Sony NGP becomes Playstation Vita – details inside

Yesterday at Sony’s E3 press conference in L.A, we finally got some much needed information on the successor to the PSP.

Originally codenamed the NGP (Next Generation Portable), the new handheld has now been officially named as the Playstation Vita. Vita means life, and according to Sony Corporation’s Kazou Hirai, they are confident that the Playstation Vita will blur the lines between entertainment and real life.

The handheld console features a dual touchpad, an OLED screen and dual cameras (which allow for Augmented Reality functions), changing the way that players will control their games.
What is interesting here is that touch screen and AR features have both also been recently released in Nintendo’s latest handheld and main competitor to the PSV, the 3DS.
Not to be forgotten either, features that are currently found Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE were also seen on the Vita, mainly, the party chat function which allows a number of people to communicate in one chat room at the same time “whereever you may be” thanks to either a headset or the PSV’s built in mic. I’m personally delighted with this as it is the single thing that has made gaming a social experience for me as of late – something which Sony are clearly striving for this time around.
Another way in which the PSV will cater to social gaming, is through the use of the social connection tool simply known as “Near“.
Near looks remarkably similar to the 3DS’ streetpass feature, and from the sounds of things, the idea is basically the same too. The tool will allow you to connect with others around you, compare trophies and recommend content to them with your PSV, and an image of the Near main menu shows the icons for “Out an about”, “Friends”, “Discoveries” and “settings”.

Games for the Playstation Vita shown at Sony’s conference included Uncharted, Ruin, Modnation racers and Street Fighter x Tekken, with a trailer for Little Big Planet also being shown.

There will be two different models of the Playstation Vita when it goes on sale, a standard WiFi model, and a 3G + WiFi model.
3G connectivity will be taken care of thanks to the AT&T network in the US, but it is unknown who will be
providing the service for the UK and rest of the world.
As for the matter of cost, prices for the PSV were announced as starting at $249 for the standard model, and going up to $299 for the 3G enabled one.
The Playstation Vita will be hitting store shelves “this holiday season” when it aims to take the title of best portable console.

What do you think of the PSV? Will it be bigger than the 3DS? Add your comments below!

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