When Sony announced the PlayStation TV for release in North America and Europe this year, it was noticeably missing the ‘Vita’ part in its title, as the device was called PlayStation Vita TV in Japan.
Speaking with CVG, SCEE President Jim Ryan revealed that their reasons for re-naming PlayStation Vita TV had to with how they believe it will be used in North America and Europe, with PS4 Remote Play becoming the biggest advertised feature in Europe:
You’re right, the Vita name has been dropped for North America and Europe. That reflects the way that we anticipate the device will be used. We feel that the name PlayStation TV best encapsulates that it will provide a number of PlayStation-type benefits that will be enjoyable on a TV.
In Japan, where the handheld formats are very strong and vibrant, it was positioned initially as an alternative form of gaming console for Vita content. In Europe, at least initially, the principal position will be to use PlayStation TV as a form of remote play for PS4. The user case is you’re playing PS4 in the living room, someone else wants to use the TV, and you can go into your bedroom where your PS TV is and resume playing.
We feel for the price, to have that PS4 gaming experience on another television is going to be of considerable interest to many gamers. Down the road, when PlayStation Now comes to Europe – and it is a when, not an if – PS TV will function as a client device for the service. So you’ll be able to stream content into that little box and then away you go.
Then, as a micro-console, you can enjoy PS Vita games, PSOne games, PSP games on it. As a standalone console proposition it functions perfectly well there. You can see the Vita gaming bit is a subset is one of three positionings, so the name change makes it more coherent.
As for the rumored PS4 + PS Vita bundle, which Ryan guesses “will come at some point this year,” he states, “Hardware manufacture is a really tedious thing, it actually has been held up by trying to get the bundle package in a way where drop tests work properly, and we’re just about ready. When you develop a consumer electronics device you have to be able to drop it in a reasonable manner and it not break, and trying to find a configuration of a Vita and a PS4 that is not the size of this table has proved rather difficult, but I think we’re there.”