Sony has unveiled its new PlayStation Vita portable handheld video game system, due this holiday season, and reaffirmed its commitment to 3D gaming. CEO Jack Tretton also issued a public apology for recent PlayStation Network hacks and outages at E3 2011, thanking players for sticking with the online multiplayer service, which has recently resumed operation.
The newly christened PlayStation Vita, formerly known as the Next-Generation Portable (NGP), will be available for the holidays in WiFi and 3G-enabled versions, selling for $249.99 and $299.99, respectively. Priced unexpectedly low, comparable to the Nintendo 3DS glasses-free 3D handheld, features include a 5-inch OLED touchscreen, rear-mounted touchpad, dual video cameras for augmented reality gaming, twin joysticks, social networking and online connectivity. AT&T will provide high-speed wireless broadband networking for the system, capable of producing graphics on-par with the PlayStation 3 and other modern set-top consoles.
Initial titles will include centerpieces like gorgeous, treasure hunting action-adventure Uncharted: Golden Abyss, futuristic racer WipEout 2084 and fighting game crossover Street Fighter X Tekken. Additional software such as colorful platform-hopper cum game creation toolkit LittleBigPlanet and fantasy action role-playing game Ruin should show off added system features including downloadable user-generated content, cloud storage and cross-platform capability with the PS3 as well.
Hoping to extend the appeal of its PlayStation Move motion controller beyond casual and party games too, several upcoming gaming experiences with more traditional and hardcore bents will support the accessory. New entrants include BioShock Infinite, a cinematic sci-fi first-person role-player set in a steampunk world of ziplines and zeppelins, and Star Trek, an action game starring Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock based on the upcoming JJ Abrams film. Additional titles such as sports simulation NBA 2K12 and whimsical arcade puzzle-solving tale Medieval Moves will also offer compatibility.
Sony aims to continue trotting out blockbuster retail experiences for the PlayStation 3 as well. Uncharted 3, which sees adventure Nathan Drake braving parched deserts to explore fabled city Irem of the Pillars, looks to be its flagship title for 2011. Sci-fi shooter Resistance 3 is also expected to be a platform showpiece though, given splashy, pyrotechnics-laden set pieces optimized for 3DTV viewing. Other new games of note coming soon further include superhuman action-adventure inFamous 2, animated outing Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and Warhawk spin-off Starhawk.
Two anthologies, God of War: Origins, which updates the brutal, Greek mythology-themed action-adventure series’ two PSP outings for use on PS3, and Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, will also offer HD remasterings and 3D updates of gaming classics. Cross-platform play between PC and PlayStation 3 is also coming soon in the form of futuristic blaster Dust 514 courtesy of popular sci-fi MMO EVE Online’s creator CCP.
Doubling down on 3D technology, given its massive investment in 3D television sets, video cameras and multimedia content, Sony isn’t just offering over 100 3D games either. It will also sell a $499 bundle that includes a 24-inch 3D television, pair of 3D glasses, 6-foot HDMI cable and copy of Resistance 3 as a starter kit for reticent buyers. Playing multiplayer games together on the special set, two players will actually see their own individual 3D displays, rather than the split-screen views common to these titles.