PSP fans interested in the handheld's successor have spent the last month rumor-checking and domain-snooping (they've had little else to do online, after all). So there's little surprise to the announcement that the PSP2/NGP will be called the PlayStation Vita – though it marks an end to the console's time as a rumor, and the beginning in earnest of the selling of the machine – at launch prices also revealed today.
The Vita, whose early titles we were able to preview ahead of time last week, will launch with front and rear cameras (okay), twin joysticks (damn right), a touchscreen (excellent), Sixaxis-style accelerometer control (sure, why not) and a rear-mounted touchpad (now you're just getting silly). While Sony promise a simple pipeline for porting PS3 titles down to the handheld, the company have opted not to release a fully PS3-spec console that, in their words, would “last five minutes [and] probably set fire to your pants.” Party-poopers.
Above: Want previews? We've got one for everything Sony had on show for us last week
The console will boast online play, with connection options varying depending on which model you buy: expect to pay $US/EU299 for 3G, or $US/EU249 for Wi-Fi only. Surely you need to sign up with a network for that? “Announcement of AT&T as [US] carrier met with derisive laughter,” tweeted GamesRadar's head words-wrangler from the conference: “Doesn't anyone at Sony have an iPhone?” That machine, of course, did okay for itself despite longtime carrier exclusivity with the same company – and Vita is certainly less reliant on mobile coverage than the iPhone ever was. If you missed Sony's grand unveiling of the Vita, you can see Sony's E3 2011 conference in its entirety here.
Jun 6, 2011