PlayStation Vita goes on sale in Australia


news Gaming giant Sony’s latest handheld console, the PlayStation Vita, has gone on sale in Australia and is now available in stores across the country, marking Sony’s fifth major console hardware launch locally.

The PS Vita has features like a 5-inch OLED screen, physical PlayStation gaming buttons, dual analogue sticks, motion sensor, front and rear cameras and a rear touch pad. The PS Vita also incorporates social networking applications enabling gamers to connect to others in the real world. The range of games available is one of the biggest in any new console, according to Sony, and users can also connect to the PlayStation Network, which is a portal to digital entertainment on demand.

The list of games that can be purchased for the PS Vita include about 25 titles and the games portfolio is set to expand with the confirmation of franchises like LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule), Resistance: Burning Skies (Nihilistic Software), Bioshock (2K), Assassins Creed (Ubisoft) and Call of Duty (Activision). It has also been confirmed that Australia-based game developers such as Nnooo, Tantalus, Big Ant and Torus will also develop games for the platform. On-demand movie content from all major Hollywood studios will be available on the PS Vita through the PlayStation Video store.

Michael Ephraim, Managing Director of SCE Australia, said in a statement that the new device introduced a revolutionary change in the portable games category as it provided compelling cross connectivity benefits for PlayStation 3 owners.

“There’s real anticipation for the introduction of PlayStation Vita, as it is a truly unique device. Growth in the overall mobile category means we now have more people in Australia enjoying playing games on the go. Now, with PS Vita, we are offering these customers one step better – uncompromised portable gaming experiences with the added benefit of being able to stay socially connected to the world around you,” said Ephraim.

The PS Vita includes social networking applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr besides its own unique apps like ‘Near’, ‘Party’ and ‘Live Area’ for connecting to other gamers. The ‘cross platform play’ feature enables gamers to play on the PS Vita while on the move and continue at home on the PS3. It also enables PS3 players to game with the PS Vita players.

PlayStation Vita is the successor to the PlayStation Portable; it will be introduced in Japan and some Asian regions on December 17th, 2011 and in North America and Europe on February 22nd, 2012. The name of the device, which means ‘Life’ in Latin, was revealed on June 6th, 2011.

PS Vita has been designed to be backwards-compatible with PlayStation Portable games digitally released on PlayStation Network through the PlayStation Store. It will also support PlayStation Suite games, PlayStation minis, comics and videos from PlayStation Store and PSOne Classics. Select PSP games will also support PS Vita’s dual analog sticks. The Vita will not have a removable battery, however, or support video output.

The PS Vita was available for pre-order from November 17, 2011, which ensured that those who pre-ordered will get not only their devices on the day of the launch but also a PS Vita Gift Pack that includes exclusive discounts and content, limited edition merchandise, and game discounts for the PlayStation Store. The 3G version will be supported by Vodafone. The PS Vita Wi-Fi has an RRP of $349.95 and the PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi has an RRP of $419.95.

Image credit: Sony