PlayStation Vita: Handheld Evolution? or Glorified PSP

No GravatarThe PlayStation Vita, or as I like to call it, the PSV, is Sony’s newest piece of technology in portable gaming. It was originally unveiled at a press conference earlier this year, and furthered detailed at E3 2011. Although much has been revealed about games and features, there are still many questions and concerns to be answered.

So what is known about the PSVita? First off, the PSVita will be avaible as two different models. The Wi-Fi only model for $249 USD and the Wi-Fi/3G version for $299 USD. According to Sony the Wi-Fi/3G version will be available at AT&T stores, as AT&T was announced as the exclusive provider of 3G service for the PSV. There are some questions as to a difference in hardware between the two, such as more RAM in the Wi-Fi/3G model over the Wi-Fi only, but has not been confirmed at this time. The cost for the AT&T coverage is also unknown at this time.

Physically, the PSV has many changes from the previous PSP. One of the most requested features from gamers has been added, the introduction of a second analog stick. This will allow for better support of games with moveable cameras on the PSV, especially first and third person shooters. Another big addition are the front and rear touch screens, lending itself to innovative controls not available on the PS3. This allows for much easier creating and editing in games like ModNation Racers and LittleBigPlanet. Front and rear cameras will enhance the users augmented reality experience. The display is an OLED screen measuring 5 inches with a 16:9 aspect ratio at 960×544 pixels and approximately 16,770,000 colors. The device overall is slightly larger than the PSP Go, adding 2 inches to the overall length, 1/2 inch to the width, and 1/8 inch to the thickness.

Some features available on the PSP Go have not moved on to the PSV. There is no “video out” option, so gameplay cannot be displayed on a TV. The only bluetooth devices that will function with the PSV are headsets, removing the previous ability to sync a PS3 controller to the PSP Go. Internal storage has been removed and replaced with 2 media slots. With the question of currently existing services like remote play, Skype, SenseMe, and comic content for PSP being available on PSV, as well as support for Youtube, flash content, and files, there is only a vague response. According to Sony “We are evaluating the opportunity to offer non-gaming applications/content and will announce details at a later time”.

The PSP Go only supported digital content, and the previous PSP models used UMD’s (universal media discs). The PSV will allow for digital content as well as a new physical game medium. This new medium is a flash memory based card which will also store game save data and additional downloadable content purchased, allowing for all data related to that game to be saved on the same card. A second slot will be used for storage media. The type of media is not yet confirmed, but will be necessary if you plan on purchasing digitally downloaded games and non-gaming content, since the PSV has no internal storage. Pricing for games, both digital and card based, has not been determined at this time. PSP games, PS minis, and PSone classics titles offered on the PS store will be playable on the PSV. At this time Sony has no plans to make PS3 or PS2 titles compatible with the PSV.

Before Sony’s E3 Conference, the PSV was going to be a day one buy for me. Now I am a bit skeptical with all the features and those yet to be announced. Hopefully Sony will make use of the technology and make the PSV a true evoltuion in portable gaming.

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  1. roninbearNo Gravatar says:

    Hmm, I was going to preorder for Christmas at gamestop, but my hunny really wanted the 3G model and I use Tmobile. Not sure what kind of an impact offering only through a phone company will truly have, but honestly, I’m pretty sure ‘limiting’ is the best adjective.

  2. I am guessing the AT&T exclusive is due to coverage area. I think they would make more money by leaving it up to the consumer, since most times you would get a discounted rate for additonal services. A lot of people are expecting a 4G model to drop shortly after. I doubt that since I was checking 4G coverage maps for major providers. The areas at this point are extremely limited. There is an alternative option though which I may use myself. My phone has the ability to act as a WiFi hotspot. Will wait to see on pricing and other circumstances. It would cost me $30 a month to use that feature but my phone will allow 8 devices to use it at once. That would make it much more versatile for other devices like laptops. I would definitely get more for my money as opposed to paying for a separate plan just for PS Vita. Looking at trends I would assume 3G through AT&T would be $40 a month, but I don’t see many people paying that just for the PSV.

  3. I just wish the bluetooth feature would accommodate dualshock controllers like the PSPgo 🙁 but awesome piece of hardware non the less ^^

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