Sony came back with vengeance after debuting the PlayStation Move at E3 2009 and showing it off last year and dealing with the bad press from the recent PSN outage problems. They actually did a lot of things better this year and ended up with the coveted PLuGHiTz Live! Best of the Big 3 at E3' award... almost by unanimous decision. No, we didn't see it coming either but they deserve it and if you want to hear me swallow my pride on air and say lots of good things about Sony then give Episode 207 - E3 2011 Day 3 a listen and download it for your historical records. Of course you want to know about all the awesome stuff Sony did and between all the hosts here we're keeping you plugged in, so kick off your shoes and stay a while. As for the 'Vita' fans out there I have something here that your going to like.
I actually started paying attention to the Vita about 6 months ago when it was still the NGP. Back then I was a little skeptical that Sony had actually addressed the past problems with their handheld gaming devices and only beefed up the hardware. I was glad to find out that wasn't the case after getting to see it in action. For example, the range of controls has extended from 'stick control,' the two mushroom sticks, to 'touch controls' that include the front screen and the back touch pad. We saw a little bit of the new control implementation in the Uncharted: Golden Abyss demo that is attached at the bottom of this article. The old XCrossMediaBar operating system was always a bit of a pain and although we didn't get to see the functionality of the new OS as much as we wanted to, it seems pretty clear that it has gone away in favor of a more smartphone-ish OS like Android. The game demos also highlighted other hardware elements like the 6 axis gyro and the Quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor that ran everything like a champ. Wait, there's more, check out the hardware specs after the break.
- OLED touchscreen (resolution 960 x 544 pixel, 220 ppi - 5 inch display)
- multitouch pad (backside)
- 1 front camera, 1 rear camera
- Quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor
- SGX543MP4+ gpu
- 960 x 544 pixel resolution, 16 million color
- 3 axis accelerometer
- 6 axis gyroscope
- WiFi (probably g and n)
- 3G Aircard (AT&T exclusive in the US)
- electronic compass
- stereo speakers
- 182mm x 18.6mm x 83.5mm
- Price: $250 for Wifi, $299 for Wifi/3G
Prepare yourselves, I'm about to drop a bomb... they even managed to make the PSN useful for Vita as well. Yes, I said 'PSN' and 'useful' in the same sentence but it's true. The 'Party' social networking function for the Vita will allow you to perform some cross-game chat, party chat, set up multi-player games with your PSN friends on the Vita or PS3 and possibly use the mic for voice communication. If you don't believe me, I understand, it will take some time for all this Sony goodness to marinate. In the mean time, take a look at the attached video.
I'm still in shock over all this and since I've gone this far I might as well put the cherry on top and mention that I'm actually going to make a trip to the Sony Store and get this in my hands. If things go well, it might be the first PlayStation portable device I purchase in years. That's a statement.