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PS Vita cross-platform gaming overview

As non-game-related reasons to buy a PlayStation Vita go, the various forms of connectivity between the handheld and the PS3 are some of the more interesting. Ideally, the features could put console and handheld gaming on equal footing, blurring the lines between the two and adding new dimensions to both.

At present, though, only a handful of games actually support cross-platform play, and figuring out which games support which features (and how well) can be difficult. To cut through the fog, we’ve pulled together the games that wear cross-play on their sleeves, put them through their paces and found out exactly what they can do. Our findings are as follows:

Direct multiplayer

As of this writing, a handful of titles claim to include cross-platform play, but only two seem to actually offer direct multiplayer between PS3s and Vitas: WipeOut 2048, and pool sim Hustle Kings. Of those two, WipeOut’s the only one that makes it easy, presenting players with a clear cross-play option that lets them challenge PS3 owners on Wipeout HD Fury’s tracks.

Hustle Kings is a little more complicated; cross-platform game invites don’t seem to work, and meeting up with a friend online means the PS3 player has to set up a game room, after which the Vita player can pick it from the list of available rooms. It’s kludgy, but once you’re in, the action works well enough, albeit with noticeable lag (which isn’t a huge deal, considering the game is turn-based). And because the game switches over to the opponent’s view when it’s not your turn to shoot, it’s kind of fun to be able to control the view on one system using the other (of course, you’ll only be able to benefit from that if you’re playing both versions in the same room).

Both titles are also part of a cool promotion Sony’s running: those who buy one version of Hustle Kings automatically get the other for free. Also, buying WipeOut 2048, along with the PS3 versions of WipeOut HD and its Fury DLC, will get you free access to the Vita versions of WipeOut HD and Fury when they become available sometime this spring.

That offer also applies to two other games that, as of this writing, are both Europe-only: Top Darts and MotorStorm RC. While those two games are frequently mentioned in conjunction with cross-platform play, however, neither actually seems to support the feature – at least not yet. While the Vita version of Top Darts has an online multiplayer mode, the PS3 version doesn’t. Neither, for that matter, does the Vita version of MotorStorm RC.

Above: Still pretty fun, but lonely

Trading UGC

Outside of the four mentioned above, one other game advertises support for cross-platform play right on the back of its box: ModNation Racers: Road Trip. If you’re expecting to jump online to challenge established PS3 players, though, don’t. Not only is there no direct cross-platform play, there’s no online racing, period.

However, MR:RT does enable players to jump online to download and upload custom characters, karts and tracks made with either the PSV or the PS3, so if you’re a fan of a particular track (or just want to download one you made on the PS3 version), you can. (Again, though, being unable to show your stuff off in online games kind of diminishes the appeal.) Hopefully we’ll see the same feature in LittleBigPlanet when it hits the Vita later this year.

20 comments

  • ultimatepunchrod - February 26, 2012 4:57 p.m.

    Many of these seem cool. Hope they maintain support for this stuff though. I can see devs backing later to focus on other stuff.
  • thejolson - February 26, 2012 4:50 a.m.

    Don't most of these features require you to own BOTH the PS3 and Vita copies of a game? So for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 if you pay $40 to own it on PS3 and $40 to own it on Vita... they'll let you have the $10 DLC free? I'm sorry but so not cost effective.
  • SenorHurt - February 25, 2012 8 p.m.

    I don't have a PS3 and I don't plan on buying a PSVita (still feel burned by the PSP). If I was looking for a portable system and the PSV and PS3 connectivity across all the games was similar than I might have changed my mind. As it stands, I appreciate that you wrote it but Sony isn't giving us much to crow about. On another note, I really miss the Talkradar podcast. It's been two weeks and that is two weeks too many to be missing. I don't know why but I have not been able to log in so that is why I haven't been posting comments. Bring back Talkradar, please.
  • gernboes - February 25, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    Unfortunately, none of the titles that support this have hit the market yet, so for now it remains little more than a promise. Wrong! "Continuation play" is already available in motorstorm rc... you buy the game once and get both version (PS3 & VITA) and your progress is shared between the two systems... there is also a kind of cross platform multiplayer. "kind of" because its asynchronous... when you race you see ghosts of times your friends posted etc.
  • TheDCSniper - February 25, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    TalkRadar better be on hiatus, because if it's cancelled I seriously won't visit this website anymore
  • Sinsational - February 25, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    I think it's pretty cool what they've done with WipeOut 2048. Maybe it's breathed some new life into HD's multiplayer? I must investigate this further...
  • RonnyLive19881 - February 25, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Ugh, I'm sick of all the PSV articles... where is the MGS3D review already? The game is fantastic! After playing MGS3D up until the point you first meet Eva I turned it off and played to the same point in the HD version for the PS3 and after getting used to the 3DS controls the older version is basically unplayable. The controls of the original aged very poorly and the graphics while crisp have a filter running over them that make the game look very bland and even grayish... The 3DS version?! They modernized the controls to a MGS4-ish scheme, the graphics are now vastly improved by beautiful vibrant environments, redone character models, 3D effects that add to the experience and are really easy on the eyes AND re-textured more detailed environments. It is by far the definitive version of the game! Konami obviously love Nintendo! From what little I have played of Golden abyss... it feels like Uncharted every now and then and I like the motion aiming buuuuut other than that it really isn't anything special. Not like it is a remake of one of the best games ever made or anything Lol /pointless rant
  • Moondoggie1157 - February 25, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    Yea, no doubt. I mean why on Earth would a website like GamesRadar ever write multiple articles about a newly released system? That's just crazy...
  • RonnyLive19881 - February 26, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    I know, it's not like they didn't cover it a billion times leading up to its launch...
  • evandang - February 25, 2012 8:10 a.m.

    Wait, I'm confused. If you own wipeout hd/fury on ps3, will you get wipeout 2048 for vita in the spring or the dlc for it for free? Any answer would help a lot
  • CharlieFockstrot - February 25, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    If you have the Fury DLC for Wipeout on PS3 you get the Fury DLC for Wipeout on Vita for free.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - February 25, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    ... if you also buy WipeOut 2048 for Vita.
  • CharlieFockstrot - February 25, 2012 5:51 a.m.

    Remote play of ps3 games would be such a great thing for vita that I can't believe it's not available yet. I bet it's a because of the PS3's lack of RAM, they've shown Killzone 3 running remotely but I bet it was modified code. Maybe future games and Sony exclusives will use the feature but there's not much incentive for third party developers to make their back catalogues compatible.
  • jmcgrotty - February 25, 2012 5:28 a.m.

    I keep seeing so many articles about the release of the Vita and I can't help but wonder if people realize that they are talking about a portable system and not a real video game system...
  • BladedFalcon - February 25, 2012 5:46 a.m.

    ...How is a portable system not a real videogame system? You ever played a GBA, or a DS? Some of the best games of the last decades have come from portable systems. Just because they have less power and uglier graphics than their console counterparts doesn't make their games any less fun or valid for a gamer to enjoy.
  • MidianGTX - February 25, 2012 7:59 a.m.

    Owned both. It's not the same though. There's a noticeable difference and therefore it makes perfect sense to be able to clearly idenfity which you're referring to. I wouldn't necessarily go with "real video game system" though, "handhelds" and "consoles" would be ideal phrases.
  • BladedFalcon - February 25, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    Well yeah, I never said there wasn't a difference, and I'm not at all against the distinction between "handhelds" and "consoles". What I questioned was the demeritation of handheld gaming in general,as if nothing worthy ever came from it. Or if they didn't deserve to be considered true video game playing devices.
  • DevonOO7 - February 24, 2012 10:18 p.m.

    Give me Talkradar or give me death
  • Moondoggie1157 - February 25, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    I second that... My Friday nights just aren't the same....
  • MasterBhater - February 24, 2012 9:50 p.m.

    I find it really odd that when I go on Remote Play there's an option to set what would be the L2, R2, L3 and R3 buttons on a PS3 controller to the back touch pad, but Sony still isn't allowing remote play with all PS3 games. Hopefully the update to fix this comes very soon.

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