Another one bites the dust: “Tsutaya TV” service support ends on Vita TV in Japan
Sony announced with an email today that the Tsutaya TV streaming app on Vita TV will stop working on December 21st. The app itself has been removed from the PSN Store, today.
Tsutaya TV was the only streaming app officially available on the Vita TV in Japan. Now it’s gone. The Vita TV did not even have official support for Youtube or netflix. Lack of Netflix made sense at the time as the service did not exist in Japan back then, but Netflix never made it officially to the PS TV. Netflix however could be sideloaded on the Vita TV and PS TV through some tricks that we revealed back in 2014, and more recently through the email hacks.
The announce of the removal of yet-another-app from the PS Vita and PS TV’s support comes in as Sony confirmed first party titles are not being developer for the PS vita. And specifically, the end of the Tsutaya sub-par streaming service happens after Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both launched in Japan last month.
The Vita TV sucked as a streaming device, and I don’t think the end of the partnership with Tsutaya TV will come as a surprise to Vita TV owners in Japan. Back when I reviewed the Vita TV in Japan, here’s what I had to say about the Tsutaya TV experience:
In Video offers, Sony partnered with Tsutaya (originally a DVD/VHS rental chain, but today they also do streaming) to offer tsutaya online.
The interface of tsutaya online is not adapted to the Vita TV, for example does not go back to the previous when you hit the cross button (reminder, cross and circle are inversed in Japan), unlike pretty much every single other app on the vita. This makes navigation very confusing, and it really reminds me of a “webview” wrapped in an app like one can see on poorly programmed apps on smartphones (you know what I’m talking about).
Eventually, when you get around it, Tsutaya will impress you (the wrong way) with its prices. $3 (300Y) for a 3 days rental of 2 episodes of Dexter, when you can binge watch 4 seasons right now for $8 a month on Netflix in the US? Thanks but no thanks. This is in line with the prices in JP, but Tsutaya offers rental only, and not great prices, compared to the international offer, or even to hulu plus (which is available in Japan). The “sexy tsutaya” section however will probably have its fans. Tsutaya also have a few free things here and there, to convince you to create an account. From what I could see, this was mostly anime, and I didn’t go as far as creating an account to check.
Surely, a service that won’t be missed, but another nail in the PS TV’s coffin.