Enter PlayStation Vita

Today at Sony’s E3 press conference, the formerly named NGP was officially unveiled as the PS Vita. I have not read any other options, new stories, etc … after the conference ended, taking the dog out for a quick walk, and putting my oldest son to bed (coincidentally, he is now lusting for a PS Vita), I am just now quickly putting words to ‘print’.

My initial thoughts? I already knew that the Vita would be feature rich (call it sexy hardware), but I kept asking what about the price point? We now know that the Vita is being released in time for the 2011 Holiday season in two models. $249.99 for Wi-Fi only, and $299.99 for G3 with Wi-Fi. The 3G model is being exclusively partnered with AT&T.

I am actually OK with the price; I think I remember paying $249.99 for my PSP day-one bundle several years ago. So it cost as much as a traditional console; but who f’ing cares because it is a really great portable gaming system. Well, at least it has the potential to be wonderful, if developers are able to get their arms around the specs and do the needful. Seems like we went down this same path a few years ago with the PS3, but I do have high hopes for the Vita.

Speaking of bundles, one of the biggest auxiliary questions I have surrounding that Vita is will major retailers such as Amazon force consumers into purchasing stupid bundle packages in order to move ridiculous products and subpar games that would never sell on their own merits? I hate bundles, which is why I abandon GameStop and EBGames several years ago, but that is an entirely different rant for another day.

The initial Vita games look amazing, but I do have a few questions. First, what happens to my PSN PSP purchases (digital PSP games, PSOne classics, comics, minis, etc)? Second, for titles playable on the PS3 and Vita, do consumers have to purchase two full priced SKUs, or will some sort of discount or bundle (i.e. buy the PS3 SKU, get the Vita version for free or with a $10 coupon … or some such)? Third, what will be the typical MSRP for Vita games? Are we talking $29, $39? Higher? Will Sony continue to run with the minis concept to compete with the dime a dozen $0.99 entrants for the iTouch/iPad?

I actually did have more than those three plus questions, but I am nuts out tired, so these two will have to do for tonight.

PS+ subscribers will be interested in the use of a ‘cloud’ service for Vita game saves, which can be loaded on the PS3. This implies that the PS+ exclusive service is about to go mainstream, at least to Vita owners.

I am a portable gaming fan, so I am ‘in’ because I can live with the price point. I also really like the concept, the initial quality games, and of course the hardware. 3G or Wi-Fi only? Not sure, but I do like the idea of going 3G … just not so sure about being locked in with AT&T.

Can’t wait to see how the Vita develops over the next few days at E3.


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