Sony's explosive E3 2014 keynote may have been chock full of games, but it wasn't all about the games. The company also announced that its charming little PS Vita TV microconsole is finally coming stateside, where it'll be simply dubbed the PlayStation TV.
Don't confuse this with set-top boxes like the Apple TV or Roku; the PlayStation TV focuses on gaming, not media streaming. It can play more than 1000 titles natively, including most PSP games and most PlayStation Vita titles, but its powers are extended via the cloud. You'll be able to stream games from your proper PlayStation consoles to the PS TV thanks to Sony's Remote Play technology, making the PlayStation TV an intriguing option for bedrooms in homes that have already embraced Sony's vision for gaming. Furthermore, you can stream additional games straight to the device from Sony's PlayStation Now cloud gaming service, which is currently in beta.
But as my colleague Mark Hachman put it so eloquently, Google and Microsoft have stumbled in the living room because each tried too hard to push greater ecosystems into the sacred relaxation space. Sony's doing the same with the PlayStation TV, but while a strong focus on gaming may lessen living room resistance, it's hard to imagine the PlayStation TV being anything but a niche product if it doesn't add some music- and video-streaming capabilities. The Japanese PS Vita TV includes some entertainment options from the Land of the Rising Sun, but no media support was announced for the U.S. version during Sony's E3 keynote Monday night. Plop Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora on this thing and you've got a pretty compelling all-around entertainment option for a pretty compelling price.
The base PlayStation TV will sell for $99 when it launches this fall. (Presumably PlayStation Now will exit beta and enter full-throttle around the same time.) A kit that bundles in a DualShock 3 controller (read: PlayStation 3 controller), HDMI cable, 8GB memory card, and a digital voucher for the Lego Movie Game will also be available for $139.