Sony finally revealed the official name for its next generation portable handheld gaming machine during its Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2011 press conference. And its name is PS Vita (pronounced as vee-ta).
The new handheld still retained the classic Playstation Portable elongated oval shape that we’ve come to be familiar with along with the same 16:9 widescreen. But the similarities end there. The new PS Vita has a number of big new features that some pundits are saying will give Nintendo’s 3DS a run for its money. First, the screen is now a touch screen with multi touch features. But the touch features don’t end there. The back of the machine has a touch pad. This feature was shown during the PS Vita trailer and it does offer new gaming and control possibilities that could really amp up the gameplay experience. The screen is made from oLED, which offers significantly more vibrant video quality. In the controls department, some significant additions have also been added, most notably the addition of a second analog stick. Sony got a lot of criticism for just putting one analog stick on the PSP. Now with dual analog sticks, mapping controls for classic PS2 games (you know they’re going to release ports soon enough) becomes easier. The PS Vita also has Sixaxis features with its built in gyroscope. As an added feature, Sony boasts of the “play as you want” method where you can decide how you want to control the game. You can opt to press a button, tap the screen or the touch pad or move the Vita itself.
The PS Vita will come in two variants a WiFi only version that is going to retail for $249 and a WiFi/3G version that will sell for $299. The price points are very competitive and this will help the units fly off the shelves when it is released this fall.