PS Vita Release Date Reaches the U.S.: Five Things to Know

 @LisaEadicicco
on February 22 2012 3:41 PM
Gamers and PlayStation fans can check another major event off their calendar. Today, the entertainment and electronics company released the PS Vita, a sleek follow-up to the previous Play Station Portable (PSP). But is this new gaming device geared toward
Gamers and PlayStation fans can check another major event off their calendar. Today, the entertainment and electronics company released the PS Vita, a sleek follow-up to the previous Play Station Portable (PSP). But is this new gaming device geared towards hardcore gamers or mobile app lovers? Unlike its predecessor, the Vita was designed and developed during the age of social networking and smartphones, giving it more of a modern edge. Here are five things to know about the latest Sony release. REUTERS

Gamers and PlayStation fans can check another major event off their calendar. Today, the entertainment and electronics company released the PS Vita, a sleek follow-up to the previous Play Station Portable (PSP). But is this new gaming device geared towards hardcore gamers or mobile app lovers? Unlike its predecessor, the Vita was designed and developed during the age of social networking and smartphones, giving it more of a modern edge. Here are five things to know about the latest Sony release.

1.The PS Vita provides a bridge between mobile gaming and stationary console. The device is designed to compete not only with rival handhelds such as the Nintendo DS, but also with the plethora of games offered the app marketplaces of smartphones. And according to CNet.com's Scott Stein, the PS Vita feels much more like a phone than a gaming console. With 3G access, AT&T broadband service and app icons that resemble those of the Android, one could mistake the Vita for a smartphone if it wasn't for its larger size (and inability to make phone calls).  The gadget also features a Twitter app and a front-facing camera.

2. Portability was a main priority for the company, according to The Washington Post. The right analog stick can also stand in as the D-Pad or serve as the Play Station buttons. This makes it more convenient for users to play older games that require dual analog control. Other prominent features include a five-inch OLED screen and a rear touchpad.

3. For those wondering if their PSP games will translate directly to the new gadget, the answer is sadly no. The new system does not support the same format that PSP games run on, and players will have to download their previous games onto the new device.

4. The PS Vita isn't designed just for gaming-Netflix will also be available for download, allowing users to stream television shows and movies on the go. According to a report from The Verge, the app is functional when it comes to streaming content, but still has a few kinks to work out. Just like any Netflix application for other devices, viewers are greeted by the scrollable selection of movie posters, and users have the ability to add and remove content from their queue. The problem lies in the limited responsiveness of the application itself, and the interface is clearly refitted from the Web to fit the Vita's smaller screen.

5. On its first day, the Vita already has 25 available titles and more than 70 that are currently in development. Big names including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, EA Sports FIFA Soccer and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom are among the few available games. Over 275 PSP title are offered as well.

With all the features of a smartphone combined with high-quality graphics and widely-received gaming titles, the PS Vista seems to represent the future of entertainment handhelds. The device is available for purchase at the price of $249.99 for the Wi-Fi model and $299.99 for the 3G/Wi-Fi model.

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