Sony releases launch details for PlayStation Vita

One of the most interesting tech hardware launches in recent memory comes early next year when Sony delivers its new PlayStation Vita handheld system.

It’s said to boast PlayStation 3 quality graphics on a 5-inch screen in the palm of your hand. It will run via WiFi or 3G. It has full gaming industry support and will have 25 titles on launch day Feb. 22. Software will run you between $10 and $50.

Ay, there’s the rub.

With so many Android and iOS games available for free or $0.99 and “expensive ones” going for under $8, we raise an eyebrow. Are  gamers who’ve grown accustomed to the inexpensive smartphone gaming era willing to drop serious coin for just one game–even if that game is better and easier to control than the iPhone or Android models?

Remember the Vita will have dedicated gaming buttons, and we will never argue that playing Madden football on a mini-PS3 isn’t better than playing on a Samsung Galaxy S II.

But we’re talking about $250 for WiFI and $300 for 3G versions of the new Sony device. That’s more than the iPod Touch–and games will cost more too.

Will the Vita’s hardware/software combo be enough to convince gamers a separate device that doesn’t do all the things modern smartphones do is worth the expense?

It’s a question we think a lot of folks will seek an answer to in February.

Here’s the press release with more launch details:

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC today announced software launch details for the highly anticipated PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) handheld entertainment system, which will boast the biggest and best launch lineup across the history of PlayStation platforms. PS Vita will offer the most popular franchises in gaming along with entirely new titles – all built from the ground up to take advantage of PS Vita and the unique ways it enables gamers to play.

The PS Vita platform has the full development support of the gaming industry, including SCE Worldwide Studios and all third-party publishers, who are combining to deliver 25 titles on day one. First-party launch titles will include Escape Plan™, Hot Shots Golf®: World Invitational, Little Deviants™, ModNation™Racers: Road Trip, UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss™, and wipEout® 2048.  Key launch titles from third-party partners will include EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer (Electronic Arts, Inc.), Lumines ™ Electronic Symphony (Ubisoft, Inc.), Touch My Katamari™ (Namco Bandai Games America Inc.), Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3® (Capcom Entertainment, Inc.) and Virtua Tennis™4: World Tour Edition (Sega® of America).

Pricing for all software will range between $9.99- $49.99 (MSRP). Software titles will be available via PS Vita game cards at retail stores or digitally via PlayStation®Network. In addition, a select number of titles will be available exclusively on PlayStation Network

“PlayStation Vita is the ultimate portable gaming device, offering all of the interface, controls and social connectivity that gamers have been dreaming about to deliver unsurpassed entertainment and completely new ways to play,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “PS Vita features the most extensive launch lineup in PlayStation’s history, and there are more than 100 games in development, ensuring that PS Vita gamers will always have a steady stream of amazing titles at their fingertips.”

The gameplay experience on PS Vita is unmatched by any other mobile device in the market, providing new ways to interact through features such as its 5-inch OLED multi-touch screen and rear touch pad, dual analog sticks, dual cameras, and six-axis motion sensing system. PS Vita will also interact with the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) with compatible titles, offering multi-player gaming across both platforms and cloud-saving so consumers can play a game on one platform and pick up where they left off on the other.

PS Vita will draw consumers deeper into the gameplay experience by providing both 3G/Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only models, enabling them to connect and play with the world around them, including their friends and other PS Vita owners. A variety of social networking and communications services such as Facebook, flickr, foursquare, Skype™, and Twitter will be available on PS Vita.

PS Vita launches at major retailers in the United States and Canada on February 22, 2012. The Wi-Fi model will be available for $249.99 (MSRP), and the 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available in the United States for $299.99 (MSRP). Consumers who pre-order the PS Vita First Edition Bundle will be able to pick up their devices as early as February 15, 2012. All first-party launch software titles and a selection of peripherals and third-party games will be available that day to support the release of the pre-sale Bundle.

Consumers who purchase PS Vita will also be able to experience Augmented Reality (AR) right out of the box.  Included with every PS Vita system are six AR Play cards and one voucher to download a handful of augmented reality mini games via PlayStation®Network.

SCEA Launch Day Titles
Escape Plan™ (PSN Only)
Hot Shots Golf®: World Invitational
Hustle Kings™ (PSN Only)
Little Deviants™
ModNation™ Racers: Road Trip
Super StarDust™ Delta (PSN only)
UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss™
wipEout® 2048        
Launch Window Titles
Gravity Rush™
MLB® 12 The Show
Reality Fighters™
Unit 13™
Third Party Publisher Launch Day Titles
Army Corps of Hell © Square Enix, Inc.
Asphalt® Injection Ubisoft, Inc.
BEN10™ GALACTIC RACING D3 Publisher of America
Blazblue: Continuum Shift EXTEND* Aksys Games Localization, Inc.
Dungeon Hunter Alliance Ubisoft, Inc.
Dynasty Warriors Next Tecmo Koei America Corporation
F1 2011™ Codemasters®
EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer Electronic Arts, Inc.
Lumines ™ Electronic Symphony* Ubisoft, Inc.
Michael Jackson The Experience Ubisoft, Inc.
Plants vs. Zombies™ (PSN Only) Sony Online Entertainment LLC
Rayman® Origins* Ubisoft, Inc.
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Tales of Space: Mutant Blobs (PSN Only) Drinkbox Studios
Touch My Katamari™ Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3®* Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
Virtua Tennis™4: World Tour Edition Sega® of America
Launch Window Titles
LEGO® Harry Potter™: Years 5-7 Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. Inc.
Disgaea ®3:Absence of Detention NIS America, Inc.
NINJA GAIDEN® Sigma PLUS Tecmo Koei America Corporation
Ridge Racer® Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Silent Hill Book of Memories Konami Digital Ent. America, Inc.
Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted™ 505 Games

Peripherals and Accessories

There will be a broad selection of official accessories that will be available at PS Vita’s launch, such as a Carrying Case, In-Ear Headset, and Cradle.

For consumers looking for a complete solution, a Starter Kit will be available for $39.99 (MSRP), which includes a 4GB Memory Card, Pocket Pouch, Protective Film, Card Case, Headphones, and Cleaning Cloth. Standalone Memory Cards will start at $19.99 (MSRP), providing plenty of options for storing games and save data, videos, music, photos and more.

Product Name Release Date MSRP
4 GB Memory Card February 15, 2012 $19.99
8 GB Memory Card February 15, 2012 $29.99
16 GB Memory Card February 15, 2012 $59.99
32 GB Memory Card February 15, 2012 $99.99
Starter Kit with Memory Card February 15, 2012 $39.99
In-Ear Headset February 15, 2012 $19.99
Carrying Case February 15, 2012 $19.99
Travel Pouch February 15, 2012 $19.99
Protective Film (2 pack) February 15, 2012 $9.99
Card Case February 15, 2012 $5.99
Cradle February 15, 2012 $19.99
Portable Charger Spring 2012 $49.99
AC Adaptor February 15, 2012 $14.99
Car Adaptor Spring 2012 $14.99
USB Cable February 15, 2012 $14.99

 

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