The PlayStation TV set-top box has made its first impression in the North American market following a previous release in Japan as PlayStation Vita TV, and it seems as though it will fast be catching on that the new miniature product from Sony may have ‘reverse Xbox syndrome‘ – in that there is much more focus on gaming elements than there is for general entertainment features.
Launching to the USA and Canada yesterday (14 October) a month ahead of European roll-out (14 November), critics have been quick to jump on its potential as a connected set-top box, albeit with praise for it’s ability to stream PlayStation Vita, PSP, PlayStation One, and some PlayStation 4 games through streaming (with the latter console fully connectable as a functioning ‘second screen’ of the same product).
In the negative column, though, was the fact that Netflix, and a number of other major streaming services such as Hulu Plus and YouTube, do not work on PS TV. It was already established that the service would not be part of the new hardware’s launch abilities, but the issue was primarily with the fact that you can run the likes of Netflix on some of the supporting consoles, but not when you fling said content to a PS TV.
Speaking to Gizmodo, a Netflix representative said of the issue: “We have no current support plans for Netflix on PS TV.”
Sony, meanwhile, played the ‘just starting out’ card, with an launch statement that included of their current and future streaming options for the PS TV: “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.”
Though it now seems less likely that PS TV will be a strong competitor to the likes of Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku this year based on their lack of first or second-screen streaming offerings, reviewers still see plenty of potential in the PS TV for its $99 price, namely in video games as the name should expect, but will it be a strong enough foundation for the new device to build on in other corners of the market?