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Sony finding Western interest in Vita TV stronger than expected

Though the PlayStation Vita TV isn't coming to the US and Europe yet, demand for the microconsole is high

When the PlayStation Vita TV was announced, Sony revealed that the microconsole is launching in Japan only, with forthcoming releases in other Asian markets. Unfortunately, there's no planned release for Vita TV in North America or Europe, leading some to question when the West will see the console. Sony Japan executive Masayasu Ito told Eurogamer that the Western interest in Vita TV has been "strong... more than we expected".

"Of course we are thinking of launching it in the US and Europe," he added. "But when it comes to the timing, we'll have to watch the environment and identify what other services are available in the US and Europe and whether we'll have to add other services."

The Vita TV will be launching with Japanese-only video services like Nico-Nico Douga and Tsutaya TV. The Vita has equivalent Western services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, but there may be some optimization needed before those apps can work on Vita TV.

Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House explained another reason for the Vita TV's Asian market focus: the lack of competition.

"The reason we wanted to launch PlayStation Vita TV in Japan first was because we think that there is a significant gap in this market even for a pure streamed TV box," he said. "There isn't really a competitor here that's staked out a claim. And frankly, in my own view, Japan is a little behind the adoption curve in video streaming services."

"So we thought we could have an opportunity in Japan to really establish a leadership position by having an addition differentiated killer app - which is having our huge library of streaming games content. The landscape is different elsewhere. [Some of Vita TV's capabilities] are already part and parcel of how consumers view media there. We need to look at each of those markets and how we approach them."

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Mike Williams avatar
Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.
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