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?
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A Sony staffer demonstrated a version of "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception," in which he used the familiar buttons and knobs but also touched the screen to move the Drake avatar across ledges and attack opponents in close combat.Skip to next paragraph
Another game called "Reality Fighters" will allow users to take a picture and have fighting characters battle each other using objects from the real world.
Along with social games and email, Sony also unveiled a communication service it called "Party" that will enable voice and text chat during games or when using the Web browser.
Users will also be able to sense when other gamers are nearby, what games they have played recently, and enable in-game gifting of virtual items.
Sony was the latest technology company to make a big bet on connected-everywhere services, following Apple Inc.'s presentation Monday in San Francisco of its iCloud storage service, which will allow consumers to access their photos, music and documents on distant servers.
Sony also introduced a range of new 3-D games such as "Resistance 3," a traditional shooter game, in a big push to make it a leader in the format. It is bundling the PS3 game with a pair of 3-D glasses and a 24-inch 3-D monitor for $499, a price far lower than most 3-D displays on the market.
Sony's array of new 3-D games and the Vita itself are directed at so-called core gamers, who are focused on serious action and effects.
But in a reflection of the growing popularity of games that make use of iPad and iPhone touch screens and Apple's iOS operating system, like the addictive "Angry Birds," Sony also said Monday it would put PlayStation games onto smartphones that run on Google Inc.'s competing Android operating system.
It called the service focused on such casual gamers "PlayStation Suite" and said further details would be announced in the coming months.
"Smartphones and tablets have really created a large market for casual gaming," Hirai said in an interview after Sony's presentation. "We want to make sure we're in both areas."