We were hoping for some more concrete details about Sony’s next generation handheld gaming console at E3 and we got them, with a new name, worldwide pricing and a definite release time frame.
The console formerly known as the NGP will now be known as the PlayStation Vita (or PS Vita) and will cost €249 in Europe for the Wi-Fi only model and €299 for the 3G model. The same devices will cost $249 and $299 respectively in the US. No specific pricing for the UK was announced but converting the Euro pricing gets us PS Vitas costing £265 and £225 but don’t be surprised at direct conversions. Still, considering a high-end smartphone costs around £500 these days, £250 for quad-core CPU and GPU, a 5in OLED touchscreen, rear touch pad, dual analogue sticks, six-axis motion sensors and dual cameras seems like a pretty good deal to us. The PS Vita will be released worldwide “towards the end of 2011” and we’re pretty sure it’ll be with us in time for the Christmas rush so look for a late November/early December release.
As well as giving us dates and pricing, Sony also showed off some new games which will be coming to the PS Vita including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, an RPG called Ruin, ModRacers Nation, LittleBigPlanet and the mouth-watering prospect of Street Fighter x Tekken. All demos showed how the games will take advantage of the rear touch pad and OLED touchscreen combination and looked impressive, as you would imagine from such a demo. As we saw in videos released last week, there was also a lot of crose over between games on the PS3 and the PS Vita including Wipeout HD and LittleBigPlanet. Also shown off was the Near app which will come pre-installed on the PS Vita, which lets you see what gamers in your vicinity are up to. Sony also spoke about a new app called Party, which allows users to enjoy voice or text chat, not only during online gaming, but also when users are playing different games or using different applications such as internet browser.
And just in case you were wondering why Vita? Well according to Sony:
“’Vita’, which means ‘Life’ in Latin, was chosen as the most appropriate name for the next generation portable entertainment system as it enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCE is aiming to transform every aspect of user’s daily life into an entertainment experience.We can’t wait to get our hands on the Vita as it does look like a real advance in terms of portable gaming. Let us know if you think Sony has got the pricing right or if it’s still too expensive.