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PlayStation Vita

"Near," a location-based app showing where your friends are  (Source: Engadget)

"Party" mode allows users to chat with friends  (Source: Engadget)

"Street Fighter X Tekken" preview  (Source: Engadget)
PlayStation Vita Wi-Fi will be available for $250, and Vita 3G will be available for $300

Sony's E3 keynote introduced several new gaming features and titles that are expected to enrich the overall gaming experience for console and portable users alike.

It's no secret that Japanese consumer electronics corporation Sony has had some major troubles over the past month and a half. On April 20, the PlayStation Network (PSN) went down after millions of users' personal information and credit card numbers were stolen in a massive security breach. Sony did not announce the breach until April 26. This prompted a three and a half week blackout where customers around the world returned their PS3's in favor of Xbox 360's. Sony even put forth its best efforts to keep customers happy by offering free games and premium subscriptions through the "Welcome Back" Customer Appreciation Program. PSN wasn't available worldwide once again until June 2.

At that same time, Sony Online Entertainment was also hacked.

Now, at Sony's keynote at E3, many wondered if Sony would address the fiasco and apologize to users for all the recent troubles. 

I. The Apology

The keynote began by handing out pairs of 3D glasses to the audience. Around quarter after 5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST, the audience was instructed to put their glasses on, and the show began. 

It started with a 3D video of PlayStation products and games, including "Mortal Kombat," "Green Lantern," "God of War," "Uncharted," "Little Big Planet," "Hot Shots," etc.
Next, the question of whether Sony would address the PSN outage or not was answered immediately. 

"To our esteemed members of the press, I say: You're welcome," said Jack Tretton, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) CEO. After insinuating that the press had a field day with the PSN outage, he then addressed consumers. "I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety we have caused you."

II. Upcoming Titles & 3D Adoption

After the quick apology, Tretton jumped right into a few quick facts, such as the fact that PS3 is the "leading device for streaming Netflix," and that "virtually all" games shown at the conference will be playable in an arcade setting at E3 immediately after the keynote. 

Video game developer Naughty Dog then showed a demo of "Uncharted 3," showing Nathan Drake killing enemies like a champ. The game looks very cinematic as Drake escapes several dangerous occurrences. Multiplayer beta starts June 28, where players can go to Subway and get early access to the game before its official release November 1. 

"Resistance 3" was the next game to be shown off. It's a shooter that will be bundled with the Sharpshooter and PlayStation Move as well as a Navigation Controller and PS Eye camera for $150. "Resistance 3" will also be available in the PlayStation monitor package, which will include a 24" 3D TV, a pair of glasses, HDMI cable and "Resistance 3" for $500 in an effort to encourage 3D adoption.

"We're going to break the mold on pricing for 3D this year," said Tretton. 

Tretton announced the release of "God of War: Origins Collections," which is a remastered version of PSP's "God of War" games. 

Next up was 2K Sports, who discussed the new "NBA 2K11." The game will use PlayStation Move motion control to identify players and allow them to pass the ball to one another and shoot. Kobe Bryant then entered the stage to test the game. 

A demo of "Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest" played next. A user plays as a skeleton who moves through a castle fighting enemies with a sword. It includes arrow-shooting and puzzles, and is playable in Sony Booth. 

An "Infamous 2" demo followed, which will be released tomorrow. Sony doesn't plan to add user-generated levels until fall 2011, and will also add PlayStation Move support to "LittleBigPlant 2" and "Dust 514." Although, "Dust 514" is a shooter that will also connect to the Eve Online PC MMO game, and will support the Move and the Next Generation Portable (NGP). 

"Starhawk" and "Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time" are presented next. The new Sly Cooper game will be available in 2012. 

Ken Levine of Irrational Games then came onstage to discuss "BioShock Infinite," saying that he did not like the idea of motion control initially, but Sony talked him into making "BioShock Infinite" PlayStation Move-compatible. There may also be a "BioShock" game for NGP in the future. In addition, Tretton noted that the PS3 version of "BioShock Infinite" will come with a complimentary copy of the first "BioShock" on the same Blu-ray. 

Tretton said a PlayStation Move-compatible "Star Trek" game will be released with a Move accessory shaped like a Trek phaser, and a downloadable prequel will be available as well. 

Electronic Arts (EA) hit the stage next to offer three new PS3 offers, including "SSX," "Need for Speed: The Run," and "Battlefield 3." "Battlefield 1943" will also be added to the "Battlefield 3" Blu-ray disc. 

III. PlayStation Vita

Kazuo Hirai then addressed one of the most popular topics of the night: the NGP, which is the PSP's successor. But Sony has officially named the NGP "PlayStation Vita."

Hirai started off with a speech about networking. PlayStation devices will eventually utilize PlayStation Suite, which will connect gamers on Android smartphones and tablets as well. It will be available in the "very near future."

PlayStation Vita will be exclusively available through AT&T's 3G data plan, to which the audience booed

PlayStation Vita has two social network apps called "Party" and "Near," which allow users to organize friend lists and discuss what you're doing online, etc. 

A demo of "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" played, as did "Ruin" in an action RPG for Vita. It's a "standard top-down loot-oriented ARPG." "Mod Nation Racers" was also announced for Vita, which allows a user to create a course by dragging their finger along the screen, then play the course.

A slew of other games were demoed and announced for Vita, such as "LittleBigPlanet" and "Street Fighter X Tekken." "Street Fight X Tekken" will introduce Cole from "Infamous" into the game.

Here's where Vita gets really interesting. Your game can be saved on the Vita via "cloud saving," which can then be played from that point in the game on the PS3. It looks like everyone is getting into the cloud storage services

The Wi-Fi Vita will be available for $249, and the 3G Vita will be available for $299. It will launch during the holiday season 2011.

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RE: Good One, Sony
By someguy123 on 6/7/2011 1:39:04 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, the specs on this thing are ridiculous.

That said, attaching it with a 3G plan as though it were a phone is even more ridiculous.

How in the holy hell do they expect this to work when the PSPGO failed miserably and didn't even force you to pay for 3G?

RE: Good One, Sony
By someguy123 on 6/7/2011 1:53:28 AM , Rating: 2
Looking into it a bit more there seems to be mixed reports. Some people are reporting at&t is just the locked 3G, and some are reporting at&t is the vita provider.

Is this thing attached to at&t or is that just for the internet service?

RE: Good One, Sony
By robinthakur on 6/7/2011 5:30:10 AM , Rating: 3
So what? The specs on the PSP were ridiculous and that was just a waste of money until very late in its life with few decent games, poor battery life and the badly thought out UMD's.

Sony seem to be a fading power these days. Only Uncharted 3 is mildly interesting and SF X Tekken. The Vita, I think is going to be tossed on the waves of consumer apathy. It's not a phone, but it hedges it's bets by having a 3G connection when it isn't really needed, just to compete with the iPhones of this world. Apart from the dull detail of the rear touch pad, what exactly does it do that is revolutionary?

It's just one more expensive device to carry around along with your iPhone, iPad (or whatever else) without 3D or Nintendo's solid gold games to carry it, and it might just flop. I found it odd that it wasn't going to be in 3D, given Son'y previous backing of the tech. It's not like they are coming off of a DS-like success, they are releasing it after they just abandoned the PSP Go...The lukewarm reception which the 3DS has seen thus far should have Sony very worried indeed...

RE: Good One, Sony
By someguy123 on 6/7/2011 2:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not comparing lineups, I'm merely pointing out that the specs are very, very good. With the 3DS you're paying a premium for the screen tech and the nintendo brand, with the vita you're essentially paying for nothing but tech.

Talking about games, the vita looks to have a better launch lineup than the 3DS, which, to be honest, had a horrible launch lineup. I have a 3DS and the only thing worth purchasing is street fighter. Still waiting on zelda and resident evil.

RE: Good One, Sony
By nafhan on 6/7/2011 10:21:22 AM , Rating: 2
Ars said there will be a wifi version for $249 - same price as the 3DS.

On a side note, if this has a Skype client, the 3G version might be a pretty awesome cell phone alternative. Although, you'd look like a moron holding this up to your face.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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