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Sony unveils PlayStation Vita TV

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(Credit: Sony)

Sony, already plenty busy with one upcoming hardware launch, is doubling down.

During its annual pre-Tokyo Games Show press conference on Monday, the company unveiled a new device called PlayStation Vita TV, a ‘microconsole’ that will allow you to play PlayStation Vita games on your TV and will let PS4 owners stream games to other TVs in the house.

The small, 6.5 x 10.5 cm white box will initially release in Japan on November 14 for 9,954 yen (roughly $100), though a more robust version for $150 will include a controller. A global launch date is expected to come in the next few months.

The system connects directly to your TV. Gamers will be able to access digital content from the PlayStation Network, play PlayStation Vita and PSP games, or stream games from a PS4 that is elsewhere the household -- a particularly handy feature for families fighting over a shared TV. The Vita TV will also stream Netflix, movies and TV shows.

Not all Vita games are compatible, though. The Vita TV does not support touch screen interfaces, so any game that prominently features touch screen controls will have to be played on a Vita handheld.

The announcement of PlayStation Vita TV is notable given that Apple is holding a media event Tuesday in which it's expected to talk a bit about Apple TV as well as the new iPhone. With this hardware, Sony seems to be anticipating a move by Apple further into the gaming space. The low price point also could prove to be a threat to upstart Android-based systems like Ouya and GameStick.

Not everything Sony had to say at the press event had audiences cheering, however.

While the company used to put its new products on sale first in Japan, Sony announced its home country would have to wait until February 22 to get the PlayStation 4 -- nearly three months after it hits shelves in the North American market.

That announcement brought audible groans of disappointment from attendees.

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