At E3 2011, Sony revealed all on the PlayStation Vita – the quad-core follow-up to the PSP with better graphics, a monster OLED touchscreen, and a sharp $250 price point.
But before we jump on the bandwagon, secure our pre-order at Gamestation, and tattoo the word Vita across our left bum cheek, there are a few questions we need answered.
Can I play multiplayer Killzone over 3G? Will it run my old PSP games? Will the battery last longer than an episode of Family Guy?
If you also demand answers to such Vita(l) posers, check out our extensive and exhaustive FAQ to the PlayStation Vita. We’ll update it as more questions, and answers, roll in.
Sony describes its launch as a “phased rollout from the end of the year throughout all the SCE regions.” That means America, Japan, Europe, and Australia.
But do not go putting it on your Christmas wishlist just yet. In a live interview with GameTrailers, Sony boss Jack Tretton clarified that Sony means the “fiscal” year, which ends 31st March 2012.
There’s every chance that it will appear under your Crimbo tree, but there is also scope for a painful delay.
How much will the PS Vita cost?
The wi-fi only Vita will set you back $249 in North America, 24,980 Yen (including tax) in Japan, and €249 in Europe. If you fancy a 3G chip, too, for always-online connectivity, you will need to shell out $299, 29,980 Yen (including tax), or €299.
There’s been no official price in pounds, but British retailer GAME has listed the two versions as £229.99 and £279.99. SCEE CEO Andrew House told CVG that those prices are “pretty much where I would have predicted.”
Will the PS Vita be region-free?
In a Vita press session during E3, Michael Denny, vice president of Sony Worldwide Studios Europe, confirmed that the Vita will be region-free. To the ideal of his knowledge, anyway.
This means that you can play games from Japan and America on your European Vita, and vice versa. The PSP was also region-free, but the 3DS is locked to playing games from the same region as the console.
How much will PS Vita games cost?
Sony is not talking prices for games yet. But if the 3DS is any indication, publishers and retailers are happy with slapping £40 tags on games for these new handhelds. We could not find any reputable retailer with a priced Vita game in its database.
Vita means ‘life’ in Latin. Sony states its apt, because of Vita’s “combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context.”
You’ve probably seen the word in curriculum vitae (summary of life), vitals (signs of life), and hypervitaminosis (a symptom complex resulting from ingestion of excessive amounts of vitamin A).
Vita packs a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, a SGX543MP4+ GPU, and 512MB of memory (although it’s rumoured to have been halved to 256MB).
The device has a whopping great five-inch OLED screen (in 16:9 widescreen), with a resolution of 960×544 pixels and about 16,770,000 colours.
How long will the PS Vita’s battery last?
A developer told Engadget that “– with the exception of graphically intensive titles like Uncharted — the company’s shooting for parity with the original PlayStation Portable.”
If you do not remember how long the old PSP lasted, you can anticipate anywhere from three to six hours while gaming, depending on your wi-fi and brightness settings, as well as the graphical grunt of the game you are playing.
No. “PS Vita does not have a video output feature,” Sony says. Sorry, pals – you can bin your PSP component cables now.
Nope. Sony states that opening up the back of the system would interfere with the rear touchpad. But we all know that the battery was the source of many hacks on the PSP, so Sony’s got that thing locked up tighter than a chastity belt in Fort Knox.
Does PS Vita have built-in memory, and what memory cards does it take?
Vita doesn’t have any memory built in – mostly because the game cards have their own storage space (more on that later).
If you want to download games, you will have to purchase all-new memory cards. They were seen at E3 in 4, 8, 16, and 32GB capacities.
What buttons, sensors, and gizmos does it have?
The PS Vita has a PS button for accessing the home menu, a power button for turning the thing on, and volume buttons. For gaming, you have got nine buttons (four face, two shoulders, start, and select), a directional pad, and two analogue sticks. The sticks do not click down.
It has a capacitive multitouch touchscreen and a capacitive multitouch touchpad on the rear. It has front and rear cameras, but their specs are currently unknown. For motion, it has a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a three-axis electronic compass.
The Vita also has a built-in microphone (stereo speakers, of course), built-in GPS, wi-fi location service support, Bluetooth (2.1+EDR), wi-fi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n), and 3G.
What ports, outputs and slots does the PS Vita have?
There is a slot for the game card, another for memory cards, and – if you have a 3G version – a slot for your SIM card.
The bottom port is a multi-use port that will accept all manner of cables, such as USB data, power, stereo-out and mono-in audio, and “Serial data communication”. There’s also a headphone jack and an accessory port.
Can I use a bluetooth headset, mouse, keyboard, PS3 controller, or world wide web hotspot?
Most commercially available headsets will work, but you cannot connect up a keyboard, mouse, or PS3 pad, or connect to a mobile over Bluetooth to borrow its world wide web connection.
Can I play multiplayer games over 3G?
No. Even though some iPhone shooters let you play deathmatches over a 3G connection, Sony reckons “there’s not enough bandwidth via 3G for a huge 8-player shooter.” That’s Sony Worldwide Studios SVP Scott Rodhe, talking to GameSpot.
Near is a location-based social service for Vita that lets you find friends and communicate with other Vita players in the real world.
Similar to StreetPass on the 3DS, Near can “find out what other PS Vita users in vicinity are currently playing and what titles are most popular in the area.”
You can also drop virtual objects, “such as character costumes, weapons, and treasures”, at geographical locations, so other Vita owners can take them when they next “check-in” to that area. It’s like FourSquare, but with swords.
You can use wi-fi, but a 3G Vita will perform better in areas with poor home broadband connectivity.
Every game for PS Vita will be provided with a space called “LiveArea”, where users can share data and stats with other players.
You can view “Activity” log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, and then jump into a match with them.
Players will also use this space to get the latest information about upcoming games.
Will PS Vita have Remote Play, YouTube, Flash, and PDF support like the PSP? What about Skype and SenseMe? Will my downloaded comics and videos work?
As for your comics and videos, “SCE plans to make those content available on PS Vita,” Sony says.
Will it connect with PS3 games?
It absolutely can, but it’s all down to the individual games and developers. “It’s just a matter of time,” SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Develop, “as we provide the SDKs to developers so they can make use of both PS3 and Vita, and they might come up with something interesting.”
Wipeout 2048, for example, will let you race against players on PS3. Exactly what will be played on PS3 – be it Wipeout HD or a PS3 version of 2048 – is still up in the air, a Sony employee tells GameSpot.
Another game, Ruin, will use cloud storage to let you play the same save file across both devices. You will not need a PlayStation Plus subscription for the cloud saves, Engadget confirms.
“Already people are starting to ask about linking Vita and PS3, in terms of using two screens, and having controls on the screen,” Yoshida said. “That’s very interesting, and we will have to experiment.”
Source: Develop, GameSpot, Engadget
What medium will PS Vita games come on?
Forget UMDs – Vita will embrace a brand new medium, dedicated to the new platform. They’re actually small, flash-based memory cards like cartridges on the 3DS or DS.
And like those game cartridges of yore, these new cards “can not only store the full software titles, but also save data as well as additional game content data.” This means your save game and downloadable content will always be with the game, even if you lose or wipe your memory card.
Will PS Vita be backwards compatible with my PSP games?
Absolutely. As long as you have downloaded them from the PlayStation Store. “Users can play PSP titles, minis, and PSone classics titles”, Sony says. The firm is “looking into the opportunity” to carry your old save games over, too.
Sony will not release a UMD reader for Vita, but will “consider every possibility for support on purchased UMD games, but we have nothing to comment at this point in time.” So do not bin your UMDs just yet.
Will PS Vita play games from the PlayStation Suite?
Yes! The Android-based shop of smaller games will be accessible to users on Vita. “PS Suite content developed in the new game development environment provided for PS Suite can be enjoyed on PS Vita,” Sony promises.
Will there be Vita games on the PlayStation Store?
Yep. “You can download PS Vita games and other content from PlayStation Store to a storage media via the Internet,” Sony explains. The publisher plans to release every single game in both physical and download versions. But it stated that with PSP Go, and not every game ended up on the Store.
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Submited at Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 7:00 pm on PSP by Cinthia
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