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Sony TGS Wrap-Up: All About PlayStation Vita

Posted on Wednesday, September 14 @ 08:25:03 PST by

It wasn't all fun and games at Sony's TGS presser. They also focused on some unanswered questions many had about the PlayStation Vita.

What about my PSP games?

Sony said that "most" downloadable PSP games will be compatible with the PlayStation Vita. It's something I'm sure that can be improved via firmware updates. They'll also be looking into a solution for UMDs. But if it's anything like the PSPgo's UMD solution, expect to be shit out of luck. (If you remember, Sony ended up not doing anything about old UMDs)

What are the options for 3G?

Here in the US, the Vita will be tied to AT&T. I know all of you iPhone users just had a panic attack, so I'll give you a second to breathe. A minute, more like. In Japan, however, Sony has teamed up with NTT DoCoMo, Japan's leading mobile provider. NTT DoCoMo will offer prepaid 3G cards available in two increments: ¥980 (US$13) for a 20-hour plan, ¥4,980 ($65) for a 100-hour plan.

While nothing has been announced for the US and other regions, we expect there to be similar options with each region's specific carrier (AT&T), since being tied to a monthly contract may be a turn off for some gamers, especially parents interested in purchasing a Vita for their children.

Of course, you could always just stick with Wi-Fi only.

What about accessories?

This may not be the most burning question for most of you, but like all mobile devices, there's always a shitload of accessories to go with your shiny new, easily-breakable device. Fret not, there's a case for that. In fact, there are two. There's a leather case or foam pouch a 'la PSP. There's also a charger cradle, a car AC adapter, various cables, etc.

Memory cards too?

Here's the real bummer. The PlayStation Vita doesn't use Sony's Memory Stick Pro Duo, Micro, or any form of Memory Stick. Nor does it use a SD card. Instead it uses a special proprietary memory card only used in the PlayStation Vita. These memory cards give me flashbacks of the PSP. I paid $150 for a 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo shortly after the PSP launch. They were so freakin' expensive. I'm sad to be the bearer of bad news, but these Vita memory sticks will run you anywhere from $25 to $100 for the largest capacity (32GB). Granted these are Yen to weak, puny American dollar conversions we're talking about. But anything over $50 for any capacity memory card is too expensive. Especially if you want to take advantage of the Vita's crisp OLED screen by watching movies or viewing hi-res pics. (Sony spent a LONG time during their conference showing pictures of a pair of Corgis)

Final thoughts?

Sony is doing a great job with the PlayStation Vita launch. They're preparing plenty of launch software and have a clear plan to continue strong software support throughout the Vita launch window and beyond. Clearing up questions about 3D is a must, and providing prepaid options is seemingly expensive, but it's a good idea to cater to younger gamers. Showing off accessories is standard, but the memory cards really put a damper on a solid launch schedule. Now, if Sony can execute all of this according to plan, the PlayStation Vita will be very successful in its homeland straight out of the gate. Lauching in Japan first gives Sony ample time to adjust their strateegy accordingly and come up with more varied software that is a little more appealing to Western audiences.


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