Sony confirmed this week the PlayStation TV would launch on October 14th in the US, and the following month in Europe. The media player will offer both entertainment and gaming options in a tiny package, and promises to extend your PlayStation 4 into other rooms via Wi-Fi or local wired connection. The PlayStation TV will also be compatible with Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Now service, that will stream PS3 games to your home similar to the way you watch movies and TV shows on subscriber-based services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus.
Amazon’s Fire TV was released back in April, and as far as specs are concerned the device blew away other streaming media players. But in terms of available channel apps and games the Fire TV still has some catching up to do before we can say it’s a better value than Apple TV or Roku. Amazon’s concept of the Fire TV was to take push the gaming possibilities of the media player. The platform is compatible the Amazon Game Controller, and is open to game developers who want to publish on the platform.
Given both devices are meant for video game play in addition to streaming video and audio, a comparison of the Fire TV to the PlayStation TV makes plenty of sense.
How are the players similar? Both media players share compatibility with wireless controllers: Fire TV with the Amazon Game Controller and PlayStation TV with Dualshock 3 and Dualshock 4 controllers. They also both have quad-core processors: the Fire TV housing Qualcomm Krait 300 and the PlayStation TV the ARM Cortex A9 core.
How do the two devices differ most? One spec is in RAM memory. If we look at how much RAM the PS Vita TV has, we can expect the PlayStation TV to have only 512MB. That’s only a 1/4 of the RAM memory the Fire TV carries. We could be wrong on this, but Sony’s technical specs on the PlayStation TV don’t mention RAM.
The devices also differ in storage capacity. The PlayStation TV comes with 1GB storage but is expandable to 64 with PS Vita memory cards. (The bundle, by the way, provides an 8GB memory card.) The Fire TV comes stock with 8GB, but as of now we haven’t heard of any way to increase the storage, even though the device has a USB port (which is apparently just for software updates).
As of now Amazon’s Fire TV has better entertainment apps available to download: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Showtime Anytime, Watch ESPN, and others (although we’re still waiting on HBO Go). Sony’s press material on the PlayStation TV has only mentioned access to the PlayStation Store, Video Limited and Music Unlimited services.
However, Sony’s PlayStation TV has a bigger advantage in game selections. While we can’t say exactly how many PS Vita games and classic titles from PSone and PSP systems will be available for PlayStation TV, and how many PS3 games will stream via Playstation Now, it does seem the PlayStation TV will be the streaming media of choice for PlayStation gamers.
PlayStation TV & Fire TV Spec Comparison
|Feature||Fire TV||PlayStation TV|
|Video||720p/1080p (up to 60fps)||720p, 1080i, 480p|
|Audio||Dolby Digital Plus, 5.1 surround sound (up to 7.1 passthrough HMDI), 2ch Stereo||LPCM 2ch|
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 320||IMG SGX543MP4+|
|Storage||8GB||1GB (expand. to 64GB)|
|Ports||5 Total: 5.5 mm DC Jack
Type A HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP
Optical Audio (TOSLINK)
USB 2.0 Type A
|5 Total: PlayStation Vita card slot
Memory card slot
USB connector (USB 2.0 Type A)
HDMI output port (HDMI-CEC)
LAN port (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX)
|Remote Control||Yes (Bluetooth)||No|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 2.1+EDR|
|Game Controller(s)||Amazon Game Controller||DualShock 3, DualShock 4, PS Vita|
|Wi-Fi||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n|
|Operating System||Android||PlayStation Vita system|
|Games||Approx. 330||Not yet available|
|Special Features||Fling (mobile device playthrough)||PlayStation Now, PS4 playthrough|
|Size||115 x 115 x 17.5 mm||65.0 × 105.0 × 13.6 mm|
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