The PlayStation Vita's official U.S. launch date is February 22, but those who can't wait any longer can get their hands on the device today.
Sony's first edition bundle, which includes a 3G-equipped Vita, a case, 4GB memory card, and a free edition of the game Little Deviants, has shipped to those who pre-ordered it. Gamers who missed the pre-order but want to get the Vita before next week can buy the bundle now.
Getting the PlayStation Vita a week before its official launch date comes at a price. Whereas the 3G launch bundle shipping next … Read more
If the far-reaching trend is toward stripped-down interfaces, why does Sony's new PlayStation Vita have so many buttons?
The most obvious counter-examples are Apple's iPhone and iPad, each with a singular physical button augmented by contextual onscreen touch controls. But we've also seen this concept of "design by subtraction" elsewhere. Traditional touch pads on laptops, pairing a tactile surface with discrete left and right mouse buttons, are being replaced with clickpads, which incorporate those left and right mouse button functions right into a one-piece pad. Newer phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, are nearly all screen, clearly designed for gesture control above all else.
By way of contrast, Sony's new PlayStation Vita handheld game console has 13 buttons, two touch panels (one on the screen, the other on the back), and a pair of analog control sticks, not counting the volume buttons. Additionally, there are separate panels that open up to accommodate game cards and memory cards (plus a SIM card slot on the 3G version).
Of course, its level of complexity isn't necessarily a bad thing, and without its wealth of physical inputs, the Vita couldn't do the thing it does best: mimic the living room console experience in a way that previous handhelds, or your iOS/Android device, simply can't touch. … Read more
Sony's PlayStation Vita will ship in North America next week, and with it will come the company's biggest-ever marketing campaign focused on a platform launch.
A New York Times report reveals that Sony is spending $50 million on its "Never Stop Playing" campaign to market the PS Vita, representing "the largest platform launch in terms of marketing investment we've ever had," according to Sony's John Koller.
As Sony prepares to launch the PlayStation Vita in the U.S., the company is also considering bringing it to other mobile devices at some point in the future.
Speaking recently in a question-and-answer session with reporters, Sony's incoming chief executive Kazuo Hirai said that the operating system running on the PlayStation Vita was intentionally designed to be "expandable," and could work on both smartphones and tablets.
"If you're asking if we've made it in a way that's expandable, so that it's possible to apply to smartphones and tablets on top of … Read more
A rather noteworthy firmware update arrived yesterday for the PlayStation Vita in Japan, just weeks before the device is set to debut in the U.S. on February 22.
Vita can now shoot MP4 video (1.5Mbps) at 640x480 resolution with supplementary audio-recording support up to 128Kbps AAC. This is not HD-quality by any means, but it will probably look above-average based on the strength of Sony's mobile-camera sensors. There's a note of an improvement to "Featured Photo," which now supports video content.
We also spotted an optional Content Manager Assistant app for Vita (available now in English for PC and Mac) that lets you run a system update and transfer and/or back up data between the Vita and a computer. … Read more
PlayStation Network accounts will soon be no more.
In a move toward unifying its online services, PlayStation Network accounts are changing to Sony Entertainment Network accounts. "This helps us get closer to our goal of establishing a global comprehensive network platform of services across games, movies, music and more, all accessible from one convenient account," the company said in a statement.
The change is in name only, and users of the service will not have to worry about changing their username or password. A software update for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita will arrive tomorrow to usher in the rebranding, but oddly, this change is not occurring for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). … Read more
Gamers eager for a taste of Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vita console may be able to try out a playable demo unit at their local GameStop store.
The Vita is available at more than 3,300 GameStop stores across the U.S. to offer potential buyers their first hands-on experience. Entering your ZIP code at GameStop's Vita Web page displays a list of your closest stores, but it looks like you'll need to call them to see which ones have a playable unit on hand.
The units will offer eight different games to try out--Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Little … Read more
Call me crazy. Call me misguided. But I preordered a Sony PlayStation Vita the other day.
That's right, I plunked down a $50 deposit at a GameStop near work, thereby earning the right to own Sony's new handheld game console the day it comes out here in the U.S. on February 22.
I didn't catch too much grief among my fellow editors for doing it, although we have an ongoing debate in the office about how successful the Vita will be. A lot of folks think the Vita, like the Nintendo 3DS, will have a rough … Read more
Several PlayStation Vita games are seeing preorder price cuts (and one disappointing price increase) before the launch of the next-generation handheld gaming device planned of February 22.
Little Deviants, Wipeout 2048, Modnation Racers: Road Trip, Reality Fighters, and Hot Shots Golf: World Invitation, which cost $39.99 previously, are currently available for $29.99 (via Amazon, GameStop and others).
Sadly, it seems that the highly anticipated Uncharted: Golden Abyss for Vita rose in price from $39.99 to $49.99. There's little doubt that the next game in the Nathan Drake saga will be stunning and sell moderately well, but I feel a $50 retail price will turn off many gamers.
There is a certain sweet spot at $29 that Sony will have difficulty ignoring as time passes. I cannot envision a sustainable business model selling $50 triple-A portable games, regardless of the visuals or experience. … Read more