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A Little Box With A Big Punch

Raj Deut (rdeut) / Flickr / Creative Commons

Last week, Sony quietly released a brand-new gaming console. Sort of.

It’s called the Playstation TV, and, at its heart, it's a Playstation Vita - Sony’s portable console from 2012 – but without the screen or buttons. Instead, it plugs into any HDTV and uses a PlayStation 3 or 4 controller for gameplay.

The system is tiny - about the size of a deck of cards - and it easily tucks away behind a TV or entertainment center.

Playstation TV, right out of the box, has access to the PlayStation store, where you can buy almost every game available on the Vita, including a huge library of older PSP and original Playstation games. This makes the number of games available for the system huge - hundreds of games from 1995 to today.

In addition to downloadable games, PlayStation TV launches with Sony’s new PlayStation Now service, which allows you to rent PlayStation 3 games and stream them directly to any PlayStation TV, PlayStation 4, or PS Vita. Right now, rental prices are a little high for me, but it does look like prices are falling.

The main reason I got a PlayStation TV, though, is that, like the PS Vita, I can play my PlayStation 4 through it with Remote Play. That way, if someone is using the TV in the living room (or if I’m just feeling exceptionally lazy), I can use the PlayStation TV to play my PS4 games in the bedroom. I can even take the PS TV with me when I travel for business, plug it into my hotel’s TV, and play my PS4 at home through it.

Using an actual PS4 controller to play Remote Play games instead of the Vita’s smaller, less comfortable buttons, is almost worth the purchase of the console itself. This new console is certainly not revolutionary, and not all gamers will find a good use for it, but for those who do, it is a great value and a versatile tool.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.