It’s been a long, uneventful journey into obscurity for the PlayStation TV hardware, with Sony Japan announcing the discontinuation of the product in Japan. The hardware has already been discontinued in both the American and European markets after consistently poor sales.
What started as a hotly anticipated product quickly faded into obscurity as a range of serious issues presented themselves. First and foremost was the issue of the proprietary PS Vita memory cards, which ran at a price that was wildly disproportionate to other cards on the market. These cards were required to run a PlayStation TV, and towards the end of the unit’s life cycle, often cost more than the unit itself. Coupled with a rather arbitrary whitelist ban, limiting compatibility with the Vita library, the system never really managed to find its footing in the market.
To see such an interesting product meet such a swift demise at the market is unfortunate, but it goes to show just how important proper support is. For all of its potential, in bringing the niche Vita library to more gamers, and in streaming PS4 titles, the PlayStation TV fundamentally failed in its endeavors. Seeing gamers unwilling to adopt the hardware, even when it was marked at US$20 is a telling sign of the struggles it faced.
Although the PlayStation Vita continues to live on, its days also seem numbered. Both the Vita and the TV shared the same internal hardware, so the TV may still receive software support, but the hardware will no longer be available. It seems unlikely that we’ll ever see the whitelist ban lifted unfortunately, so future support is in no way guaranteed.