In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Andrew House (President of Sony Computer Entertainment) talked about why Japan was marketed to first and what the future holds for the Vita TV.
Here’s the important bits quoted from the interview ( or jump down for a tl;dr version);
“The positioning of Vita TV may be different between Japan and some of the other markets,” House told Eurogamer. “This may sound slightly counter-intuitive, but we wanted to launch in Japan first because I feel there really hasn’t been a critical driver or device that’s driven the adoption of streaming content overall,” which seemed to indicate there was always the idea that it would come to other markets.
He continued, stating; “It’s still very much in a nascent stage in Japan compared to some of the markets in Europe or the US. […] We felt there was therefore an opportunity to leverage the strengths of PlayStation Vita, which as you know is quite strong in Japan in terms of game line-up, but combine that with the features of a media streaming box, and offer something packaged newly for the Japanese consumer and possibly be at the forefront of creating a new market via that device.”
Bringing it back to the eventual plan for worldwide roll-out, Andrew gave us the biggest “hint” of all; “It’s a very different landscape when you look at the US and Europe – much greater establishment of streaming video services, and much greater understanding of what that concept’s all about, […] So we see strong market potential elsewhere in the world, but it will be a different road to market for the US and Europe than has been the case in Japan.”
“…but Kyle, I don’t want to read all that quoted text,” you say?
Well the meat of it is that Japan was their testing ground, seeing as how they were the most unexplored market when it came to streaming. That said, it seems like they always had the idea to bring the Vita TV to the West and that they just had a different approach in mind seeing as how they’d be competing with the likes of Netflix and Lovefilms in the streaming video category.
The article also seems to indicate that they might be waiting until Gaikai is launched to bring the Vita TV to more markets, as nobody’s got the streaming game service locked down.
Anyways, we’ve always thought the PlayStation Vita TV was going to come to the other markets – with the demand they seem to be getting from loyal Vita owners it seemed like a no-brainer.
If you’re interested in the whole article, jump to the source.