Beyond a quick apology for the PSN outage and announcing some upcoming game titles, the big part of Sony’s E3 Keynote was introducing the PlayStation Vita. While it was previously code-named NGP, Next-Generation Portable, to follow in the steps of the PSP, the specs were detailed in the rest of the keynote and on the PlayStation Blog shortly afterwards.
The Vita Wi-Fi model will cost $249 while the 3G/Wi-Fi model will cost $299 and they are expected to be available globally by the end of 2011.
Highlights from the official press release:
PS Vita incorporates a beautiful 5-inch multi-touch organic light emitting diode (OLED) as the front display and a unique multi-touch pad on the rear. Together with the front touch screen and the rear touch pad, PS Vita offers new game play experiences never before seen on any device, allowing users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through “touch, grab, trace, push and pull” finger motions. Also PS Vita features two analog sticks which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience, such as shooters, action games, and fighting games. Exciting and attractive new titles*1 are scheduled to be released from SCE Worldwide Studios, including “GRAVITY DAZE,” “Uncharted Golden Abyss,” “Little Deviants,” “Hot Shots Golf,” “Reality Fighter,” “Hustle Kings,” “ModNation Racers,” “Wipeout 2048″ and “Super Stardust Delta,” as well as from a broad range of third party game developers and publishers, which will deliver value only possible on PS Vita.
Also, by having both Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, together with various applications, PS Vita will enable infinite possibilities for users to “encounter,” “connect,” “discover,” “share” and “play” with friends wherever they are. On January 27, 2011, SCE announced the first PS Vita application, “near,” which will come pre-installed. It will let users discover what games PS Vita users in the vicinity are or were recently playing, as well as let users share their game information. “near” also enables location-based gaming features such as “gifting,” in which a user can access virtual game-related items that other users are sharing, through checking in at geographic locations that others have also visited. The virtual items can include content unlocked from games, such as character costumes, weapons, and treasures. Sharing these items between users adds a unique dimension to the portable gaming experience on PS Vita while enhancing the social connectivity among the PS Vita community.
Sony is exclusively partnering with ATT for the 3G connectivity and speculation has already begun whether this means the device is locked to AT&T or if this is just where the device starts.