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PS TV: Everything you need to know about PlayStation TV

Andrew Williams


What is PS TV? 10 things to know about PlayStation TV

What is PlayStation TV?

PS TV is here. But what is it? PlayStation TV is a tiny box that attaches to your TV and lets you play games and stream video whether or not you have a PS3 or PS4.

The PS TV originally launched in the UK in November 2014 for £84.99, but has since had its price slashed to just £60. That means you can get your PS4 on a second screen or get access to some classic PlayStation and PS Vita titles for under £70.

Buy Now: PS TV at Amazon.co.uk from £60 | Amazon.com from $42

Meet PS TV...

PlayStation TV UK Release Date: When is it coming out?

The PlayStation TV UK release date occurred on November 18 2014.

For EU countries, you can pick up the PS TV for €99.99 or for just £44.99 in the UK. For that price, you'll get the PS TV and a voucher for three PS Vita titles to play on your new bit of kit.

Although that price sounds pretty attractive for those who already own a PS4 or PS3, you will need to purchase a PS3 DualShock 3 or PS4 DualShock 4 if you've not already got one. Seeing as one of those will set you back around the £40 mark, you're now looking at a cost closer to the original £84.99 UK RRP.

PlayStation TV US Release Date?

If you live in the US, the PlayStation TV was released on October 14. It costs $140 and comes bundled with an 8GB memory, the Lego Movie video game and a DualShock 3 controller.

Make sure you read our PS TV review to find out what we make of it.

Here are 13 things that you can do with the PS TV:

13. It's not quite the Roku or Chromecast alternative yetBlue line


If you’re thinking that your new PS TV will act as an alternative to Roku or Chromecast, sadly you’d be wrong – at this early stage at least.

The PS TV lets you download and install the PS Vita versions of the Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube apps, but currently, you can’t actually run them.

According to Sony’s latest statement:

"PS TV plays entertainment content, including popular movies and TV shows that can be downloaded from PlayStation Store. At launch, PS TV has video streaming apps Crackle, Crunchyroll and Qello. Stay tuned for additional entertainment content we'll be adding soon to the PS TV lineup."

So, it looks like we’re going to have to wait for support for these entertainment services on the PS TV.

Although, you might have to wait quite a while for Netflix support as the company has said it has “no current support plans for Netflix on PS TV.”

12. A lot of compatible games have been removedBlue line

PS Vita gamesIn September, Sony released the full list of PS TV compatible games via the PlayStation Blog. It featured a wealth of PSP, PSOne classics, PS Vita and PlayStation Minis among other titles.

However, checking back on the PlayStation Knowledge Center for its PlayStation TV compatible games list, there are a lot of those originally listed games missing.

Those missing games aren’t from one category either, they span PSP, PSOne classic and some PlayStation mini titles too. That may not bother you, but when you realise some of these are big name games like Valkyria Chronicles 2, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and more.

11. Don't forget about Vita compatibilityBlue line

PS VitaBefore you start slamming your PS Vita cartridges into the PS TV and wondering why it doesn’t work, it’s important to remember that not all PS Vita titles are compatible with the little black box.

Some of our favourites like Tearaway and Gravity Rush can’t be played on the big screen. There are a huge number of great PS Vita games to play on the PS TV, though, including the likes of Borderlands 2, Child of Light and Killzone: Mercenary.

Bare in mind though, that even if your chosen PS Vita game is supported you may have to download the latest update to actually make it compatible with the PS TV.

10. PS TV supports DualShock 3 and 4 PlayStation controllersBlue linePS TV 5

One of the issues with set top box-style game systems like Ouya and Gamestick is their rubbish controllers. PS TV, on the other hand, uses the exact same pads as the PS3 and PS4.

The tiny box can be used with either kind of controller, but the baseline package does not come with one. Sony will sell a slightly more expensive bundle that comes with a DualShock 3 pad – the kind used with the PS3, not the latest DualShock 4 of the PS4. We imagine it may have a good few million DualShock 3s left over from the PS3.

9. It’ll act as a ‘second PS4’ through Remote PlayBlue line

PS TV 6If you already own a PS4, one of the neatest tricks of PlayStation TV is that it can act as an extension of your PS4. Using the same Remote Play tech we’ve seen in action in the PS Vita, the PS TV can stream gameplay from the PS4 in your lounge.

There will be a visual fidelity hit thanks to the streamed/compressed nature of the video, but it’s a lot cheaper than buying a second PS4. You’ll need to make sure there’s a strong Wi-Fi network throughout your house, though, as Remote Play does require a good connection to work properly.

8. PS TV uses the same core hardware as the PS VitaBlue line

PS TV 7PS TV uses very similar internals to the PS Vita, which is one of the reasons why Sony has been able to make the box while working full pelt on the launch and development of the PS4. It has a quad-core Cortex-A9 CPU, the PowerVR SGX543MP4-plus GPU and 512MB of RAM, and can play Vita games natively.

As such, it’s not as powerful as the latest whizz-bang Android phones, but then this box is not about playing the latest games natively. It’s an accessible, low-cost little box.

7. It’s (roughly) the same as Vita TV, launched in Japan last yearBlue line

PS TV 8The PS TV has been sold already, but under a different name. The Vita TV launched in Japan in late 2013, and was effectively a test run of PS TV, in a friendlier market. It was white, not black like the PS TV, but hardware-wise they're near-identical.

Vita TV sold 42,000 units in its first week – hardly a smash hit – but by the time PS TV launches in Europe and the UK, it will (hopefully) offer far more features than the Vita TV did at launch.

SEE ALSO: Xbox One vs PS4

6. It will stream PS/PS2/PS3 games through PlayStation NowBlue line

PS TV 9For people who don’t already own a PS4, one of the main draws of the PS TV box is its support for PlayStation Now. This is Sony’s game streaming service, using the Gaikai technology Sony acquired back in 2012.

It will let you stream older PlayStation games, including PS3 titles, over your home internet connection. The exact payment model for accessing these games is yet to be announced, but Sony says you’ll be able to play over 1000 of these streamed games at launch.

SEE ALSO: Uncharted 4 news

5. It costs £44.99

Blue linePS TV 10

Sony did not announce the UK price of the PS TV at the box's launch, but it started out priced at £84.99 in the UK. Now that price has fallen to £44.99, with that getting you the PS TV and a voucher for downloading three PS Vita titles.

There are more expensive bundles that include a Dual Shock 3 controller, but these seem to be very rare.

In the US, PS TV will cost $99.99 for a basic package without a pad, or $139.99 with a DualShock 3. Sony seems to have pitched the price fairly well here, being a fair bit lower than the cost of a PS3.

4. It has a card slot, but it’s a Vita card slotBlue line

PS TVThe PS TV box has a memory card slot but – predictably enough – it doesn’t use the standard SD format. Instead, it uses the Vita memory card type, a proprietary card system whose cards cost a fair bit more than the norm.

However, if you already own a Vita, this could be seen as a good thing as you will be able to play Vita games stored on the card. You can buy a 16GB memory card for around £25.

3. PS TV doesn’t output in 1080p or surround soundBlue line

PS TV 1One of the disappointing technical limitations of the PS TV is that is tops out at 1080i/720p output, missing out on the 1080p video that has long been the standard. While this isn’t really a deal-breaker for game streaming – where the quality is naturally slightly compromised – it’s not good news for people who are thinking about getting a PS TV to stream video through.

Audio output is pretty basic too. It is limited to two channels, ruling-out getting proper surround sound from the box. This is deeply disappointing.

2. It’ll get Sony Video Unlimited streaming, but Netflix is MIABlue line

PS TV 2Will Sony’s proprietary approach kill PS TV? It’s one of our worries. Sony has a raft of streaming services to promote – Sony Video Unlimited, Sony Music Unlimited – but will it also offer streaming from more popular services like Netflix?

We’re waiting for services like this to arrive, but it seems likely that they will, in time. In Japan, Vita TV offers streaming from Hulu, which is a rival for Sony Video Unlimited. So unless Sony is really to change its strategy in the US and Europe, it seems likely we’ll get Netflix, especially given there’s already an app for Netflix on PS Vita.

1. It will support Vita games, but not all Vita gamesBlue line

Vita backThe PS TV supports Vita games downloaded to a memory card. However, not all Vita games will work because the standard DualShock 3 pad simply doesn’t have all the inputs of the Vita.

The handheld has a rear touch panel, dual cameras and a touchscreen. You don’t get any of those with a DualShock 3. Games that use these Vita extras include FIFA 12, Uncharted, Tearaway and others. It is a big problem. For more on this, you can check out Sony Japan's list of Vita TV compatible games. (In Japanese)

Next, read our extensive Xbox One vs PS4 comparison.

So is PS TV any good?

PS TV has great potential, but it’s also deeply limited in some respects. It uses hardware that’s about three years out of date by some standards and its audio-visual credentials are pretty poor.

Buy Now: PS TV at Amazon.co.uk from £60 | Amazon.com from $42

However, the Sony ecosystem is starting to look pretty great, especially if you have a PS3 or PS4 and are signed up to PlayStation Plus.


June 10, 2014, 3:27 pm

1080i/720p and 2.0 sound? Welcome to 2001. No thanks.

Sangeet Khatri

June 10, 2014, 3:38 pm

I don't know man.. for Streaming, why not just buy a Chromecast. For $99 you can get a Chromecast and a cheap android phone to work as a remote control.

David Hale

June 10, 2014, 4:40 pm

Sound and audio being sub par like that is a deal breaker for me! I was a long time PS1 and PS2 player, skipped over the PS3 in favour of the Xbox but would have seriously considered the PS TV to play old games and try out PS3 stuff cheaply.

Does anyone else see the complete disconnect between parts of the consumer electronics space?? TV companies pushing 4K ultra HD and then those same companies releasing products that don't even output at the full HD standard that everyone should use! Infuriating!

Lets not get started on broadcasters not pushing out everything in HD yet either.....

Suzanne Lyons

June 11, 2014, 12:02 am

I've been a long standing fan of the ps, got them all at launch, except the ps4. I grew tired of collecting consoles that get less use in recent years as I have a good gaming pc. I've also grown a bit tired of sonys CS, It's truly awful.

Despite all this, and the shortcomings of this device, I was sold on it as I would love to be able to create in lbpv on the big screen, but since it seems like it can only be controlled via the console controller (?), I guess I'm out.


June 11, 2014, 12:31 am

So yet another pay per month leech on the market? In order for this to be worth it you gotta pay to stream all those games which on top of paying for your internet, on top of paying for PSN and on top of paying your electric bill this just dosen't seem to be worth it.


June 11, 2014, 1:49 pm

In addition to the Vita memory card slot that is outlined here, the PlayStation TV also has a Vita game card slot that allows it to play most (not all) physical Vita cartridges.


June 11, 2014, 1:51 pm

Most services that require you to use the Internet are going to require you to pay for it unless you get free Internet somehow.... you don't necessarily need PS+ to use this but it's probably a good idea to have it since it's a pretty good value and you can build up a good library of games over time. And your electric bill!? If you're using any devices in your home, you're going to be using electricity...


June 11, 2014, 1:52 pm

First and foremost, I think this is intended for playing things from the PS library while the other services aren't exactly a priority.


June 11, 2014, 1:53 pm

It is mostly due to the fact that the inner guts of this product are literally a PlayStation Vita.


June 11, 2014, 3:20 pm

The USP for this device seems to be PS4 remote play - it's a fairly simple way to get a PS4 to a bedroom TV or a projector. Although I've not tested it, in that capacity I can't see why it wouldn't stream Netflix, Amazon video or any of the other PS4 apps, although with smart TVs so prevalent, I can't see that being enough to shift many units. 720p is a little disappointing (particularly for projector use), but is probably 'good enough'.

It seems to be a nice but pretty niche product - I rather doubt it will sell millions.


June 12, 2014, 9:24 pm

Can somebody confirm something to me?
So you buy the PS TV for $90
Then you pay a monthly fee for PS Now.
Then you pay for each individual gamebon PS Now.
Sounds a tad pricey to me. Why couldn't they just put the PS1/2 games on the PS4 store? Dare I say Sony are being a little anti-consumer on this.


June 14, 2014, 1:24 am

As if the typical consumer can see the difference between 1080p and 1080i or even 720p on all but the largest TVs


June 14, 2014, 1:34 am

There are other reasons to purchase one beyond Sony's crappy game streaming service. It function as a console version of the Vita, which also implies support for an impressive library of PSP and PS1 classics handled locally.


June 14, 2014, 1:41 am

I don't think they've announced that it's pay-per-game AND an subscription for PS Now, and frankly that seems unlikely. Also, while it doesn't help the PS2 situation, practically every PS1 game worth owning is available for download through the PSN store at reasonable prices. This are available on Vita, ergo they're available on PS TV.

Adam Fox

June 27, 2014, 5:03 pm

This seems rather interesting, however the fact that it is not compatible with all Vita games is a bit of a downfall....I believe thats the biggest downfall as not everyone is going to own a PS4 that buys this. if they could fix compatibility, that would be great...like create a patch that allows for PlayStation TV compatibility, that would be nice. Nintendo has done patches that make controllers work that didn't work before, Sony could do the same but add an extra option in the games like "Vita TV mode" that remove the need for camera (although I can't really think of any games that NEED the camera except Reality Fighters but I don't know all that much about the Vita library)....or remove the need for the rear touch pad by replacing it with the L2/R2 buttons where its pressure sensitive or something...

Comic Relief

August 21, 2014, 2:03 pm

is it compatible with all ps3 games?


September 8, 2014, 9:18 am

I hope Killzone Mercenary, Soul Sacrifice and Borderlands is compatible. Borderlands should'nt really be a problem as it's on PS3 already. I plan on getting this IF there is a decent list of compatible games. Will all the games from the Japanese compatible list be the same for Europe?

Prem Desai

September 22, 2014, 10:51 pm

The hardware looks appealing enough.

It will be interesting to see what other promised services Sony will actually provide at launch. Lately, they've fallen into the habit of releasing the hardware, but the supporting services several months later.

I think I'll wait ....


September 30, 2014, 5:56 pm

This might sound stupid a little. But I wonder if you can play vita games on your ps4 with this somehow... Would make an interesting way to stream vita games with a capture device with this method. Idk, I guess I just don't like the sound of the other method for streaming portable consoles to twitch. :/


October 9, 2014, 6:40 am

so I should get this if I'm just a casual gamer? I was going to get the Vita, but I think this will be better, if I don't want to spend too much, right (plus on a TV)?

And, nube question, but I'm guessing the PS TV comes with only the one game, right (Lego)? What are normal prices on old PS, 2 & 3 games, $1 to $5? Thanks for ANY friendly help.


October 9, 2014, 6:44 am

also, I read that you can use 2 PS TV's with one PS store account. which I can totally think of several reasons why this would be a demand of consumers, but nonetheless... I need a good friend....


October 14, 2014, 8:48 pm

Personally i was pretty excited to hear about this but i have one huge concern, PSN goes down on average 3 times a week in the UK for approx 1~4 hrs. Will this carry over to Playstation TV / Playstation Now? I think it will.


October 16, 2014, 2:10 am

Bought one, but I would like to use an external hard drive to download games... but now I realize that Sony is in the memory card business once again ... and those memory cards are WAY over priced. Sadly, the memory card that came with it is almost already filled up.


October 17, 2014, 2:27 am

I agree with your comment.


October 17, 2014, 3:43 pm

Ooo, a way to play all my Persona games on the big screen! I might have to pick one up for that purpose, personally.

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