|Manufacturer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Handheld game console|
|Release date||JPN December 17, 2011
NA February 15, 2012 (first edition bundle only)
NA February 22, 2012
EU February 22, 2012
RU February 22, 2012
AU February 23, 2012
CAN October 2, 2012 (3G version)
|Units sold||2.2 million (as of June 30, 2012)|
|Media||PS Vita Card|
|Power||2200 mAh, rated at 3-5 hours|
|CPU||up to 2 GHz[note 1] Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore|
|Storage capacity||PS Vita memory card (4, 8, 16 or 32 GB)|
|Memory||512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM|
|Display||5-inch (16:9) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, approximately 17 million colors, 960 × 544 qHD @ 220 ppi|
|Graphics||Quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4+|
|Sound||Stereo speakers, microphone, 3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Camera||Front and back 0.3MP cameras|
|Connectivity||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR|
|Online services||PlayStation Network|
|Dimensions||83.55 mm (3.289 in) (h)
182 mm (7.2 in) (w)
18.6 mm (0.73 in) (d)
260 grams (9.2 oz)
279 grams (9.8 oz)
|PlayStation Portable (download only)|
The PlayStation Vita (Japanese: プレイステーション・ヴィータ Hepburn: Pureisutēshon Vīta , officially abbreviated PS Vita) is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan and parts of Asia on December 17, 2011, in Europe, North America, South America and Singapore on February 22, 2012, and in Australia on February 23, 2012. It primarily competes with the Nintendo 3DS, as part of the eighth generation of gaming.
A limited edition was released in North America on February 15, 2012, a week earlier than the official launch, which included the 3G/WiFi model of the device (Wi-Fi model in Canada), the game Little Deviants, a limited-edition carry case, and a 4 GB memory card. The handheld includes two analog sticks, a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the Vita features a four-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a four-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit, as well as LiveArea software as its main user interface, which succeeds the XrossMediaBar.
Rumors of a true successor to the PlayStation Portable came as early as July 7, 2009 when Eurogamer reported that Sony was working on such a device, which would utilize the PowerVR SGX543MP processor and perform at a level similar to the original Xbox.
In addition on July 7, 2010, a report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that a new portable device is currently in development by Sony and that it "shares characteristics of game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers". Prior to its announcement by Sony Computer Entertainment, several sites such as Kotaku, VG247, MCV and IGN, as well as the senior vice president of major video game publisher Electronic Arts and Nikkei had confirmed that the handheld existed. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, had admitted in an interview that they were indeed developing new hardware in the PlayStation family of gaming devices. Development kits for the handheld had reportedly already been shipped to numerous video game developers including both first-party and third-party developers.
On November 17, 2010, VG247 released pictures of an early prototype version of the PSP successor showing a PSP Go-like design along with two analog sticks, two cameras and a microphone. The source of the pictures said that the pictures were of an older prototype version that had overheating issues, and that the design had subsequently been changed to that more similar of the original PlayStation Portable device. Kotaku and IGN corroborated the story, also claiming that the pictures were legitimate.
The device was supposedly unveiled internally during a private meeting during mid-September held at Sony Computer Entertainment's headquarters in Aoyama, Tokyo. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, revealed in an interview with UK video game magazine, Develop that when Ken Kutaragi left Sony Computer Entertainment, the new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, told him to engage SCE Worldwide Studios in the development of the next PlayStation. Yoshida also said that developers were present at the meetings from the very beginning when SCE was developing new hardware, and that SCE had to constantly keep talking with Worldwide Studios developer when developing the new hardware. Further confirmation came on September 16, 2010, during an interview at PAX 2010, Mortal Kombat Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick revealed a successor to the PSP, referring to it as the "PSP2" and stating "...we have a PSP2 in the house and we're looking at the engine, like what can it support. Always a big thing for us is the performance. We're running at 60 fps, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We're definitely looking at them. PSP2 looks like it's a pretty powerful machine." When asked about the PlayStation Portable successor during the Tokyo Game Show 2010, Shuhei Yoshida, said that he could not answer the question though he noted that "Personally, I cannot see Sony not making another portable gaming device." On November 2, 2010 senior vice president of Electronic Arts, Patrick Soderlund, confirmed that he had seen the PlayStation Portable successor when asked about it in an interview though he could not divulge more details. On December 22, 2010 Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Kazuo Hirai, answered questions about a potential successor to the PlayStation Portable in an interview with The New York Times, saying that they would impress gamers in the handheld market by using a combination of touch screens and buttons rather than touch screen-only games on competing platforms such as the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The device, then known by its codename Next Generation Portable (NGP for short), was announced on January 27, 2011 at the "PlayStation Meeting" in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment president Kazuo Hirai. The last time the name "PlayStation Meeting" had been used was in 2005 where Sony outlined the launch plans for the PlayStation 3. In addition, MCV claimed that Sony has told publishers that the device would be "as powerful as the PlayStation 3". Sony later denied this, with the SCEA platform research manager stating "Well, it's not going to run at 2 GHz because the battery would last five minutes and it would probably set fire to your pants". Sony also revealed that the device would be using a mix of retail and digital distribution of games and that Sony would gradually reveal more details during Game Developers Conference 2011 and E3 2011.
On June 6, 2011 at E3 2011, Sony announced the name of the device would be PlayStation Vita, along with release and pricing information. The name was chosen because "Vita" means "Life" in Italian and Latin. The device itself enables a combination of augmented reality gaming and social connectivity, along with the "Near" and "Party" services, nearby networking and cross-game conferencing applications, respectively.
At the Game Developers Conference 2011, Sony revealed some details about the Vita cards during their Next Generation Portable panel. Another storage option, "Removable Memory", was also revealed to be available for the PlayStation Vita. Sony also said they are implementing a "single submission for both formats" to streamline the process of getting games approved for both card-based and downloadable releases. Additionally, it was announced that only 3 of the 4 symmetrical CPU cores will be available to applications along with two cameras, facial detection, head detection and tracking capabilities. Following the Tokyo Game Show, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that the console would be region-free.
Sony's Japanese arm told The Wall Street Journal that earlier reports, including those by SCEA president Jack Tretton, suggesting that Japan's recent earthquake would delay the release of the PlayStation Vita in some territories were outright "wrong". Sony representative Satoshi Fukuoka said he expects "no impact from the quake on our launch plan".
In August 2011, Sony confirmed that the system would be released by the end of 2011 in Japan but not until "early 2012" in European and North American regions.[dated info] In October 2011, Sony announced that the system would be released on February 22, 2012 in Europe and North America.
The device features a "super oval" shape similar to the design of the original PlayStation Portable, with a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED capacitive touchscreen in the center of the device. The device features two analog sticks (unlike the PSP which features only a single analog "nub"), a D-pad, a set of standard PlayStation face buttons (, , and ), two shoulder buttons (L and R), a PlayStation button and Start and Select buttons. Internally, the device features an up to 2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor (3 of the 4 cores are usable for applications) and a quad-core GPU SGX543MP4+. The device also features a rear touch pad, two cameras (a front and a rear), stereo speakers, microphone, Sixaxis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass, built-in GPS receiver (only for the 3G version) as well as Wi-Fi, 3G, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity. The two cameras feature the abilities of face detection, head detection, and head tracking. It also allows for customization and personalization. The PlayStation Vita has 512 MB of system RAM and 128 MB of VRAM. The amount of RAM allows cross-game chat to be used on the system.
The PlayStation Vita has been released in two different variations: one with 3G and WiFi support, and a cheaper version without 3G support, but still including WiFi. The 3G service has been partnered with NTT DoCoMo in Japan, AT&T in the US, Rogers in Canada and Vodafone in Europe and Australia.
Unlike the PSP-2000 and PSP-3000, the PS Vita does not have video output capabilities or a removable battery. Sony also confirmed during TGS 2011 that the battery would last 3–5 hours of gameplay (no network, no sound, default brightness level), 5 hours of video, and up to 9 hours of music listening with the screen off. An external battery option was announced in an interview by SCE Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida. PS Vita is equipped with a storage media slot in addition to the PS Vita card slot, so that users can choose their memory capacity based on their use.
Software for the PlayStation Vita is distributed on a proprietary flash memory card called "PlayStation Vita game card" rather than on Universal Media Discs (UMDs) as used by the PlayStation Portable. The size and form factor of the card itself is very similar to an SD card. Some media applications and games require a proprietary PlayStation Vita memory card inserted to be used. 5–10% of the game card's space is reserved for game save data and patches.
A maximum of 100 applications and games can be stored on the Vita's memory at any given time. When the limit is reached, applications or games must be moved or deleted in order to access those beyond the limit.
As a new feature of PlayStation Vita's Live area, latest game information such as downloadable contents are shown on the game LiveArea. In addition, by scrolling down the game LiveArea, the "Activity" of other users who are playing the same game can be checked instantly.
There were 25 launch titles for the Vita, as shown on the table below:
|Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack||Drinkbox Studios||Drinkbox Studios|
|Rayman Origins||Ubisoft Montpellier||Ubisoft|
|Super Stardust Delta||Housemarque||Sony Online Entertainment|
|Uncharted: Golden Abyss||SCE Bend Studio||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Everybody's Golf 6/Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational||Clap Hanz||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend||Arc System Works|
|Lumines: Electronic Symphony||Q Entertainment||Ubisoft|
|Wipeout 2048||Studio Liverpool||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition||SEGA-AM3||Sega|
|Hustle Kings||VooFoo Studios||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Escape Plan||Fun Bits Interactive||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|FIFA Football/Soccer||EA Sports||Electronic Arts|
|Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3||Capcom||Capcom|
|Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus||Team Ninja||Tecmo
|Touch My Katamari||Namco Bandai Games||Namco Bandai Games|
|Dynasty Warriors Next||Omega Force||Tecmo Koei|
|F1 2011||Sumo Digital||Codemasters|
|ModNation Racers: Road Trip||SCE San Diego Studio||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Little Deviants||Bigbig Studios||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Army Corps of Hell||Entersphere||Square Enix|
|Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja||Acquire|
|Michael Jackson: The Experience||Ubisoft Shanghai||Ubisoft, Triumph International|
|Reality Fighters||Novarama||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Dungeon Hunter: Alliance||Gameloft||Ubisoft|
Most games are distributed by the PS Vita card and are sold in stores, while some games, such as Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, Super Stardust Delta and Escape Plan, are distributed online and can only be purchased from the PlayStation Store.
In addition, several third-party studios showcased technology demos of the device by exporting existing assets from their PlayStation 3 counterpart and then rendering them on the device. Some of the games that were demonstrated include Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Yakuza: Dead Souls, Killzone 3, and Lost Planet 2. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd was also demonstrated to be running on the device to showcase the device's backwards compatibility with downloadable PlayStation Portable titles, which was also shown to be compatible with the PlayStation Vita's additional analogue stick. Unlike the PSP, the PlayStation Vita comes with Trophy support for games.
The device will also be backwards compatible with most PlayStation Portable downloadable titles, "PSone Classics" downloadable titles, PlayStation minis, PlayStation Mobile games, videos, and comics from the PlayStation Store.
At Gamescom 2011, Sony announced that Facebook, Skype, Netflix, Twitter and foursquare would become available via the PlayStation Store. Additional applications available for download include Music Unlimited, and Flickr. YouTube (announced in May 2012), Hulu Plus and Crackle (both announced at E3 2012).
The device is backwards-compatible with most PlayStation Portable games; however, its lack of a UMD drive limits this capability to those titles which have been digitally released on the PlayStation Network via the PlayStation Store. PS One Classic titles were not compatible with the PS Vita at launch; however, Jack Tretton announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 that they would be available for Vita in the future. Some PSone titles became available in system software update 1.80, released on August 28, 2012. The Vita's dual analog sticks are supported on PSP games; the right stick can be set to mimic either the d-pad, the left stick, or the face button cluster of the original PSP system. The graphics for PSP releases are up-scaled, with a smoothing filter to reduce pixelation.
The device can be used as a second screen device for the upcoming PlayStation 4 for streaming content directly from the console to the PlayStation Vita. Where supported, this allows a game to be played remotely. Sony hopes to make most PlayStation 4 games playable on the PlayStation Vita. Developers will be able to add Vita-specific controls for use via Remote Play.
PlayStation Vita received generally positive reviews from critics although it was criticized for its expensive price. Kotaku recommended the device, and described it as "the most powerful and physically capable gaming handheld ever made". Cnet.com gave the system a 4/5 stars. IGN gave the system an 8.5/10. The British technology reviewer "The Gadget Show" gave the Vita a 4/5, and called the system "arguably the best handheld gaming experience around". In 2012, the PS Vita won T3's "Gaming Gadget of the Year" award, beating Nintendo's 3DS XL, OnLive and others.
Despite the praise for the PS Vita's hardware design, many have questioned its viability (along with other handheld gaming consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS XL) due to the emergence of game-capable smartphones and tablets. In December 2012, Victor Paul Alvarez, a shopping blogger on Yahoo!, placed it on his list of biggest technology flops of 2012 because it lacked a killer app (notably the PS Vita exclusive title Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified received negative reviews while the multi-platform Call of Duty: Black Ops II had set sales records). The PS Vita was named number 8 on the "Marketwatch" top 8 product flops of 2012 as its expensive launch price made it difficult to justify as a standalone device. The system's high price for its corresponding memory cards has also met harsh criticism.
On December 17, 2011, the PlayStation Vita launched in Japan with around 325,000 units sold in the first few days. Sales dropped 78% in the second week ending on December 25, 2011 to 74,000 units sold. PlayStation Vita sales continued to drop in subsequent weeks, reaching its low since launch during the week of February 13, with only 12,309 units being sold in Japan. (During the same week, it was outsold by its predecessor, the PSP, which sold 14,824 units.) After its global release, Sony announced on February 28, 2012 that the Vita had sold 1.2 million units worldwide, in addition to 2 million game units. The sales number was 2.2 million units at the end of June 2012. PlayStation Vita sales continued to drop in subsequent weeks, reaching its all time low during the week of November 5, 2012, with only 4,021 units being sold in Japan. (During the same week, it was outsold by its predecessor, the PSP, which sold 12,076 units.)
In North America, from November 18 to November 24, 2012 (Black Friday week) 160,000 units were sold. After a price cut from ¥24,980 to ¥19,980 on February 28, 2013, sales increased nearly six times, with figures for the week of February 25 to March 3 up from 11,456 to 62,543. The Vita outsold the Wii U in Japan from February 18 to February 24, shortly before its price cut. For the next week, the Vita maintained its strong sales, and outsold the Nintendo 3DS for the first time in Japan.
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