E3: Sony Announces the PS Vita

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Sony announced today at E3 that “PlayStation Vita” (PS Vita) is the official name for the company’s next generation portable entertainment system. Here are the full details:

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) (PCH-1000 series) as the official platform name for the next generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP). Wi-Fi model will be available for 24,980 yen (including tax) in Japan, $249 in US and euro 249 in Europe, 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available for 29,980 yen (including tax) in Japan, $299 in US and euro 299 in Europe and successively launch in global market starting the end of 2011.


“Vita,” which means “Life” in Latin, was chosen as the most appropriate name for the next generation portable entertainment system as it enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCE is aiming to transform every aspect of user’s daily life into an entertainment experience.

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.

Additionally, PS Vita will come pre-installed with a newly developed application called “Party.” “Party” is an innovative application for a portable entertainment system which enables users to enjoy voice chat or text chat not only during online gaming, but also when users are playing different games or using different applications such as internet browser. Through “Party,” which offers a new form of social networking, and “near,” which enables users to share their game information with other users anywhere, anytime, users can dramatically expand the boundaries of interactive communication.

Also a tutorial application called “Welcome Park,” developed specifically to guide every user about PS Vita’s brand new user interface such as the front touch display and the multi-touch pad on the rear, will come pre-installed. By playing “Welcome Park,” users can easily become accustomed to the three dimension-like finger motions used on PS Vita.

SCE will vigorously promote PS Vita towards the launch as the next generation portable entertainment platform and work towards expanding the portable gaming market.*1 Some title names are tentative. Titles may differ by countries and regions.

Here is also Sony’s press release on AT&T being the exclusive service provider for the PS Vita:

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and AT&T* today announced that AT&T, which powers the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, will be the exclusive service provider in the United States for PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita), Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) next generation portable entertainment system.

The PlayStation Vita system offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming capabilities and social connectivity that will bring users closer to each other and closer to their gaming experiences wherever they are. Blurring the lines between interactive entertainment and reality, PS Vita provides unparalleled portable gaming experiences with dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, front multi-touch display, multi-touch rear pad, GPS, six-axis motion sensors, and three-axis electronic compass. The speed and coverage of AT&T’s mobile broadband network will ensure that PS Vita users will remain connected to content and each other on the go. PlayStation Vita customers with an AT&T service plan will also have free access at more than 24,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.

“AT&T’s mobile broadband network excels at delivering data with high speeds nationwide, which is what we need for powering the social and connectivity features built into the PlayStation Vita portable entertainment system,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. “PlayStation Vita will give users the opportunity to engage and connect with one another while delivering the kind of rich and immersive gaming experiences unimaginable on any other portable device on the market today.”

“AT&T consumers are accustomed to being the first to have access to the most cutting-edge mobile technologies available on the market today,” said Glenn Lurie, president, emerging devices, AT&T. “We are thrilled to continue this legacy as the exclusive provider for PlayStation Vita in the U.S. market. By pairing the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network and the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with this highly anticipated portable gaming device, PlayStation Vita users will experience a new era of portable gaming that will connect their entertainment and their lives more closely than ever.”

AT&T wireless connectivity will enable infinite possibilities for PlayStation Vita users to “encounter,” “connect,” “discover,” “share” and “play” with friends on the go. Within the device are a range of social networking features that provide unique, next generation portable entertainment experiences, including a new application called “near” and an interactive interface called “LiveArea™.”

Developed specifically for PlayStation Vita and pre-installed on each system, “near” will allow users to find out what other PS Vita users in their vicinity are currently playing and what titles are most popular in the area. Users can meet with friends and new players virtually – regardless of what games they are playing – simply by sharing their game information across PlayStation®Network on the go via AT&T’s mobile network, or when they’re at a Wi-Fi hotspot. “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 PlayStation Vita while enhancing the social connectivity among the PS Vita community.

“LiveArea™” is an interactive space for each PlayStation Vita software title in which users can access the latest information for games through PlayStation Network. Additionally, users will be able to view an “Activity” log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can trigger active real-time communication among users. The AT&T wireless network will enable “LiveArea™” users to connect to their games on the go.

The PlayStation Vita system will have both Wi-Fi and 3G/Wi-Fi models in the US for $249 and $299, respectively. Additional details about AT&T data plans and pricing will be announced later.