It is now less than a week until the official European launch of the PS Vita, which should hit the shop shelves on the 22nd of February 2012. However, if you haven't decided which PS Vita title you should choose first, our exploration of some of the initial launch titles should help you.
The official UK launch titles are as follows:
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus
Dynasty Warriors Next
ModNation Racers: Road Trip
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen
TOUCH MY KATAMARI
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Virtua Tennis 4
There does seem to be a good mix of different gaming genres across the seventeen different core launch titles, with a further five titles said to be exclusively available for download from the Playstation Network Store on day one of the launch.
The five exclusive downloads are:
Plants VS. Zombies
Super Stardust Delta
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
(*may be subject to change)
Many of the launch games - Everybody's Golf, Modnation Racers: Road Trip, Wipeout 2048, (to name but a few) are sequels of prior PSP titles, which means that they are likely to have a big fan base when they hit the shelves, depending on whether or not the PS Vita console itself happens to sell the required units that Sony has predicted.
Moreover, many of these games feature new controls which are designed to demonstrate the PS Vita's new abilities. For example, in Everybody's Golf, whose previous versions have always proved extremely popular, the rear touchpad of the console is used to measure the distance of the ball to the next hole, and the front touchscreen can be used to reposition the ball before 'teeing off', or even rustle the leaves on the trees, or even make your character speak to you.
There are also exciting rumours concerning the game's multiplayer abilities, which suggest that as many as up to thirty competitors will be able to compete against each other during online play, claim that a daily tournament will be available, and even hint that there will be a social forum available online for those players who wish to discuss the game, however, these details are still largely unconfirmed at present.
Nevertheless, with the PS Vita continuing to perform badly in the current Japanese gaming charts it is clear that Sony will have its work cut out to make its new handheld as popular as the original PSP console.
Some members of the gaming community are citing the high price of the console and its memory sticks as the main reason for its lack of popularity, whereas others say that ceasing the production of UMDs in favour of a new NVG cartridge format makes the PS Vita incompatible with existing PSP games, which has thus led to less interest from current PSP owners.
Whatever the good or bad points of the PS Vita console, it is an interesting addition to the handheld gaming scene and represents an important move away from handheld gaming as a solo activity and towards a more social handheld gaming experience.
Please remember to check out our PS Vita hands-on review once the console launches in Europe on Wednesday.