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in my opinion this helps the VITA out alot.
It's taking a mobile gaming device and puts it in the living room. So right there that has expanded the market and made it more attractive for game developers to create games.
You mention hardcore gamers. While they are a big portion of the market. The causal gamer is where the money is. There are way more causal gamers out there in the market. This is huge threat to Apple TV and Roku where price is about the same but Vita TV adds much more IMO..
This device will no doubt help the vita. Here is a good article from Wololo.net . That shows why the VITA TV is a good move for sony.