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PS Vita: The Ultimate FAQ

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on Feb 16, 2012 // Senior Manager, Social Media

With all eyes on the PS Vita’s US launch date of February 22nd, we wanted to begin providing definitive answers to your many questions about PS Vita. Behold: The PS Vita Ultimate FAQ! Of course, this list of Frequently Asked Questions is only a start and certain details are still being finalized. Rest assured that we’ll continue to update this FAQ leading up to launch, integrating new answers to your questions and additional details as they are verified and confirmed.

Read on to get answers to your questions regarding PS Vita, covering everything from the specs of the state-of-the-art OLED screen to support of Bluetooth peripherals and more. And remember: Please leave your burning questions in the comments and we’ll address them in a future update.

PS Vita Image

General Questions

Q: When will PS Vita be available?
A: In North America, Latin America, and Europe, PS Vita launches on February 22nd, 2012. A limited-run First Edition Bundle launched on February 15th in the US. In Japan, PS Vita launched on December 17th.

Q: How much will PS Vita cost?
A: The Wi-Fi version will retail for $249, while the 3G/Wi-Fi version will retail for $299.

Q: How many software titles will be available at launch in the US?
A: PS Vita will launch with 26 games on its February 22nd launch date in the US, and every PS Vita system will be packed with six AR Play Cards. You can use these cards to play a selection of Augmented Reality mini games that will be available soon on PlayStation Store. You can watch videos showing off AR minigames Table Soccer, Fireworks and Cliff Diving in action.

Additionally, there will be a selection of 275 legacy PSP titles available to download from PlayStation Store at PS Vita’s launch and 117 PlayStation minis titles, with more legacy PSP and minis titles to come in the future. See the full list of currently supported PSP and minis titles here.

The full list of launch-day PS Vita titles is as follows:

SCEA Launch-Day Titles
Escape Plan (PSN Only)
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
Hustle Kings (PSN Only)
Little Deviants
ModNation Racers: Road Trip
Super Stardust Delta (PSN only)
UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss
wipEout 2048

Third-Party Publisher Launch-Day Titles
Army Corps of Hell by Square Enix, Inc.
Asphalt Injection by Ubisoft, Inc.
BEN10 GALACTIC RACING by D3 Publisher of America
Blazblue: Continuum Shift EXTEND by Aksys Games Localization, Inc.
Dungeon Hunter Alliance by Ubisoft, Inc.
Dynasty Warriors Next by Tecmo Koei America Corporation
F1 2011 by Codemasters
EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer by Electronic Arts, Inc.
Lumines Electronic Symphony by Ubisoft, Inc.
Michael Jackson The Experience Ubisoft, Inc.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus by Tecmo Koei America Corporation
Plants vs Zombies by Sony Online Entertainment LLC
Rayman Origins by Ubisoft, Inc.
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen by Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Tales of Space: Mutant Blobs (PSN Only) by Drinkbox Studios
Touch My Katamari by Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 by Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition by Sega of America

Worldwide, there are more than 70 PS Vita games currently in development. What’s more, some of the most popular third-party franchises in gaming will appear on PS Vita, including Assassin’s Creed, BioShock, Call of Duty, and Mortal Kombat.

Q: What will software pricing look like?
A: Pricing for PS Vita software ranges from $9.99-$49.99 (MSRP) and will be available for purchase at retail locations as well as downloadable on the PlayStation Store.

Q: Does the First Edition Bundle come with a digital or physical copy of Little Deviants?
A: The First Edition Bundle includes a copy of Little Deviants on a physical PS Vita game card.

PS Vita First Edition Bundle

Q: What accessories will PS Vita launch with in the US?
A: PS Vita will launch with a wide array of accessories. For gamers looking for a complete solution, a Starter Kit with Memory Card will be available for $39.99 (MSRP), which includes a 4GB Memory Card, Pocket Pouch, Protective Film, Game Card Case, Headphones, and Cleaning Cloth. Standalone Memory Cards will start at $19.99 (MSRP), providing plenty of options for storing games and save data, videos, music, photos and more.

The full list of upcoming PS Vita accessories is as follows:

Product Name
Starter Kit with Memory Card
4 GB Memory Card
8 GB Memory Card
16 GB Memory Card
32 GB Memory Card
In-Ear Headset
Carrying Case
Travel Pouch
Protective Film (2 pack)
Card Case
Cradle
AC Adaptor
Car Adaptor
USB Cable
Portable Charger
Release Date
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
Spring 2012
MSRP
$39.99
$19.99
$29.99
$59.99
$99.99
$19.99
$19.99
$19.99
$9.99
$5.99
$19.99
$14.99
$14.99
$14.99
$49.99

Q: What wireless 3G plans will be available for the 3G/Wi-Fi model of PS Vita?
A: The AT&T Data Connect plans are month-by-month and are not contract based, and all plans include complimentary AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot access in the United States. There are two plan choices:

  • 1. 250MB for $14.99, 30-day recurring opt out, which starts at the date and time of purchase.
  • 2. 3GB for $30.00, 30-day recurring opt out, which starts at the date and time of purchase.
  • Vita First Edition Bundle

    Q: What are the advantages of choosing the 3G/Wi-Fi model of PS Vita? What will I get with it that I can’t get with the Wi-Fi model?
    A: With access to AT&T Broadband Network you can game with real-time connection, immediately socialize with your gaming community through news feeds, multiplayer game sessions, and compete for in-game achievements (Trophies). You can also stay up-to-date with continuous LiveArea news feeds, and cross-game text messaging with Party. 3G connectivity also benefits social apps such as Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Skype and more, all optimized specifically for PS Vita.

    PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi model also includes GPS for the most accurate geo-location reading, giving you an advantage when using “near” in that you can interact when you’re away from a Wi-Fi hotspot, whether you’re scooping up new track parts for ModNation Racers or accepting a new lap-time challenge in WipEout 2048.

    Q: Do all PS Vita users have to sign up with a cell phone provider?
    A: No. Users can enjoy either model of PS Vita using only Wi-Fi functionality.

    Q: What is “near”?
    A: “near” is PS Vita’s integrated social networking app that enables you to check in to real-life locations and pick up or leave gifts for other gamers to find and use in their games. You can also locate and connect with your PlayStation Network friends and other gamers nearby for ad-hoc communication and multiplayer sessions, whether you set up lap-time challenges in WipEout 2048 or trade costumes with a competitor in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Using “near,” you can also see which games are the most popular and highest rated by fellow gamers near your location, which can help you locate new and interesting games..

    ”near” can calculate your location using a Wi-Fi location service; the 3G/Wi-Fi model includes GPS technology, which enables you to be the first to find valuable game gifts by logging into “near” via 3G with more precision…and no need to wait for a Wi-Fi hot spot!

    Q: Do you need 3G network connection to enjoy “near”?
    A: No. PS Vita users can enjoy “near” using Wi-Fi, but a 3G connection is preferred in order to maximize “near”’s capability. By using a 3G connection, users will be able to obtain more information and encounter new players in real time via “near”. Think of it as a geo-social gaming network that taps into your location, wherever you might be.

    Q: What kinds of “gifts” can you give and receive using “near”?
    A: ”near” enables PS Vita owners to access virtual game-related items that other users are sharing by checking in at geographic locations that other PS Vita users have also visited. The virtual items can come in many forms: new character costumes, weapons, and treasures, just to name a few. Sharing these items between users adds a unique dimension to the portable gaming experience on PS Vita while enhancing the social connectivity among the PS Vita community.

    Q: What is “LiveArea”?
    A: Every PS Vita game features a space called “LiveArea” where you can access new game information from Sony Computer Entertainment and third-party developers and publishers via PlayStation Network. You’ll also be able to view an “Activity” log that includes your PSN Friends, which is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can trigger active real-time communication and gameplay among users.

    Q: What is “Party”?
    A: “Party” brings the flexibility and power of cross-game chat or text chat to PS Vita’s online gaming, and it’s available even when users are playing different games or using different applications such as the Internet browser . Users who are chatting together can also seamlessly join an online game to play together, making it easy to hop into a quick match of Unit 13 or wipEout 2048. You’ll also be able to bookmark your favorite groups so you can easily reconnect with them later. Combined with near, a powerful geo-social gaming network, Party will give PS Vita owners more options to interact, communicate, and compete than ever before.

    Q: What system software will come pre-loaded on the final retail version of PS Vita in North America?
    A: PS Vita comes pre-installed with Welcome Park, “near,” “Party,” Trophies, Friends, PlayStation Store, Remote Play, Video player, Music player, Photos and Camera, Group Messaging, and Content Manager.

    Q: What is PS Vita’s battery life?
    A: Officially, PS Vita is rated at approximately 3 to 5 hours of gaming, 5 hours of video playback, and 9 hours of music playback. Recharging the battery from 0 percent will take approximately 2.5 hours.

    From a gaming perspective, you’ll notice that the most graphically intense games such as UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss are slightly more demanding on battery life, while simpler games such as Escape Plan are less demanding. To further maximize battery life, you can employ measures such as reducing the screen’s brightness or deactivating Wi-Fi. By and large, PlayStation employees who have used PS Vita extensively in the real world have praised the unit’s battery life – if you pick up PS Vita on day one, be sure to let us know what your experiences are.

    Mortal Kombat for PS Vita: Bloody Mess

    Technical Specifications

    Q: I’ve heard that PS Vita uses OLED display technology. How does it work? What are the benefits of OLED? Why is it superior to traditional LCD-based displays?
    A: OLED technology is the most cutting-edge display technology on the market, boasting higher contrast and brighter color than LCD-based displays found in other devices. This next-generation display technology makes PS Vita games look dazzlingly bright.

    Q: What are the specs of the OLED screen?
    A: PS Vita’s OLED screen measures 5 inches, with a resolution of 960×544 pixels (16:9 aspect ratio) and a color depth of approximately 16,770,000 colors.

    Q: Is a memory card required for game play?
    A: You will need a memory card for those games that require game saves or have downloadable content. You will also need a memory card in order to take photos or videos using PS Vita’s integrated cameras.

    Q: Does PS Vita support Bluetooth headsets or Bluetooth headphones?
    A: Commercially available headphones/headsets supporting A2DP, HSP and AVRCP can be used on PS Vita, however they may function differently depending on the device’s specifications. Stereo Bluetooth is also supported, an important feature for users of Bluetooth headphones.

    Q: Can you use a commercially available Bluetooth keyboard or mouse? Can you connect the PS3 wireless controller to PS Vita like PSPgo?
    A: No. You won’t be able to connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse or a PS3 DualShock 3 wireless controller with PS Vita.

    Q: Can you access the Internet by connecting PS Vita to a Bluetooth-supported cell phone?
    A: No.

    Q: What video and audio formats will PS Vita support?
    A: PS Vita supports a wide array of audio files, including: MP3 (MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3), MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC), and WAVE (Linear PCM). Video formats supported include: MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High/Main/Baseline Profile (AAC). Image and photo formats supported include JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, and PNG.

    Q: Do you have any plans to introduce a video output cable? Will PS Vita have HDMI output?
    A: No, PS Vita does not have a video output feature.

    Q: Can you take out the battery from the system?
    A: No. PS Vita’s rear touchscreen requires the use of an internal embedded battery.

    Q: Is there a possibility of certain PS3 games using PS Vita as a second screen or peripheral at some point in the future?
    A: Remote Play on PS Vita will allow you to see and control your PS3 from your PS Vita; we’ll have further details to share in the future.

    Q: What colors will be available for the North American launch?
    A: Crystal Black will be available for launch.

    Other Questions

    Q: What does the name “PS Vita” mean?
    A: “Vita,” which means “Life” in Latin, was chosen as the name for PlayStation’s next-generation portable entertainment system because it enables rich gaming and social connectivity within a real-world context.

    Q: What was the hardware design concept behind PS Vita?
    A: While succeeding the basic design philosophy of PSP, PS Vita’s “Super Oval Design” form factor was designed to ensure the system fits comfortably in users’ hands. Another key goal was the introduction of dual analog sticks – a first for a portable gaming device – which will enable a much wider range of game experiences such as shooters, action games, and fighting games.

    Q: How do you buy PS Vita games?
    A: You can download PS Vita games and other content from PlayStation Store to a PS Vita memory card, or buy a physical PS Vita Card at retailers.

    Q: If you buy download content for PS Vita, up to how many systems can you copy it to?
    A: Users can activate two portable systems (either two PSPs, two PS Vitas, or one PSP and one PS Vita) to their PSN account.

    Q: Will users be able to access PlayStation Store from both 3G and Wi-Fi?
    A: PlayStation Store can be accessed from both 3G and Wi-Fi network connections, though you’ll want to reserve large downloads for a Wi-Fi connection.

    Q: Will the PlayStation Plus service extend any benefits to PS Vita?
    A: There are no details to share on PlayStation Plus support at this time.

    Q: Will PlayStation Protection Plan be available for PS Vita?
    A: Yes. PlayStation Protection Plan options are available for owners of PS Vita.

    Q: Will PS Vita support Netflix, Hulu, Video Unlimited, or other video services?
    A: Netflix will be heading to PS Vita in the US around the unit’s launch timeframe. Additional video content will be available to download on the PlayStation Store at launch in North America, but details on other video services have not yet been announced.

    Q: Will YouTube support, Flash content, and specialized files like PDFs be viewable on PS Vita?
    A: There are no details to share at this time.

    Q: Can I take in-game screenshots on my PS Vita?
    A: Yes. You can press the Start and PlayStation buttons together to instantly take a snapshot of your in-game exploits. You’ll find the game screenshot in your PS Vita’s photo gallery. You may not be able to take a snapshot of certain games or of certain parts of games.

    Q: There are three slots on the PS Vita, what are they for?
    A: There is one slot is for PS Vita Cards, a slot for the SIM card (3G/Wi-Fi model only) and a slot for PS Vita’s removable media that stores save game files and downloaded content.

    Q: Are PSP and PS3 user’s PSN accounts also available on PS Vita?
    A: Yes. Your PSN account will be available on PS Vita once you log in, and will carry over your Trophy collection and user data to your PS Vita.

    Q: Is PS Vita compatible with other PlayStation platform games like PS3, PS2, or PSP? Do you have any plan to support other PlayStation platforms in the future?
    A: Users can play supported digital PSP titles and supported minis. In regard to PSone classics titles, we will announce further details when they are ready. PlayStation does not have plans to make PS Vita compatible with PS3 or PS2 titles at this point.

    PSP Gaming on PS Vita

    Q: I have UMD games for my PSP. Do I need to buy them again from PlayStation Store to play the same game on PS Vita?
    A: Yes. PS Vita does not support UMD discs. Digital PSP games that were purchased via PlayStation Store will be available to download to PS Vita as long as they are included on the list of supported PSP titles. This list of legacy PSP titles will grow in time and we will confirm when new titles are added.

    Q: PS Vita doesn’t support UMD but do you have any plan to introduce peripherals like “UMD readers” for PS Vita in North America?
    A: Not at this time.

    Q: Is PS Vita compatible with video content available on PlayStation Store?
    A: Yes, PS Vita can play free and premium SD video content. If you purchased premium video content for your PSP, you will be able to access that content on your PS Vita by downloading it again via PlayStation Store.

    Q: What are the privacy settings on “near”?
    A: ”near” includes parental controls that automatically prevent the service from working based on the user’s age. Additionally, users can set privacy zones (i.e. their home, office, etc.) when they don’t want to be seen on the radar. There is also a setting to make certain games private, so you’ll retain full control over your public visibility.


    Q: What is Augmented Reality?
    A: Augmented Reality (AR) is a feature in certain games that allow you to insert elements of the real world into the game, whether it’s mapping your face onto a kung-fu champion in Reality Fighters or playing a digital game of soccer on your real-world coffee table with Table Soccer. PS Vita harnesses this technology using two cameras that were designed to excel at AR gameplay.

    Q: Does PS Vita’s VGA camera take high-quality photos?
    A: The key usage of PS Vita’s cameras is to support responsive gameplay and deliver experiences such as Augmented Reality (AR). We decided on the specifications with this in mind, and we specifically focused on frame rate and quality of video shooting.

    Q: Will you add new features to PS Vita through the system software update like you are doing with PSP and PS3?
    A: We will introduce new features, enhancements, and upgrades to PS Vita through system software updates.

    //Add Your Own

    265 Comments   32 Replies

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    251

    + zerokingx on February 20th, 2012 at 9:11 pm said:

    @EVERYONE
    -Calm down! They have answered most of your questions(Via the FAQ on THIS SITE search it). i.e. Facebook and such are available on Feb 22. Skype is not but will update when it is.
    -The AT&T stuff can be answered with AT&T only(check the att faq).
    -Same with THIRD PARTY games(Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy) Bug the publisher on Twitter or on their website if you really want the game on the store.
    -We still don’t have any idea on their future plans and have to trust them. They are listening but it takes time to do all the stuff we are asking of them. Just be patient people. It is a gaming system first and it HAS GAMES. The rest is coming.


    252

    + NLMX85-USA on February 20th, 2012 at 10:58 pm said:

    Seems to me a lot of the missing functionality in the Vita could easily be remedied by opening the platform to developers, perhaps even allowing Android on the device?

    1. Get Chrome or Opera or Dolphin browser on Vita
    2. Digital comics
    3. Suport for more audio and video formats (flac, ogg, mkv etc)
    4. Youtube app
    5. Organize apps, games in folders ala ICS, iOS5
    6. Media streaming
    7. PS3/PSV games pay once, play on both (extra $5-10 if need be)
    8. Password manager
    9. Combine near, message, friends into one app or allow seamless linking between the apps


    253

    + Speedy29Z on February 21st, 2012 at 3:40 pm said:

    Ok, I have UMD’s like not that much would there be an special deal to for us old PSP users with UMD’s… Like I have Final Fantasy Dissidia and I fine the PSP download to be not an problem but the prices to us PSP users is kinda unfair….. $19.99 (now) to $49.99(2009). With in the 3 year time span…. I think should be atlease 9.99.

    For PSone Games…. When were going to see an update? for it to be able to play backwards?


    254

    + Zero1X on February 22nd, 2012 at 4:30 am said:

    Quick question, I’m a bit confused so hopefully someone can fill me in on the details.
    If I download a vita game from the psn with the master account, can two vita’s have the same game on two different sub accounts that are tied with the master account.
    Or does each on need to buy the game?


    255

    + mrk1976 on February 23rd, 2012 at 7:44 am said:

    Hello again, I have a question focusing on the PS Vita memory cards:

    I’ve seen the memory cards in stores, and they do not appear to come in a plastic protective case. I am concerned that eventually, if I acquire multiple memory cards, I would like to both keep them secure, and also organize them by content. Will there be dedicated memory card cases produced to address these issues of protection and organization?


    256

    + shootyaface367 on February 23rd, 2012 at 2:25 pm said:

    Will the Vita be able to connect to a PS3 system through remote play and play blu-ray discs inside the system or only downloaded games from PSN?


    257

    + angry_man1031 on February 23rd, 2012 at 4:23 pm said:

    Do trophies earned on PSVita go towards overall PSN level and can they be viewed by friends that do not own a Vita?


    258

    + Price-Less-Soap on February 24th, 2012 at 7:15 pm said:

    Any word on the white PSVita? or at least any words about other colors?
    When is it going to launch?

    I really like white stuff more than a black stuff. (i.e. I got a white PSP instead of a black PSP)

    P.S. I really like the orange Vita.


    259

    + PIRAGUA87 on February 24th, 2012 at 11:29 pm said:

    I bought the 3g/WiFi version of the PSVITA and i’m disappointed with how the game console can’t play Netflix ,remote play, play games online, or access the PlayStation’s store while on 3g; which is one of the many reason why I bought the 3g version, and bought a at&t plan not just to only use the browser or Google maps. When they announced at the E3: you where suppose to be able to play a PS3 game, and continue it in the with the vita; which, wont do on 3G, but only on WiFi. This is outrageous, stupid, and pointless. Not been able to do that while on 3G. SONY ‘s “MAKE BELIEVE” give false illusions of functions that their product isn’t going to be able to perform. I just would like to know what was SONY’s thinking? What were their plans with the release of a 3G version, if it doesn’t do the most important tasks of this gaming device? I was really looking forward to the 3G functionality on the PSVITA! I would like an explanation of this problem on the 3G version? I would like to know what was the goal of the 3G model? If is there’s going to be an update that’s is going to enable to do what I just mention, and more with the 3G VITA in the future?

    Thank you.


    260

    + rende on February 25th, 2012 at 6:18 pm said:

    You advertise it like you can play PS3 game on your vita via remote play then some people find out the hard way that it cant be done. Then you wonder why so many people MOD their PS3′s. You knew people would get the wrong impression about the remote play and were predicting on the sales from that. I do like the system and look forward to playing the Vita games but WTF Sony? You had a chance and you blew it.


    261

    + SakuraX3 on February 27th, 2012 at 7:39 pm said:

    I just purchased my Vita and I have another complaint: the “Near” and “Maps” app. It doesn’t work for me (and it’s safe to say, base on other sites and forums that it doesn’t work for other people too). It keeps giving me the “Could not obtain data for your location” message. I have a WIFI version and I was wondering if Sony is going to do any fixing with this problem.


    262

    + paulFNwall on February 28th, 2012 at 2:43 pm said:

    Right now you can’t use Netflix or play multiplayer games via 3G, Hopefully they will add 3G support for these in the future, otherwise its not worth buying the 3G model. Also you can’t watch You Tube videos, C’mon Sony my crappy Samsung Intercept on Virgin Mobile does all of these things, And the service is cheaper.


    263

    + KGBird on February 29th, 2012 at 11:28 am said:

    Any news on the follow up items? I’m particularly interested in knowing when my Vita trophies will be visible on my PS3 and some of the 3G enhancements like being able to use netflix over 3g.


    264

    + xNEFREKTOMYx on March 6th, 2012 at 7:41 am said:

    Any new word on Remote Play features being extended to more PS3 games? Lair just doesn’t cut it and I want to play Killzone 3 like in the cross-play video. Please make this happen SOON!


    265

    + RETRO_____BLAST on March 10th, 2012 at 8:42 am said:

    Remote Play, Not So Remote. True Remote Play only works with a DEDICATED ROUTER. That means if you are away from your PS3 and on a Mobile network, it does not work but if you are at a friends house and they have a dedicated router, it works. One interesting fact though, if both the PS3 and the Vita are both on the same mobile network (portable Hot Spot Device), remote play works, however, you must be at the same location, move out of range of the network with the Vita and it shuts down. This indicates that it is possible, the technology is there, but Sony must allow players to use Remote Play if they are on different networks … one on a dedicated router, one on a mobile network. Wake up Sony, this is one of the biggest selling points of the Vita … want those Vitas in stores to fly off the shelf? GET TRUE REMOTE PLAY WORKING !


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