beamed to the other TV.
Naturally, you would probably take a dip in resolution and visuals (you do with SimulView and even single player 3D titles) due to hardware limitations, but that would be a small sacrifice for what you could potentially do with the right setup in one’s home.
Even if you wanted to play online, all that you would need to do is have the PS4 hooked up to the internet via Ethernet and use the Wi-Fi as a means to all the system to handle beaming the image to PS Vita TV without the interference of lag (a la Ad-Hoc Party).
“This is awesome, Dave!”
“I know, Alan. I know.”
With Amazon Japan reporting preorders for both varieties of PS Vita TV being sold out, it will be interesting to see if this could be one of the most clever devices the team at PlayStation and SCEI have put together.