Five Important Things To Know About The Vita TV

Five Important Things To Know About The Vita TV

Dying to own a Vita TV so you can play Vita games on your giant flat screen TV? Well, before you shell out the big bucks to import one, there are some things about the Vita TV you should probably know.

1) You Can’t Use Your Western PSN account

Five Important Things To Know About The Vita TV

As I booted up the Vita TV for the first time, everything looked exactly like it did when I was setting up the handheld Vita for the first time. I chose my language (English), entered my location (Tokyo), and set the clock. Then it was time to put in my PSN account info, so I put in my US PSN login and got the message you see above.

Currently, only Japanese accounts will work with the Vita TV. Therefore, any games you have digital copies of from a Western account will not work on the Japanese Vita TV. This does not appear to be a region lock, however. Rather it looks like Vita TV to PSN compatibility has only been launched in Japan so far. This will, of course, change to include more countries when the Vita TV is released in other Asian countries early next year.

2) There are 153 Officially Supported Vita Titles

At the moment there are 153 Vita titles playable on the Vita TV. Some of these are high profile games, but many of them are test study aids or bargain-bin puzzle games. In addition, several of the officially supported titles are yet unreleased, like Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster, for example. However, many games you would expect to find — e.g. Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward — are not supported; so it’s important to check the compatibility list (Japanese) before you import a Vita TV. This, of course, ties directly into the next major thing you should know:

3) Unsupported Games Won’t Even Start

Five Important Things To Know About The Vita TV

The picture above shows the message I got when I tried to play my Japanese copy of Sumioni: Demon Arts. Simply put, if the game you want to play is not on the Vita TV compatibility list (Japanese), the Vita TV will not play it.

That said, I tested to see if a North American region game that was on the list, namely Lumines Electronic Symphony, would run on the Japanese Vita TV. It does and I was able to play it perfectly.

4) It Can Play Games That Require the Touch Screen

Five Important Things To Know About The Vita TV

The thing I most worried about when buying a Vita TV was that it doesn’t have a touch screen. As most games on the Vita use the touch screen in one form or another, I was dreading the idea that all those games would be rendered unplayable. However, that is not the case.

The games that require touch controls are able to use Vita TV’s virtual touch screen — though many have to be patched to do so (with a patch you are automatically told to download before you play). Then, after turning on the virtual touch screen in the Vita TV’s options menu, pressing R3 or L3 turns the thumbsticks into mouse pointers which you can use to “touch” the screen (much like how the pointers work in Dragon’s Crown on the PS3). Pressing R3 gives you two pointers for the front panel, L3 gives two for the back, and both R3 and L3 at the same time gives you two cursors pressing front and back at the same time.

5) It Can Play Any PSP or PS1 Title Purchased from the PSN Store

While the selection of Vita games the Vita TV can play at launch is rather limited, it is capable of playing every PSP and original PlayStation game that is currently available in the Japanese PSN store. This means there are thousands of games playable on this tiny little box for your retro enjoyment.

Well, I hope this has clued you in to some of the innovations and limitations of the Vita TV and how it works. If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments below. Stay tuned to Kotaku East for our full Vita TV impressions coming next week.

The PlayStation Vita TV was released in Japan on November 14, 2013. There is currently no word on a Western release.


  • So what abou the HDMI protection that was rather annoyingly put on the PS3? Can I stream footage from the Vita TV?

  • It’s basically useless it can’t play a lot of the best psvita games, it still needs memory cards, you can not use your western PSN, it has a crappy ui that was designed around a touch screen and it doesn’t support the dualshock 4 which would have worked because it has a touch pad no idea who would buy this or who thought it was a god idea

  • All the negatives make this thing seem so damn stupid. The only benefit I can see at the moment is if Sony gets the compatibility improved before bringing it here in the west. I feel really bad for the people who imported it not knowing about the PSN region locking.

  • “Oh no a device made for the Japanese market currently doesn’t work for my Western needs! SO USELESS!”

    LETS FORGET the fact that the PS4 is not out in Japan yet,
    LETS FORGET the fact that the DS4 is not out in Japan yet,
    LETS FORGET the fact that the device has only been out for a few days so not every developer has patched support for it
    and LETS FORGET the fact that EVERYTHING in this day and age needs memory cards

    Then you might have a point! GOOD idea!

    Edit: this was in reply to @dukenukemserious

    • Every thing has hard drives or at least comes with memory cards inbuilt it was bad enough the vita didn’t have memory built in but now this ? the ps vita is a game machine and the ps vita tv is also primarily a game machine and one that doesn’t play most of the ps vita games ?

      • Because the games so far were developed and DESIGNED for the PSVita the PSVitaTV has only been out for 2 DAYS, give it time and they will patch it.

        The reason they don’t include inbuilt memory is to allow for flexible pricing, if they included fixed memory options like oh iDunno, Apple, do you still think they’ll still have the $100 price point for the lowest storage option?

        • They could at least throw a memory card in the box, even if it’s the smallest one, than you get to use it immediately and have flexible memory solutions.

          Than again if you have a Vita and want a VTV, than you can play all the games and you have a memory card. Infact the person I just described is the most likely initial install base.

          • This does rais an interesting question though…
            Let say you’ve been playing a game on your vita… you get home turn it off, take the card out and put it in the vita tv… instantly your games and saves could now be played. the fact that it has a memory card actually makes me more interested…

  • …. and that it can do remote play same as the Vita AND the PS4 supports remote play games so if internet streaming was ok then… 🙂

  • “many games you would expect to find — e.g. Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward — are not supported”

    I am hoping these get patched so they will work before the Vita TV gets a western release.

  • Games like Uncharted and Gravity Rush have a lot of elements which can only work on the Vita – depending on the accelerometer for combat in Gravity Rush, and the camera & touchscreen for puzzles in Uncharted for example.

    They can patch around that if the devs are willing, but it’s entirely reasonable at this point that they’re unplayable. Imagine how vocally pissed people would be if they got stuck at the first Uncharted puzzle because they couldn’t do the rubbing.

  • 1. I don’t want Vita TV
    2. I think it’s a waste of resources (to build it, to buy it)
    3. In my opinion, without Monster Hunter, the Vita’s a fairly gargantuan flop.
    4. I play one single game on my Vita. Soul Sacrifice. Nothing else appeals to me.
    5. I spent more time on this list than I have on my Vita all week.

    Disclaimer: This list is a work of opinion, and should not be taken as gospel. Love it, or rage hardcore at it, but remember I’m presenting it as opinion and not fact.

  • I’m certainly interested in this, but would need to know the games that are supported before importing one :/

  • news of a video out cable (perhaps using the mysterious ‘accessories’ port) would have been more appreciated by this particular vita user.

  • I thought these came with a base 1GB of memory built in,. (just to keep us out of trouble)

    Soul Sacrifice – Pfft!
    Clearly ‘Bibs’ is an ultimate gamer who plays every released game on every released platform and now won’t do the same on the Vita.
    Probably argues Persona has been done before, Dragons Crown LOOKS better on PS3, and Killzone Mercenary has shit graphics (compared to console versions ???).

    Vita Rocks.
    Time spent developing and bringing this Vita TV device to market will be worthwhile to us the end users, when the game developers are shown just how much of an install base Vitas’ have around the world in say, six months time, with the future of the platform looking ROSIE.

    I hate techno geeks half arseing the idea that ipads and phones outspec the vita.
    They do not have low level api’s(for getting access to the advanced hardware features such as deffered tile based rendering), dedicated vid ram (a benefit that laymen will not understand), or lag free control/screen implementations required for twitch gaming.
    Nor games with budgets to make use of said platform and develop quality content for it!!
    Vitas are our best shot at quality portable gaming besides 3DS, and laptop PCs being made small (and costly).
    Of which the 3DS and Vita will give more game per watt/play for longer anyway.

    Vita TV, whilst not being the core intended retail market for Vita programmers will open up options and get more games to this platform.
    This device is Win Win, especially for PS4 owners.

    Roll on the good times

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