Sony launches the PS Vita TV today in Japan as an answer to those who want to play the handheld on a larger television screen.
"We knew from before its release in 2011 that PS Vita was a platform capable of all kinds of things," the Vita's software system designer Toru Yamamoto told Famitsu magazine this week. "So I proposed the idea that, instead of restricting the PS Vita system software to a single portable console, we could spread it out in other forms as well. That's where the idea of making a PS Vita you connected to a TV came from."
Yamamoto states that the toughest part of putting the Vita on TV was configuring how to implement the touch screen features accurately and fluidly. "The PS Vita's system software is pretty quick and responsive, and it's been tuned further for the Vita TV, giving you a sense of speed and lightness that should be surprising for a home console," he continued in the interview.
Co-designer Taichi Nokuo told Famitsu that Sony was working to make the console as "small and thin" as possible, and that the slight off white color would stand out from the TV.
"We wanted the hardware itself to seem as invisible as possible," Yamamoto said. "The PS Vita logo's only visible by the Vita card slot, and the box doesn't even say 'PS Vita TV' on it. It was a pretty bold design, one that builds on the PlayStation design and expresses it in a new way."
The PS Vita TV used the DualShock 3 controller and is compatible with most but not all Vita games, Polygon reports. It is retailing for 9480 Yen, or $95.50 US. It will also be able to download classic PSP and PSOne titles.
"Keeping the price low allows us to have lots of people give it a try," Yamamoto said in the interview. "Without the PS Vita's LCD panel and controller, we figured we had to strategically price it below 10,000 yen. That's the baseline we used as we discussed components and specifications. The result is a system anyone can enjoy, whether they're beginners or PS Vita or PS3 owners."
There has been no announcement on whether the console will arrive in the U.S.
See the trailer here.