PlayStation Vita Preview

PlayStation Vita, aka PSVita is the PSP2, successor to the original PSP (aka PlayStation Portable) and the next major handheld videogame system from Sony.

The device was announced officially on January 27, 2011 at the PlayStation Meeting 2011 event in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment president Kazuo Hirai (where it was called NGP) and fully unveiled in playable form at E3 2011 (where it was given a final name of “PlayStation Vita”).

A release date for the device has not been announced, while some reports speculate that it could launch in holiday 2011 (say November 2011) others think Sony will wait until 2012 before releasing the system.

Before being called Vita (which means “life” in Latin), the system was known as the NGP, which stood for Next Generation Portable.

Table of Contents

What Is the Price of the PSVita?

It will cost $250 (Same price as the 3DS) for the Wi-Fi model and $300 for the 3G model (Via AT&T in America, subscription required. If you already an AT&T subscription, you don’t need to buy another).

When is the PSVita Release Date?

It is not known officially when the Vita will launch. Speculation and reports say that Sony is trying its hardest to push the Vita out this year, 2011, in Japan and America, with Europe getting a Vita release in early 2012.

What Are the Controls and Facebuttons of the PS Vita?

The PlayStation Vita features the standard Square, Circle, X and Triangle PlayStation Family buttons that everyone is oh-so-familiar with as its face buttons. It also features two analog sticks, a D-Pad, two shoulder buttons (L and R) and a PlayStation Button (to bring up the menu), Start Button and Select Button. It also features a touchscreen that can be used for menu navigation and the like, as well as a rear touchpad and microphone.

What Are the Features of the PSVita?

Here is a list of the main features of the PlayStation Vita:

  • Dual Analog Sticks – Unlike the PSP, the Vita will have two analog sticks, making it feel more like the Dual Shock 3 controller.
  • 5-Inch OLED Multi-Touch Display – Like the competing Nintendo 3DS platform, Vita features a touchscreen and accompanying stylus. Resolution is 960×544.
  • Wi-Fi and 3G Versions – The Vita will come in two flavors, Wi-Fi for $249, a version that allows you to tap into any wi-fi hotspot or home router for Internet access, or a 3G Version that uses AT&T’s network for $300 (other territories will have their own wireless carrier that will support Vita).
  • Backside Touchpad – On the back of the PSVita is a touch-sensitive pad that can be used to control games.
  • Two Built-in Cameras – Like the original DSi, the PSVita features two cameras that are built into the device. One faces towards you and one faces away from the system on backside. The device cannot take stereoscopic 3D pictures because there are not three cameras (like on the Nintendo 3DS) only two. The two cameras support face detection, head detection, and head tracking.
  • Microphone
  • Built-in GPS
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Sixaxis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
  • Storage Media Card Slot
  • Three-Axis Electronic Compass
  • Headphone/Mic Jack
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Volume Up and Down Buttons
  • Crossplay allows you to compete against PSVita and PS3 players online!
  • PlayStation Vita will not support video output, HDMI or contain a removable battery.

    Unlike the PS3 and PSP, the PSVita does not feature the XMB (CrossMediaBar) instead it uses a new user-interface called the touch-screen-based “LiveArea”, which succeeds the XMB and allows you to access games and Apps by touching the corresponding icon. Vita is fully compatible with the PlayStation Network and all that it entails.

    This video introduces you to the PSVita and its main features plus games.

    What Are the PSVita System Specs?

    The PlayStation Vita Specifications are as follows:

    4 core (quadcore) ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore (3 of the 4 cores will be usable for applications)
    5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, 24-bit color, 960 × 544 pixels @ 220 ppi
    200 MHz SGX543MP4+
    133 MPolygon/s
    4 GPixel/s fill rate
    IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
    83.55 mm (3.289 in) (height)
    182 mm (7.2 in) (width)
    18.6 mm (0.73 in) (depth)

    PS Vita Features

    Does the PSVita Use or Support UMDs? Are Games Distributed Only Digitally? What Medium Are Vita Games On?

    The PlayStation Vita does NOT support or read UMD (Universal Media Disc, the format that PSP games bought at retail used) games, it uses a new proprietary flash card format called NVG Cards. There will be a new NVG Card Slot to read the new games. Similar to Nintendo 3DS games, these small cards will come in 2GB and 4GB sizes. With 5-10% of the writeable space reserved for save data, patches, etc. Sony maintains that they can issue higher-capacity cards for larger games in the future.

    Here is the official unveil of the PlayStation Vita from E3 2011 at Sony’s Press Conference.

    Is the PSVita Backwards Compatible With PSP Games?

    The PlayStation Vita is fully backwards compatible with all original PlayStation Portable games, but only PSP games that were released digitally on the PlayStation Store. They will be downloadable via the PlayStation Network accessible on the PSVita. It is also backwards compatible with all PlayStation Minis titles, PlayStation Suite games, PSOne Classics as well as PSP videos and PSP Digital Comics from the PlayStation Store. Additionally if you play PSP games on the Vita, it will upscale and smooth the graphics via a software emulator. As far as the dual analog sticks, Dual Stick support will only be available in select titles (as the PSP only featured one “Analog Nub”.

    What PSVita Games Are In Development?

    Many games are in development for the PlayStation Vita, including first-party Sony titles, second-party titles and third-party titles, they include:

  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Wipeout 2048
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Hot Shots Golf: Next
  • Ruin
  • ModNation Racers
  • Silent Hill: Book of Memories
  • Call of Duty: War Zone
  • Street Fighter x Tekken
  • Hustle Kings
  • Blazblue: Continuum Shift II
  • Bioshock Vita
  • Dust 514
  • Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  • Mortal Kombat Vita
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience
  • Sound Shapes
  • Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
  • Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
  • Rayman Origins
  • WWE 2012
  • Super Stardust Delta
  • Little Deviants
  • Virtua Tennis 4
  • F-1 2011
  • And new entries in a number of series including: Resistance, Ridge Racer, Killzone, an untitled Hideo Kojima game, Dynasty Warriors, and more. Also a number of PS3, PS2 and PSP ports were shown running on the hardware, such as Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Yakuza: Of the End, and Lost Planet 2.

    Here is a video showing off a montage of various Vita games.

    What Social Networking, Augmented Reality, and Online Features Does PSVita Have?

    PlayStation Vita’s tagline is essentially “Life”, the name of the system. Why life? Because Sony “is confident” and promises that the Vita will, quote, “Be the first product that truly blurs the lines between entertainment and your real life. Allowing you to play, interact and connect like never before.” This is because social networking and location-based gaming, as well as Augmented Reality experiences (where the cameras are used to make your real-life background the backdrop in the games), promise players to make it easier than ever before to meet new people who live around you for new experiences. This is done through two new Applications for Vita, “Party” and “Near”. Additionally Vita features Cross Platform online play (dubbed “Crossplay”), allowing you to play games with PS3 users as well as Vita users!

    What is Vita’s Party Feature?

    “Party” allows users in the same gameroom on the PlayStation Vita, either online or locally (or both) to voice chat via the built-in mic or a headset no matter where you are or what game you are playing. Allowing you to stay in touch and chat with friends during gameplay or outside of gameplay, both locally and around the world via the internet.

    What is Vita’s Near Feature?

    “Near” allows you to share your PlayStation online ID with those people who are physically around you. Whether in the same apartment complex, on the same street, in the same town, in the same city or in the same state. Near allows you to see who is in your physical vicinity using the built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) and then compare the games you own and are playing, compare Trophies, and track or contact each other via various social networking features.

    This video showcases the main features of Vita including Party and Near.