The PlayStation Vita, Sony’s next-gen PSP handheld, is coming, with all its high-tech new bells and whistles. Would you like to know when?
Hope you’re ready to settle in and wait a while before getting your hands on Sony‘s successor to the PSP, because it ain’t arriving until next year. Christmas this year will be conspicuously “next-gen handheld” free, despite earlier statements from Sony that the PSV would be on sale this holiday season. Except in Japan.
EA, Sony, THQ, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros. Interactive have all announced plans to start charging for “Online Passports,” which will be required purchases for players who want to play with used game discs. Specifically, these $10 passports will be needed to play multiplayer games (like Ubisoft’s Driver: San Francisco, pictured above), but there’s nothing to keep publishers from using the same policy for singleplayer campaigns in the future.
PSVita. That’s the name Sony has given to its PlayStation Portable successor. And let’s just say that the name has been met with less enthusiasm than the device itself — which looks pretty darn great.
Sony also showed off footage and demos from their hottest upcoming titles. But will 2011 always be Sony’s year of the PSN meltdown? Or did their showing at this year’s E3 help that image fade?
Sony’s forthcoming successor to the PSP is expected to be one of the big headline-grabbers next week at E3, but in advance of that mega-event, they’ve taken the wraps off of three titles gamers can expect to play on the NGP (which is heavily rumored to be called the PSVita).
First and foremost on the list is Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which is being developed by Bend Studios with collaboration from Uncharted creators Naughty Dog Games. The main thing Sony wants everyone to know is that Golden Abyss is an entirely new Nathan Drake adventure — it’s not a port of an existing Uncharted game. Oh, and also that they’re incorporating the NGP’s touchscreen controls right into the gameplay, so that you can interact directly with the environment instead of just mashing buttons. Looks pretty compelling, see for yourself:
A whole new Wipeout experience is on the way, and the bullet point news item is the fact that this will be the first multiplayer title ever to interface between two game devices. Wipeout will let you play head-to-head against other NGP players, and PS3 players. Both. At the same time. Yowza. Once again, as you can see from this video, the touchscreen and six-axis controls factor heavily into the gameplay.
Soundshapes is something unique. It’s a different kind of platformer where music and platforming become one and the same. Everything in the levels is synchronized to a sort of electronica/trance music, and manipulating things in the environment will add new notes, beats, and ever increasing complexity to the music. The video makes it look like you can’t really do anything wrong, with the key to the game being experimentation. You can even create your own levels and recordings.
Hustle Kings brings the popular PS3 billiards game to the new portable platform, taking advantage of (you guessed it) the touchscreen controls. Like Wipeout, this one will be cross-play enabled with the PS3, and even allow you to play it in turn-based mutliplayer rounds as each player comes online, a la Words With Friends. You can even use the six-axis to rotate the camera around your ball, and make use of the built-in still camera and microphone for chatting with friends.
The NGP version of Super Stardust Delta is not a port of Super Stardust Delta HD for PS3. Being the first portable gaming console with two sticks makes NGP ideal for a dual-stick space shooter like SSD. It will be playable with both familiar dual-stick controls, and an entirely new control scheme that’s made just for the NGP.
It would seem that the recurring theme we’re seeing here is that most (if not all) NGP games are employing intuitive use of touchscreen and motion-sensitive controls to let gamers interact with popular Sony franchises in a whole new way. Sony promises to provide plenty more details on all things NGP — and PS3 — at E3 next week.
E3 is just two weeks away! Can you believe it?
What delicious (and what vaporware) delights will E3 2011 bring to gamers? What surprises do Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have in store for their pre-E3 media extravaganzas? What games will walk away from the week with the heaviest buzz? It’s impossible to predict what secrets all the major companies have up their sleeves, but here’s n early look at what we have to look forward to.
Sony has just announced that Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, the ninth game in the series (if you don’t count Secret Agent Clank), will be available on October 18th, 2011 in North America. The PS3 exclusive is getting several pre-order incentives in the form of extra playable characters, but you’ll have to choose carefully which one you want; Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop, and Walmart are all getting a different extra character.
For the first time ever, up to four players will be able to enjoy the game together in co-op that works both online and off. The built-in playable characters are Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and cleverly, the villain Dr. Nefarious who must grudgingly help the heroes this time out. The playable incentive-buy characters are as follows:
- Pyro Blaster Unlock: Fry your enemies up with this Kerchu-engineered flamethrower that offers your enemies two choices: regular or extra crispy. Unlockable when you buy the game from Best Buy.
- Sheepinator Mod: The classic version of everyone’s favorite Ratchet & Clank weapon is back. Unlock the Sheepinator Morph Weapon Mod to transform even the fiercest aliens in the galaxy into harmless sheep. Unlockable when you buy the game from Walmart.
- T-Rex Morph Mod: Turning enemies into farmyard animals not your style? Want a more prehistoric take on the Morph-O-Ray? Use this T-Rex Morph Weapon Mod to transform your enemies from dangerous threats into a baby dinosaur. Unlockable when you buy the game from Amazon.
- Mr. Zurkon: A small, hovering synthenoid, Mr. Zurkon aids your team in battle by attacking enemies with his mounted laser while insulting and taunting them with his comedy-insult logic processor. Unlockable when you buy the game from Gamestop.
In Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, heroes Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark are teamed up with Dr. Nefarious when Dr. N’s latest evil plan goes horribly wrong, ensnaring all four characters within a powerful, mysterious machine.
The game will be the first in the series to support 3D gaming.
Another day… and still no PSN.
With Sony’s investigation into the cyber attack that took down PlayStation Network still ongoing, the electronics giant has revealed some details about the “Welcome Back” package that all PSN users will soon be receiving. Among Sony’s gifts to woo you back to PSN: $1 million in identity theft insurance for one year. Free.