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Five Things We Learned at the Japan PS Vita Launch

James Gallagher's Avatar + Posted by James Gallagher on Dec 23, 2011 // Blog Manager, SCEE

As you may have seen from the photo story posted earlier in the week, I attended the Japanese launch of PlayStation Vita. It wasn’t all gaming and bento boxes: I used the time to catch up with as many senior colleagues and game developers as I could. You can look forward to full interviews in the run up to February 22nd’s North American Vita launch day, but in the meantime, here are five things that I didn’t know about PS Vita before, but do now.

  1. What’s included in the box
  2. PS Vita Unboxed

    Bear in mind that this is a Japanese model and the actual contents may vary, such as the North American model also including six AR Play Cards.

  3. PS Vita was designed by the same person as the original Walkman
  4. We had the chance to speak to Mr. Takashi Sogabe of the Sony Corporate Design Centre, the team responsible for the look and feel of PlayStation Vita, for what turned out to be an interesting hour. It turned out that Mr. Sogabe has 27 years of experience with the company and designed the original Walkman.

    He revealed that the team went through various designs, including one with a sliding back like PSPgo and a clamshell, before settling on the final model after discussion with developers. He also said that he originally wanted the exterior to be entirely metallic but that proved impossible due to the antennae required for the Wi-Fi and 3G connections.

    The biggest surprise came when he pulled three prototype machines from his bag (I wasn’t allowed to take any photos but I did try!) One of them featured touch pads in place of the dual analog sticks and Mr. Sogabe told me that the sticks were decided on in the end because they provided the most accurate controls.

    A full interview with Mr. Sogabe will be posted in the new year.

  5. PlayStation Vita is designed by game developers, for game developers
  6. We’ve heard developers say that PS Vita is a joy to make games for, but how is it different to other systems out there? Is it the hardware itself, the SDK, the support structure or something else entirely?

    President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida shed some light on this during our interview.

    Shuhei_pic1

    “When Kaz Hirai took over management of SCEI,” he explained, “he brought in the approach of fully integrating software and hardware development. Before that, we made brilliant hardware, no question of that, but our hardware team didn’t have such a good understanding of what game developers need or what features might be useful.”

    “[With PS Vita] we [Worldwide Studios] were there right at the beginning to express our thoughts and reactions to the hardware that was being proposed. We were there at every stage and with every prototype, and we developed game builds to prove and, sometimes, disprove how each new feature was going to make for a great game system.”

  7. Welcome Park is your introduction to all the key features and it includes trophies
  8. One of the first things you’re likely to play on your new PS Vita is Welcome Park. It has been designed by members of Japan Studio who also worked on Hot Shots Golf and, while its main purpose is to introduce features such as touch controls and the cameras, it does so through minigames that are surprisingly deep.

    They include Digit Chase, a front touch game where you have to tap number in sequence (tougher than it sounds); Snap + Slide, which generates tile sliding puzzles from photos you take; and Sound Loop, a simple but excellent synthesizer that lets you record sounds using the built-in microphone and loop them against a variety of pre-recorded beats.

    Welcome Park also has its own Trophies: one gold, one silver and 11 bronze.

  9. Gravity Rush has the same game director as Siren: Blood Curse
  10. We haven’t posted much about Gravity Rush, the cel-shaded action adventure coming exclusively to PlayStation Vita, but that’s going to change in the new year after I played it and found it to be one of the most interesting new titles on the handheld. I also spoke with the game’s director, Keiichiro Toyama, and discovered not only that he worked on PS3 horror Siren: Blood Curse, but that his greatest inspiration for Gravity Daze is the comics of Jean Giraud, AKA Moebius. Here’s a trailer.



//Add Your Own

68 Comments

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51

+ jonny2010 on December 25th, 2011 at 9:48 am said:

@45-46
damn you really have stick in your ass… read the post again and look at the big ass num 4 im sure you know what the number 4 is ..if you would read it! at a vita conference they said that all games 4 the vita will n i mean WILL be trophy supported.

4.”Welcome Park is your introduction to all the key features and it includes trophies.”


52

+ flashzero91 on December 25th, 2011 at 1:18 pm said:

quick question: is it possible to pay for your at&t with a psn card
well what I’m trying to say is are they making an at&t 3g access icon on the psn so we can get a choice of how long we want at&t one would be 3 months one will be one years similar to PlayStation plus on ps3.


53

+ AWESOMEgamer875 on December 26th, 2011 at 9:11 am said:

I think that the fact that this systen was designed by development companies for said companies will turn out to be a gift to gamers because the more maneuverability that the developer has to play with, the better and moe involved the games spill turn out to be.


54

+ Sergheiev on December 26th, 2011 at 4:44 pm said:

@KILLSON13 AR cards are augmented reality cards, the have graphics printed on them that the PS Vita reads and graphics and stuff appear on your screen, much like EyePet


55

+ Sergheiev on December 26th, 2011 at 4:45 pm said:

@KILLSON13 AR cards are augmented reality cards, they have graphics printed on them that the PS Vita reads and graphics and stuff appear on your screen, much like EyePet


56

+ fakinbakon on December 26th, 2011 at 6:49 pm said:

Meh. The phone is better


57

+ v-X_SHADOW_X-v on December 26th, 2011 at 7:23 pm said:

can u guys make a youtube and a facebook app?????


58

+ v-X_SHADOW_X-v on December 26th, 2011 at 7:23 pm said:

also netflix on the go would be awesome


59

+ teel2484 on December 26th, 2011 at 8:43 pm said:

SHWEET! Big hack :DD


60

+ AizawaYuuichi on December 28th, 2011 at 12:44 am said:

@ Hooligantuan:
Um, yes they had a chance to put trophies on the PSP/Go, but due to those systems being overrun by hackers/modders, they decided to keep trophies away from those systems to try and keep the architecture from being hacked. Though this was rendered pointless when the PS3 was finally cracked, it would have been wasteful to add trophies at such a late stage when they were already planning on including them in the Vita.
And I can imagine that lots of companies didn’t want their games being made available digitally for the PSPGo due to how easy it was to pirate games off of the system. You can’t hold it against Sony when the game publishers won’t publish games to the device.


61

+ Makattak28 on December 29th, 2011 at 11:03 pm said:

Maybe a dumb question but.. Will the six AR cards come with the first edition bundle of the vita on feb. 15 here in north America?


62

+ jnel17jun on December 30th, 2011 at 4:05 pm said:

@James Gallagher

I was wondering if you had any news about a White PSVITA !?!?!?


63

+ head20 on January 3rd, 2012 at 1:36 pm said:

when will the ps vita store be available in the US?????????????


64

+ CHILLYFUNN on January 3rd, 2012 at 2:57 pm said:

COOL LOOKING SYSTEM CAN’T WAIT UNTIL IT COMES OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!


65

+ teatrees on January 4th, 2012 at 9:26 am said:

curse youu japan


66

+ hello_its_me456 on January 4th, 2012 at 6:45 pm said:

Sony, what are the 3g details?, you dont seem to even respond to these posts


67

+ TheHomie-_-JAy on January 4th, 2012 at 8:22 pm said:

They Should Make The keyboard swype and have a an Skype app;]


68

+ harbihamza on January 7th, 2012 at 10:49 am said:

this PS Vita is very awesome but the problem is that its memory cards are very expensive to buy


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