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Everything We Know About the PlayStation Vita

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

The PlaySation Vita is an upcoming handheld-gaming system being developed by Sony. It was first shown of at the beginning of 2011, codenamed NGP, and later named "Vita" at E3 2011, which is Latin for "life." The name was chosen because the company envisions Vita being part of its users everyday life.

It is nicknamed the "first true successor" to the PlaySation Portable (PSP) and is hands down the most technologically advanced handheld to date. It is jammed packed with dual quad-core processors, an OLED touchscreen display, front and rear facing cameras, optional 3G connectivity, a rear touch panel, and a built-in accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a digital compass. I feel as if Sony is spoiling us…

Possibly one of the drawbacks many people seem to assume about the device is it's size. It is drastically larger than it's predessor, the PSP, but for good reason of course! Thanks to its crisp, 5-inch OLED display, we get to enjoy HDTV at our fingertips. The little device may not only revolutionize what we thought was capable of handheld gaming, but it may also reinnovate how we watch movies and T.V. on to go. If someone such as Netflix would jump on board, I'd be more than willing to toss my cell-phone aside for the use of the Vita instead!

However, with all the beefy internals the little guy is said to have, some may assume that it is heavy; it would defeat the benefits of a portable device, being light and small. Before you jump to such rash conclusions though, I can fully assure you that the system is actually pretty light and slim in your hands, after having plenty of hands on time with it.

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the upcoming Handheld is the front and reach touch panels. They're actually very responsive; capable of tracking and pinpointing a variety of motions and gestures with superb accuracy. It all feels extremely "fluid" to be brief. However, now and then the Vita's touch functions may be a little to responsive. I often suffered from accidental taps to the rear touch panel, where in some cases "messed" me up in the game I had been playing.

The new feature I'm most excited for on the Vita is the dual thumbsticks. This has been a long-awaited feature that many fans have been vigorously asking for over the years. The Vita's sticks flawlessly emulate both the feeling and performance to that of the DualShock sticks on the PS3 controller! My only complaint, if any, would be that the sticks on the Vita are a tad bit too small. That aside, they can still flawlessly provide the experience expected out of them! he device is set to launch on December 17 in Japan, February 22 in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America, and January 2012 in the Philippines. You can get it a week earlier if you order the First Edition bundle which includes a Playstation Vita 3G in the US and Playstation Vita Wifi in Canada, with a 4 GB memory card and the game Little Deviants. If you live outside of Japan by any chance, the system will not be region locked, therefore you could import one over at your own leisure if you really want to.

For those that pre-order the device in Europe, two different gift packs will be available for you when you go to pick it up on release day. The first pack will include a set of "PS Vita Blue" in-ear headphones. The second pack includes a PS Vita wallet "with a hidden compartment for 3 PS Vita cards and 3 PS Vita memory cards." As of now, there are no pre-order bonus' slated for any other territory.

A few other neat features to add is that users will be able to transfer all of their titles from their PSP to the Vita thanks to "UMD Passport." The games will not be free though, rather available at a heavily discounted price. Also, for those who want to use multiple accounts, you can do so, but each account will be bonded to its own memory card. If you want to use multiple accounts, you will need multiple memory cards.

The Games

There are quite a few games that have been confirmed to either be in development, or on track to launch alongside the system in February. All games will come on flash memory cards, either 2GB or 4GB large. Digitally downloaded games are expected to be cheaper, though no specifics have come out just yet. Below is a complete run-down of those that have been announced.

Launch Titles:

  • Army Corps of Hell
  • Disgaea 3 Returns
  • Escape Plan- Black and White Escape game feature Lil and Large- utilizes only the front and rear touch panels
  • Everybody's Golf (working title) / Hot Shots Golf World Invitational ??
  • F1 2011
  • Gravity Rush
  • Hot Shots Golf Next
  • Hustle Kings Vita
  • LittleBigPlanet Vita- 2nd Little Big Planet portable itteration
  • Little Deviants
  • Lord of Apocalypse
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip- Create your own tracks and race all the tracks from the PS3
  • MotorStorm RC
  • Putty Squad
  • Reality Fighters- Augmented Reality fighting game
  • Ruin- Action RPG
  • Sound Shapes- Music Platformer- includes level creator
  • Super Stardust Delta-Twin stick shooter- mini-games utilize front and rear touch panels
  • Top Darts
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss- Newsest iteration of the Uncharted series and is the first portable Uncharted
  • WipEout 2048

Titles rumored and/or confirmed to be in development. They're not planned to be released with the system when it launches.

  • Alien Spidy
  • Aquatopia
  • AR Combat Digi Q
  • Asphalt: Injection
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Battlefield of Maidens 2nd
  • Ben 10: Galactic Racing
  • Bioshock Vita
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus
  • Broken
  • Browser Sangokushi Next
  • Build 'N Race Extreme
  • Call of Duty Vita
  • Cave shooter project
  • Daito Giken Official Pachi-Slot Simulator Series
  • DJ Max: Technika
  • Dragon's Crown
  • Dragon's Racing
  • Dream Club Zero Portable
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Dungeon Hunter: Alliance
  • Dust 514
  • Dynasty Warriors Vita
  • EA Sports FIFA Football
  • Emergency Escape Adventure: Trust or Betrayal
  • Falcom Project
  • Final Fantasy Type-0
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Fish On
  • Frobisher Says!
  • Ginsei Igo
  • Ginsei Shogi Huun Ryuuko Raiden
  • Great Little War Game
  • Gyokugen Dasshutsu ADV: Zennin Shiboudes
  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
  • Hideo Kojima "Fox Engine" Project
  • Jumpin'
  • Jurassic: The Hunted
  • Killzone Vita
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  • Let's Try Bass Fishing
  • Little Busters! Converted Edition
  • Lumines:Electronic Symphony
  • Mad Blocker Adventure
  • Mahjong Fight Club: Shinsei Zenkoku Taisen
  • Mahjong Haoh
  • Malicious
  • Marvel Pinball
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience
  • MLB 12: The Show
  • Moe Moe Daisensou Gendaiban
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Mr. Ink Jet
  • New Kamaitachi no Yoru: Jyuichi-nin-me no Suspect
  • New King's Story
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma
  • NPG
  • Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD
  • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD
  • Orc Attack
  • Pachi-Para Series
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Project N.O.E.L.S.
  • Pub Games
  • Puddle
  • Pure Chess
  • Ragnarok Odyssey
  • Rayman Origins
  • Resistance: Burning Skies
  • Ridge Racer Vita
  • Robot Rescue Revolution
  • Saikyo Todai Shogi
  • Sengoku Hime 3rd
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Golden
  • Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen
  • Shirotsuku DX
  • Shoot Many Robots
  • Silent Hill: Book of Memories
  • Smart As
  • StarDrone Extended
  • Street Fighter x Tekken
  • Sumioni
  • Super Monkey Ball Vita
  • Supremacy MMA
  • Syphon Filter 5
  • Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
  • Tales of Innocence R
  • Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: The Movie
  • The Flying Hamster HD
  • The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki
  • The Pinball Arcade
  • The Treasures of Montezuma Blitz
  • Time Travelers
  • Troopies
  • Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
  • Unit 13
  • Urban Trials
  • Virtua Tennis 4
  • Wallabies Rugby Challenge
  • Ys Celceta: Sea of Trees
  • Zone of the Enders HD Collection

PS Vita Tech Specs

Processors / Power

CPU

  • ARM Cortex A9 core
  • (4 core)

GPU

  • SGX543MP4+

Dimensions

Width
7.2in

Height
3.3 in

Thickness
0.7 in

Hardware Specs

Screen

  • OLED 16:9 display
  • 5 inches (diagonally)
  • 960 x 544 resolution
  • Approx. 16 million colors
  • Capacitive multi-touch screen

Memory

  • Main Memory: 512 MB
  • VRAM: 128 MB

Rear Touch Pad

  • Capacitive multi-touch pad

Cameras

  • Front camera, Rear camera
  • Frame rate: 120fps at 320×240 (QVGA), 60fps at 640×480(VGA)
  • Maximum 640×480 resolution

Sound

  • Stereo speakers
  • Built-in microphone
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR device

Control Sensors

  • Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
  • Three-axis electronic compass

Location Hardware

  • Built-in GPS
  • Wi-Fi location service support

Weight

  • Approx 279g (3G/Wi-Fi model)
  • Approx 260g (Wi-Fi model)

Controller Buttons

  • Right / Left analog sticks
  • D-PAD
  • TRIANGLE
  • SQUARE
  • CIRCLE
  • X
  • R / L shoulder buttons
  • START
  • SELECT
  • PS button
  • Power button
  • Volume + / -

Wireless Connections

  • 3G: mobile network connectivity – AT&T in the United States (3G/WiFi model only)
  • Wifi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
  • Bluetooth: 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

Slots / Ports

  • PlayStation®Vita card slot
  • Memory card slot
  • SIM card slot (3G/Wi-Fi model only)
  • Multi-use port (for USB data communication, DC IN, Audio [Stereo Out / Mono In], Serial data communication),
  • Headset jack (Stereo mini jack) (for Audio [Stereo Out / Mono In])
  • Accessory port

Power

  • Built-In Lithium-ion Battery (non-removable)
  • AC adaptor

It's been announced that the Battery will only last 3-5 hours while playing games. "Watching video will deplete your Vita's battery life in 5 hours. Using it to listen to music will allow Vita's battery to last 9 hours (if you listen to music while in standby mode). It will take you 2 hours and 40 minutes to charge Vita from a completely depleted state to 100% battery life"

Supported AV Content Format

Music

  • MP3 MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC)
  • WAVE (Linear PCM)

Videos

  • MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC)
  • H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Hi/Main/Baseline Profile (AAC)

Photos

  • JPEG (Exif 2.2.1)
  • TIFF
  • BMP
  • GIF
  • PNG

PS Vita Models & Pricing

Wi-Fi Model

  • 24,980 Yen (including tax)
  • $249
  • 249€
  • $348 AU (Estimated RRP. No official price given as of yet).

3G/Wi-Fi Model

  • 29,980 Yen (including tax)
  • $299
  • €299
  • $408 AU
CPU
ARM® Cortex™- A9 core (4 core)

GPU
SGX543MP4+

External Dimensions
Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth)
(tentative, excludes largest projection)

Screen (Touch Screen)
5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
Multi touch screen (capacitive type)

Rear Touch Pad
Multi touch pad (capacitive type)

Cameras
Front camera, Rear camera

Sound
Built-in stereo speakers
Built-in microphone

Sensors
Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope,
three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass

Location
Built-in GPS
Wi-Fi location service support

Keys / Switches
PS button
Power button
Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
Shoulder buttons (Right/Left)
Right stick, Left stick
START button, SELECT button
Volume buttons (+/-)

Wireless Communications
Mobile network connectivity (3G)
IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1)(Wi-Fi)(Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

The Apps

The PlaySation Vita will use multiple various pre-installed Apps that will power different functionalities of the system. Below is a complete list of the apps confirmed to be available at launch.

Party: The Party app will allow you to speak to any of your Sony PS Vita friends at any time, anywhere you want. It will work not only as a voice application, allowing for voice chat, but also as a text chat application.The Party app is going to support up to eight friends communicating via the application at once. You will also be able to use it across multiple games, similar to how the chat functionality works on Xbox Live on the Xbox 360.

PlayStation Store: Through this app, you will be able to download all PS Vita Games, trailers, DLC and apps.

Group Messaging: The app provides yet another great way to communicate with your PlaySation Network friends with a simple PSN message. Messages can contain not only text, but pictures as well. You will also be able to chat with those on a PSP.

Photos: The PS Vita will allow you to capture photos where they can be viewed through this app.

Welcome Park: Welcome Park exposes new users to all the new fun and exciting features of the Vita through a well designed series of mini-games.

Near: The app will allow users to comment on and recommend games to one another, track their friends' locations through the built-in GPS or simply compare trophies.

Music: A music player that will allow you to play all of your favorite tunes transferred onto the device via a computer or PS3.

Friends: This will display your friends list, allowing you to search and keep in touch with them. You can also click on someone's profile to see what games they've been playing lately, compare game libraries, trophies, or even join the game they're currently playing. Players will also be able to have their own avatar that best represents them.

Trophies: Most, if not all PS Vita games will reward trophies that can be tracked and viewed here. Trophies earned through PS3 games will also be displayed!

Internet Browser: The PS Vita will offer a great web browsing experience thanks to it's beautifully large, 5 inch OLED screen.


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