Sony announced its second handheld gaming platform in Japan on January 27, 2011, at an event called PlayStation Meeting 2011. The device was announced under its codename, "Next Generation Portable." As of June 7th, 2011, during Sony's E3 press briefing, the official name of the NGP was confirmed as the PlayStation Vita. Sony announced the Japanese release date of December 17, 2011 at TGS 2011.
- 5-inch capacitive multi-touch OLED display
- Capacitive multi-touch pad on the rear of the device
- Dual analog ministicks, allowing for movement in 3D space
- Two 0.3 megapixel VGA cameras (front and rear)
- Software titles come on small, dedicated flash memory-based cards
- Built-in GPS
- Three motion sensors (Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Electronic Compass)
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity
- Wireless access to PlayStation Network
- Ability to play select PSP titles, PSP minis, videos, and comics from the PlayStation Store. Select PS One classics are supported in the 1.80 firmware update that was released on August 28th 2012, the games vary by region.
- Trophy support
- PlayStation Suite support
- Custom soundtrack support
- Remote Play Support (Full support not available at Launch)
- CPU: ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore (quad-core)
- GPU: 200 MHz SGX543MP4
- Memory: 512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM
- Dimensions: Approx. 182 x 18.6 x 83.5 mm
- Display: 5-inch, Capacitive multi-touch, OLED, 960 × 544 resolution qHD @ 220 ppi
- Rear Touch: Capacitive multi-touch
- Cameras: Front and back VGA cameras 0.3 MP @ 60 fps/320×240 @ 120 fps
- Sound: Built-in stereo speakers, Microphone
- Sensors: Six-axis motion, Three-axis electronic compass
- Button Controls: PS button, power button, directional buttons, action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), shoulder buttons, left and right analog sticks, Start button, Select button, volume buttons
- Connectivity: Built-in GPS, 3G, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
The PlayStation Vita comes with several applications built-in. Others are available for download through the PlayStation Store. Many of the apps work together such as sending a favorite location from the Maps app to a friend via Group Messaging. Many of the apps also incorporate connectivity with the PlayStation 3 console including friends lists, trophies, and messaging. Apps are accessible simply by tapping the appropriate icon on the PS Vita home screen.
The Browser app allows users to use the Internet from their PS Vita using a 3G or WiFi connection.
The Content Manager app allows the user to easily transfer data (games, game saves, applications, music, photos, videos) back and forth from the Vita and a PC, Mac, or PS3. This comes in handy for users with smaller memory cards.
The Facebook app allows users to keep up with all their friends without having to load up the Facebook website.
The Friends app allows PSN members to view what their friends are doing whether their friends are currently on PS3 or PS Vita. Users can also view and compare their friends' Trophies from here.
The Group Messaging app allows PSN members to send messages back and forth. Messages sent from this app can be read on a PS Vita or a PS3, but images attached to messages can only be seen on a PS Vita.
The Maps app allows users to view their own current location, search for other locations, display directions, and place flags on favorite spots.
The Music app allows the user to access and play music stored on their memory card (MP3, MP4, WAVE). Music can be organized by song titles, artists, album titles, or recently played. Once started, music will continue to play in the background while the user can go on to do other things.
Near is a location-based, social networking app. Users can "check in" at any location (or just at WiFi hotspots for those with the WiFi-only system) and Near will search for other users in the area up to a ten mile radius. The other users don't necessarily have to be actively playing anything because Near is able to show not only what the most popular games are in the area, but also "gifts" that other players have left. For example, players of ModNation Racers can leave created tracks for other players to download. Within Near, users can also rate the games they've played using up to three emoticons, which other users will be able to see.
The Party app makes cross-game chat and text available for up to eight users at a time; a first for a Sony platform.
The Photos app allows users to take photos and shoot video using the PS Vita's built-in cameras. It is where any pictures taken are stored.
The PS Store app allows users to access the PlayStation Store much in the same way as they can on PS3 or PSP to purchase and download games, game add-ons, themes, movies, etc.
The Remote Play app allows users who also have a PS3 to view and play content from the PS3 on their PS Vita. This can be done via a local private connection or via WiFi. So, whether the user is in the same room as the PS3, or many miles away, anything on their PS3 is accessible remotely.
The Settings app allows users to tweak any of the various options built into the PS Vita system including system updates, PSN account, application data, network connection settings, sound, display, date/time, security, language, etc.
The Trophies app allows users to view and organize the trophies they've earned in not only PS Vita games, but also the PS3 games they've played.
The Twitter app allows users to read and send tweets using the PS Vita's 3G or WiFi connection.
The Videos app allows users to view and organize videos (MPEG-4, AAC) from their memory cards as well as movies purchased from the PlayStation Store.
The Welcome Park serves as a tutorial for new users and uses mini games to teach users about all of the features built into the PlayStation Vita.
With the Vita's browser lacking Flash and HTML 5 support it was impossible to watch web videos on the Vita. On June 26th 2012 Sony released a YouTube app for the Vita. Allowing users to watch videos in standard and high definition (only up to 720p). The app has many standard YouTube features, including recommended videos, comments, history, favorites and the most important "search" function.
The Skype app give access to Skype services over the PS Vita's 3G or WiFi connection. Voice and video calls are supported, as is outgoing calls to regular phone numbers, however there is no instant messaging support.
Sony announced the launch pricing for the PlayStation Vita at the Sony Press Conference at E3 2011.
|Region||Wi-Fi Edition||3G & Wi-Fi Edition||First Edition|
|North America||$249.99||$299.99||$349.99 (US)|
|Australia*||$348.00 AUD||$408.00 AUD|
* Australian prices based on current Pre-Order price at EBGames, the first store to list in AU.
North American First Edition Bundle
Released on February 15, 2012, the First Edition Bundle allowed North American buyers to purchase the PS Vita a week early for a premium price of $349.99 in the U.S. and $299.99 in Canada. The bundle was billed as an $85 value for only $50 more. The First Edition Bundle included:
*must first activate the AT&T data pass
American 3G Launch Bundle
The American 3G Launch Bundle rewarded early adopters of the PS Vita in the United States with $55 worth in additional pack-ins. Included in the bundle were:
*must first activate the AT&T data pass
Crystal White Edition
On May 8, 2012, Sony announced a Crystal White variation of the console for release in Japan on June 28th, alongside a pair of Crystal White ear phones. August 30th will see the release of a Hatsune Miku variant. Both models will retain the dual-model and pricing scheme of the original black color. Hong Kong will receive the bundle on June 28th.
On October 30, 2012, North America will see the release of a white variation of the console in a bundle for Assassins Creed III Liberation.
Japan - December 17, 2011
North American - February 22nd, 2012