We’ve been keeping a close watch on the PS Vita since its announcement and as we’ve followed up with it, we’ve become more and more convinced that it’ll be the one near-future portable device that’ll compete with Apple in a meaningful way in the games space. Yesterday’s press conference in Japan went a long way in solidifying this thought, as the handheld is poised to launch with a lot of big-name IPs and tech that should draw popular attention.
To be clear, Sony had nothing of substance to say about PS Vita’s launch outside of Japan at the event. It also didn’t get into game release dates. But it did share some news on games: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, Final Fantasy X HD, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Zone of the Enders HD Collection, Lumines, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, and several other releases are all slated to hit the PS Vita at some point down the line. In Japan, the device will launch on December 17 with a total of 26 games, most of which will presumably be big-ticket titles that won't ever be available on the App Store.
I think it’s fair to speculate that when the device hits elsewhere in 2012, the rest of the world will experience a similar launch line-up and the promise of ridiculous launch window support. Over 100 games are being developed for the device in Japan, Sony said at the event. And let's not forget about the "apps" -- Sony showed off the browser, multi-tasking, a photo viewer, and several less notables at the event. We've already said in the past that its non-game support is looking strong and, wouldn't-you-know-it, pretty phone-like.
A listing of what’s inside the PS Vita is now available at Destructoid. It’ll boast a ton of RAM and a 4-core A9 CPU, which is pretty hot. On the minus side, it’s only going to be able to sustain a maximum battery life of five hours of play before you need to plug it into a wall and re-charge for around three hours.
I guess it’s no surprise to see publishers like Capcom, Square Enix, Konami, and Tecmo Koei latch onto new technology, but it’ll be interesting to see if the big name properties each of these players -- and several other notable western developers -- are bringing to the Vita will be enough to push the platform into a legitimate position of strong competition with iOS. Apple is killing it in this space, so it’ll take a big push in both digital and retail for Sony to get people to jump over and carry around this bulky-butt thing. From this TGS event, it seems like Sony is willing to at least try for a mad dash at your wallet.