Having a PlayStation 4 at home connected to the main TV in the lounge (presumably the biggest TV in the house) is the best way to enjoy Sony’s range of PS4 games.

But it can be a challenge to game in peace when friends or family want the TV for something else, and moving the console between TVs – should you be fortunate enough to have more than one in the house – isn’t a great compromise.

Sony has a solution. It’s called the PlayStation TV, and it’s a tiny box of magic that promises to solve these problems.

What does it do, and why should you care? Read on to find out!

Game streaming

The PlayStation TV lets you stream whatever is happening on your PlayStation 4 to another TV in the house over your home network by using Sony’s Remote Play technology.

That means someone can play a game that’s running on the PlayStation 4, on another TV in your home. That should help with arguments over who gets to game versus who gets to watch TV.

It’s a Vita

On the inside, the PlayStation TV is essentially a PlayStation Vita complete with a card slot for all compatible games, just without the screen, touchpad or controls. But it works with Sony’s Dual Shock 3 and 4 controllers, and as such it’s perfectly capable of playing PlayStation Vita games, with the added benefit of letting you play them on a much bigger screen.

It’s a PSP

It’s also a mini PlayStation Portable (PSP), and can play PSP games. Not all PSP games, though, just compatible (and downloadable-only) titles that are available from Sony’s PlayStation Store. It comes with 1GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot in case you need more space.

Compatible controllers

Controllers from both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 are compatible with the PS TV, so you can play all of your PSP and PS Vita games with them when you’re not playing PS4 games.

Peace in your home

At R1 499, a PlayStation TV is cheaper than buying another PlayStation 4. The peace your household will experience as arguments over TV usage disappear altogether is easily worth the price.

A caveat or two

There are a handful of downsides, though: the PlayStation TV outputs at 720p rather than 1080p by default, so the image you will see on the secondary TV doesn’t look quite as good as it does on the main one. 1080i is supported, but not all TVs support interlaced visuals so you’ll need to manually select that resolution if your TV does.

PlayStation TV also doesn’t work with games that use the PlayStation camera, as it doesn’t support that peripheral.

Other than those two caveats, the PS TV is a very clever solution to the age-old problem of managing TV time in a multi-person household.

How much?

The PlayStation TV is available from most online retailers and brick and mortar shops that stock videogames; you can buy the micro console on its own for a recommended retail price of R1 499, or the console and a Dual Shock 4 controller for R2 199.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.