Wednesday, 8 June 2011
It has been known to the handheld gaming community as the PSP 2 and the Sony NGP, but Mini Gamers can now reveal that the official name for Sony's newest handheld device is the PS Vita.
For those of you who aren't yet aware of the PS Vita's technical specifications, the device will contain the following:
5-inch OLED Touchscreen: For more varied gameplay
Rear Touch Pad: Capacitive Multi-touch
Cameras: rear camera, front camera which will be used for augmented reality gaming.
Sound: Built-in mic, built-in speakers
Sensors: 6-axis motion sensory system (three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope)
Internet Connectivity: 3G (optional), WiFi , Built-in GPS
Switches/Keys: Volume buttons, SELECT/START button, right/left stick, shoulder buttons, action buttons, directional buttons, power button, PS button
Wireless: Mobile Network Connectivity (3G), IEE 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
The PS Vita is set to revolutionise the way that Playstation fans access and play their games. The CEO of Consumer services and Marketing, Kazuo Hirai, proudly introduced the new console at E3 2011 last night. He said: "Vita means 'life' and the PS Vita blurs the lines between entertainment and real life..." and he claimed that the PS Vita would also lead the way in offering gamers a: "Truly unique social experience."
The PS Vita contains a powerful CPU processor and greater memory, making its graphics closer to the PS3 in comparison. This means that there will now be better interconnectivity between Sony's favourite home console and the new handheld device.
For example, the PS Vita will now use the 'Cloud Saves' feature usually found on the PS3 console. This means that players can save their game and then connect it up to their PS3 console and continue playing from where they left off.
Several PS Vita games were presented during the ninety-minute Sony conference, including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a brand new Uncharted game. This game was a good example of how the new PS Vita functions could be put to good use.
For example, the main character, Nathan Drake can now be made to jump simply by tapping on the touchscreen. Players can also make Drake move along several ledges or chasms easily by 'drawing' a safe route for him with their finger. Enemies can be attacked by using the traditional PSP button system or by tapping on them via the touchscreen. Weapons can also be collected via this method.
Modnation Racers for the PS Vita demonstrated how the multiple touch points on the rear touchpad can be used to customise tracks. In the PS Vita version of the popular racing game, pressing on various points of the touchpad can create mountaneous peaks and place trees, while tapping on the front touchscreen can create lakes or rivers and create bends in the racing track.
Finally, the PS Vita version of Little Big Planet uses the new 'tilt' functions of the motion sensors. Many of the new levels will include areas where the console will need to be tilted in order for the player to proceed.
Furthermore, players can use the new front and rear cameras to take a photo of themselves, which will then be used to create their sackboy/sackgirl character.
The Little Big Planet toolbox has also been enhanced. Players can now draw items such as bridges or steps on the touchscreen and they will then be added into your own created levels.
These major titles will all be available for the PS Vita at launch, and CEO of Sony Entertainment America, Jack Tretton revealed that there were a lot more quality games in the pipeline: "We currently have more than eighty [PS Vita] game titles in development by top developers including EA, Ubisoft, THQ, Activision and Capcom."
The PS Vita will debut some time in December 2011, just in time for the Christmas market. There will be two types of the console available at launch, PS Vita with 3G connectivity, which will retail for around £185, and PS Vita with standard Wi-fi connectivity, which will suit tighter budgets by retailing at around £155.
In conclusion, the latest Sony offering is certainly an intriguing little console. It is impossible to tell how well it will be recieved at launch, but with promises of Social Gaming functions and Augmented Reality gaming on top of the main console features, the PS Vita promises to provide gamers with: "An experience you need to see - and feel - to believe..." [Jack Tretton, Sony America CEO]