Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Sony Announces PS Vita

It's E3 time again. For those who don’t know, E3 stands for the Electronic Entertainment Expo and it’s the biggest annual gaming show in the West. Among the new hardware announced was the Sony PS Vita, the successor to the PSP. This new handheld is powered by a mighty quad-core processor, combined with a PowerVR quad cover graphics chip can only be described as mighty. There's also built GPS, WiFi and a 3G option so we hope the battery can keep up.


Originally codenamed “Next-Gen Portable,” the Playstation Vita looks to fill the gaps the PSP just missed out on. On board features include touch screen capabilities at the front and touchpad at the rear, dual cameras, a microphone and dual analogue sticks similar to those found on the Dual Shock Pad.


Vita, meaning “Life” in Latin, is marketed as blurring the line between entertainment and your day to day business. The vita promises social network style interaction with other Vita users. This may hint at future Facebook and Twitter applications. This is supported by the on-board cameras. The dual cameras promise to emulate an “augmented reality” interface. This suggests a possible a face to face conversation app similar to Skype and Apple's Facetime.

Sony is backing the PS Vita with its key franchises including new versions of Wipeout, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted. As demonstrated at E3, the titles utilise the Vita's touch screen perks in their own unique ways. Much like navigating menus through an I Phone, you'll be navigating Nathan Drake from certain death with your fingers. Unsurprisingly given the quad-core chips, the graphics displayed on the device are better than any handheld to date.


The PS Vita combines the network dependant features of the PSP Go with the interactive control features Nintendo’s DS. The reliance on the Playstation Network may not please all given the recent hacks and resulting outage of a month. There's much to speculate on given what we know of the features. It really depends and what becomes available through the Vita's operating system. This is a device that looks like it wants to do a little more than just gaming.

So far two models have been announced and we only have US only pricing for now: a Wi-Fi Model priced at $249 and a 3G/Wi-Fi Model priced at $299. US release date Winter 2011.

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