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Sony Launches PlayStation Streaming Box

TOKYO—Sony is launching the PlayStation Vita TV streaming box that will compete in the increasingly crowded OTT category. At $100, the price is equivalent to the Apple TV, but with an emphasis on gaming, (for now).

The PS Vita TV is a small (6.4 -by-10.5 centimeter) white box that will launch in Japan in November. The company has not indicated when it will be available elsewhere. The system, which is an extension to Sony’s PlayStation, can only be controlled by a PlayStation Dual Shock 3 controller, which is not included in the basic package. Another version that does include the controller will also be available when the system launches, but at a higher price.

The device will play any PS1 and PSP games that can be controlled exclusively by the Dual Shock 3 and which can be downloaded from the PlayStation Network digital games service (approximately 1,300). A “future system update” will allow users to play PlayStation 4 video games wirelessly on any PS Vita TV-connected TV in a household.

The PS Vita TV will include Hulu, but other video services for the first versions on the market will be limited mainly to Japan-based streaming services as well as content that can be downloaded from the PlayStation store. Sony is currently negotiating with major media companies to form the basis for an anticipated Sony OTT streaming service. Current PlayStation users can stream Amazon Prime, Youtube, Netflix and Hulu Plus, among others, on the PlayStation platform.

Sony is launching its PlayStation4 in November.