Sony Vita is Sony Corporation’s answer to a revolutionary new gaming console. The New Generation Portable or Platform (NGP) or Sony PlayStation Vita (PSV), which in Latin means life, is now the new trend in handheld gaming. This new device is being touted as making gaming more on the go or even making the attempt to make stationary gaming consoles portable. Despite the names and intent of this new console its overall aim is to excite diehard gamers and even those of us who can appreciate innovative video game technology.
The new console is the successor to the Sony PSP devices and follows the trend among new handhelds by including a touch screen display and an abundant of other features that will enhance users playing experiences. The NGP features include a bright and beautiful five-inch OLED capacitive front multi-touch display with a maximum resolution of 960 x 544 pixels in 16 million colors and 16:9 aspect ratio, dual thumb sticks and pads, a front and rear camera, built-in speakers and microphone and a multi-touch rear touchpad interface.
Additionally, the console is considered as being very powerful because of its quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MP Core CPU, (the same found inside the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S no less) and 512MB RAM and 128 VRAM. Connectivity include Bluetooth technology and the Sony portable will come in two models, a Wi-Fi only version and a Wi-Fi/3G version with connection through AT&T Mobile Broadband Network. Other features include:
Multi-touch Rear Touchpad: this feature has been the most popular among gamers because it provides better hand control for playing games while freeing up the front display screen. Sony describes the touchpad as allowing the user to manipulate almost anything in the game by allowing for such tasks as touch, grab, trace, push and pull hand movements.
Multi-use ports and Dual Memory Slots: there is no internal storage on the device; however there are multi-use ports for USB connection. Additionally, memory slots include a SIM card (Wi-Fi/3G model only) and also for the proprietary PlayStation Vita card used for personal and downloaded content (Sold separately from 4GB up to 32GB and is necessary to play most NGP games).
Cross Play: Cross platform play allows a user to play a game on their PS3 console, pause it and resume playing the game on the NGP. Additionally, users can join multiplayer games on the device and play against players on their PS3 consoles.
PlayStation Near: is a location-based service that use GPS and sensors to detect other NGP users in the vicinity which allows users to view other players profiles, current games and send messages and challenges. Additional features include Party, which allows friends to form a group, use cross-game party chat and enter games as a team; LiveArea, which allows users to message comments on other players games and sessions and Activity, which is an updated feed of in-game accomplishments of friends such as high scores and Trophy unlocks in real-time.
Six Axis Motion Sensors: includes three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass that allow active gaming involvement for accurate motion tracking during game play.
Front and Rear Cameras: creates reality like experiences during game play. Users can also take photos, stream video and participate in social networking.
Battery Life: Sony indicates battery life for the NGP is three to five hours for gameplay, five hours for video playback and up to nine hours for music.
UMD (Universal Media Disc): Games for the device will ship on small proprietary flash memory-based cards, which means UMDs will not be supported on the NGP. As a solution, Sony came up with the UMD Passport Program.
Owners of the NGP can download a program to their PSP device’s memory, register their UMD discs with a PSN (PlayStation Net) account and then the UMD becomes available for purchase at a discount from the PlayStation Store as a digital download assuming the game is on the list of available titles.
Wi-Fi/3G Connectivity: Although Sony is offering 3G connectivity only through AT&T Broadband Network; the NGP does not have the capability to make phone calls. The 3G connectivity basically helps with GPS functionality and provides the ability to download new content and features to the device. Currently, AT&T is offering two plans without a contract requirement to owners: 250MB of data for $15 a month or 2GB of data for $25 a month.
After reviewing the features of the New Generation Portable, it is understandable why gamers are eager to get their hands on it. Sony is definitely sending the message that their new handheld is all about gaming and has the horsepower, touch screen display and gaming controls to keep users happily occupied for hours.
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