A little while ago, Sony announced it's own low priced set-top box, the PS Vita TV, launching initially in Japan. It's priced similarly to our own Apple TV yet offering something Apple's box does not – directly – in the form of gaming. But, as the first reviews appear, it seems Sony's half-assed approach of ripping the PS Vita and sticking it on your TV doesn't make the box of our dreams. Sam Byford of The Verge writes:

If Sony had taken more time to tailor the Vita to the TV screen more effectively, this could have been a seriously disruptive product. The price is right, the hardware is competent, and the PlayStation brand and legacy should be a major advantage over competitors that have to build up gaming ecosystems from scratch. But as it stands, the Vita TV is a neat extra for existing PlayStation fans that's unlikely to convert many more.

It sounds like a missed opportunity, for sure. As a PS Vita owner myself, the idea of a cheap box that could play some of the frankly excellent games on the TV as well as accessing music and video content, does sound appealing. I like the PS Vita, but it's interface is absolutely designed for the touchscreen. Not the TV.

And this is where the Apple TV perhaps has the edge. While by no means perfect, the interface is about as TV friendly as we could hope for at this time. Distinctly Apple, yet far enough removed from iOS that it doesn't become awkward. Gaming isn't there yet though, and AirPlay is a good intermediary, but it's not the same. It requires you own a separate device.

So, another cheap set-top box comes our way, and be it because of laziness, or just plain rushing the product to market Sony has missed a huge opportunity. While the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are now moving ever further into the realms of one-stop shops for gaming and entertainment needs, they're not for everyone. They're – at present at least – expensive, quite large, and perhaps still more for gamers. Cheaper, more casual options like the Apple TV or the PS Vita TV are more appealing to many, but our wait for the set-top box of our dreams continues it seems.

So, are we going to have to wait for Apple to do it right with the Apple TV? What would you look for in your dream set-top box? Closer to the PS4 and Xbox One or perhaps a PS Vita TV done right? I encourage to read the full review at the link below, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Source: The Verge