Sony’s $99 PlayStation TV will challenge Apple TV this fall

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Apple TV may have a new competitor in the form of Sony, which unveiled its PlayStation TV at Monday’s E3 event — showcasing a TV set-top box which features a strong emphasis on gaming.

Released as PS Vita TV in Japan, PlayStation TV will arrive in the U.S. and Canada this fall. It will allow users to stream games from their PS4 to other TVs in the house, thereby extending the gaming experience. It will also let you stream PS3 games and older classics via the forthcoming Playstation Now, which will presumably require no PS4. On top of this it will provide all the streaming services you’d expect from a set-top box, such as Netflix and Hulu.

Sony’s set-top box will most likely cost $99 for a standalone unit, or $139 for a bundle which includes a DualShock 3 controller, 8GB memory card, HDMI cable and voucher for a copy of The Lego Movie video game.

While Apple TV would certainly appear to have the edge over Sony, the announcement of PlayStation TV does further demonstrate just how crowded the market is becoming for set-top boxes which offer support for gaming. This is reportedly an area that Apple supposedly wants to focus on in a long-rumored Apple TV refresh.

Tim Cook revealed earlier this year that Apple TV enjoyed sales of more than $1 billion in 2013.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    It sure seems odd as to why Sony would bother with this limited function box when they’ve got a console that does all that stuff and more. I realize this Playstation TV can work in conjunction with a PS4 but still… I think there’s already too much low-end streaming box competition for Sony to make any profits from Playstation TV. It just seems like they’d be diluting PS4 sales instead of enhancing PS4 sales. We’ll know in six months or so if their strategy pays off.

    • LordQuad

      Agreed. Why not bake it in to a future ‘update’ as they’ve done with the HDD storage over the past decade? Seems as though a ‘built’ in STB that functions in concert with Sony’s dash/springboard or UI for simplicity’s sake. I’m still annoyed that I payed $60/year for MSLive only to end up using the functionality myself for Netflix access. While my son plays some online stuff, it hardly seems like it was worth the added expense. I’m with ya, as Sony still owns one of the few remaing (& successful) music and movie studis and motion/audio content rights. That’s a helluva support system and foundation to build from. Compared to other OEMs building the STB like ROKU, Sony’s a leg up even thee years late. Could be very good!

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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