E3: Meet Sony’s Playstation Vita

Rumors have been circulating throughout the internet regarding Sony’s new Playstation handheld for a while now. Now, thanks to E3 and the Sony Conference at E3, we finally have some concrete details on this awesome handheld.

The Playstation Vita (pronounced “Vee-ta”), is the official name of the previously unnamed NGP (next generation portable). According to Sony’s Executive Deputy President, Kaz Hirai, the name comes from the word “vita” which means life. Sony hopes the Vita will “blur the line between entertainment and your real life.” The full Playstation Vita announcement can be found below.

The video also reveals Sony’s partnership with AT&T to provide consumers with 3G and WiFi networks. The video also briefly talks about the party feature which will let gamers form game rooms with each other. These game rooms allow players to voice chat with everyone in the same game room regardless of what game they are playing. Voice chat is possible through the console’s built-in microphone or through head sets. Mr. Hirai also unveils the near feature, which will act as a social networking tool. Near allows you to connect and play with players around you, as well as recommend content and compare trophies.

Still curious? Check out the video below. It showcases the Vita’s design features as well as a few expected game titles.

The design highlights from the video include:

  • Dual Analog Sticks
  • OLED Screen
  • Built-in Microphone
  • WiFi, 3G, and GPS
  • SIXAXIS Motion Sensor
  • Front and Rear Facing Cameras
  • Front Multitouch Screen
  • Rear Multitouch Pad

The games shown range in genres; everything from racing games, to sports games to dungeon crawler beat-em-ups are shown. The intriguing thing about the Vita’s design is the variety of options it gives gamers when it comes to control options. For example, the SIXAXIS motion sensor may be the preferred method for some when playing a racing game, while others may stick to their dual analog sticks. The new rear multitouch pad looks to be a creative and unique way to improve touch screen gaming.

Are you sold on the Vita yet? For those who are, you can expect the Vita to launch globally before the end of 2011. According to a press release from Sony (courtesy of Joystiq), There will be two versions of the Vita hitting the market at launch. There will be a 3G/WiFi Vita available for $299/€299/¥29,980 and a WiFi-only version available for $249/ €249/¥24,980.