PlayStation Vita, the Ferrari of portable gaming, costs $249
PlayStation Vita, once codenamed NGP, sports an OLED screen, motion controls, touch controls on the front and back, cameras on the front and back, Wi-Fi – and 3G mobile data for an extra $50. But how will the PlayStation Vita stand against the Nintendo 3DS?
Sony Corp. on Monday took the wraps off its next generation portable gaming machine, PlayStation Vita, a touch-interface and motion-sensitive handheld that outdoes its workhorse PlayStation Portable and will go on sale before the winter holidays. Company executives have called the device Sony's biggest product launch since the PlayStation 3 five years ago.Skip to next paragraph
Gallery Controversial video games
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The device will allow gamers to be connected with one another over cellphone networks and Wi-Fi hotspots, and use GPS location-tracking technology. In the U.S., Sony is partnering exclusively with AT&T Inc. for cellphone service.
The device, available for $249 for its Wi-Fi-only version, was unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video game industry's annual convention known as E3. A version that will also have cellphone service will retail for $299, and buyers will have to subscribe to a cellular data plan.
The handheld has front and back cameras, a touchscreen in front, a touch pad on the back and two knob-like joysticks. It will enable gamers to play against people using PlayStation 3 consoles over the Internet-based PlayStation Network, a system that was recently restored after being shut down due to a massive hacking attack.
Sony apologized again for the outage and said since the network was restored, activity is back to 90 percent of the pre-attack level.
The hardware comes with an accelerometer, which means it will also react to being held at different angles and being moved through the air.
"PlayStation Vita will revolutionize the portable entertainment experience," Kazuo Hirai, group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., told a crowd of 6,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. "The whole world is really in play."
The Vita is slightly bigger than the PlayStation Portable, which has sold more than 70 million units worldwide since its launch in 2004. The PSP will continue to be sold along with new games.
But the Vita — code-named "NGP," or next generation portable, until Monday — will enable gamers to do more.