PS VitaWhat else can the PS Vita do?
If mobile phones are replacing portable gaming systems, Sony is the last company to know. The electronics giant is betting big on the PS Vita, released earlier this year, as the most powerful handheld gaming device ever made. It has the tech specs to prove it, but here's what you really need to know: The system boasts graphics on par with a Playstation 3; first-time dual analog sticks on a handheld device, a brilliant 5" touch screen and touch controls.
What does it offer for those outside of the hardcore gaming crowd? The ability to take your living room with you when you leave the house.
With 3G/Wi-Fi, the Vita truly lets you take the well-connected home on the road.
The company's pitch is "Never stop Playing" — a philosophy they attempted to implement with the Vita's predecessor — the PSP. That promise is now a reality.
The PS Vita1. Start a game at home, take it with you on the road.
Sony calls it The Playstation Ecosystem, which means exactly that: Having a PS Vita and a Playstation 3 creates a digital world in your home that comes with you when you go. While you're out in the world you can also challenge friends (or strangers) to multiplayer games. Perhaps the coolest feature, however, is the one seen in the popular commercial. A guy is playing a baseball game on his Playstation 3 but he has to go. He turns off the console and picks up the Vita, where the game is waiting for him right where he left off. Not all games support this feature, but you can bet that Sony will push hard for this integration to become commonplace as new Vita titles are released.
2. Remote play
You can control your Playstation 3 system via the PS Vita wherever you are connected. That means you can use the portable device to stream movies, listen to music and view photos that are stored on your home console no matter where you are in the world. It's a cool feature, especially since it means you don't have to store those things on the Vita's memory cards (which can be pricey). With the Content Manager Assistant application you can also copy content from your Mac or PC.
3. Social networking and media
Many of the big names on the Internet have found a home on the Vita. Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are to name a few. Sony is also touting their Music Unlimited subscription service as a way to take all of your favorite artists wherever you go. The service offers an endless selection and the ability to make custom playlists of your favorite songs. The system also hosts Netflix, a service that works well on the Vita's impressive screen. The system also has a free Skype app, allowing voice and video calling.
4. Exclusive Apps
The Vita has applications you can get elsewhere — web browser, photos, music support, etc. — but it has plenty of exclusives that enhance the Playstation Ecosystem that Sony wants you to call your own. Among them is a Friends application that allows you to find (and meet) friends on the Playstation Network (PSN) and a Near application that shows you the location of other players in your vicinity. With this you can find new competitors, see what they're playing and see their rankings.
PS Vita5. It's just cool
The Vita is an impressive piece of handheld tech. It is powerful, sleek and easy to use. Let the pundits debate whether gaming handheld devices can survive in a smart phone world. Sony (and Nintendo, of course, with their 3DS) believes there is still room in the market for dedicated gaming handhelds with lessons learned from smart phones. The PS Vita's ability to be both a stunning game system and a cool, non-gaming gadget as well makes a good argument for the future of handheld gaming devices.
Note: This was written by Victor Paul Alvarez, a Digital Crave contributor.
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