updated 10:20 pm EDT, Mon June 6, 2011
PlayStation Vita comes to take on iPod touch
Sony at its E3 keynote set out its ambition to topple both Apple and Nintendo in the mobile gaming arena and formally unveiled the NGP as the PlayStation Vita. The handheld is much like what was shown in Japan and centers on a large five-inch OLED touchscreen braced by dual analog sticks, front and back touchpads, and both front and back cameras. American Vita owners will get AT&T as the 3G partner as well as access to over 20,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots.
More games got detail than what were shown in advance, including versions of LittleBigPlanet and Street Fighter vs. Tekken that will take advantage of the extra controls. Many games, like the top-down slasher Ruin or Wipeout 2048, will have cross-platform play that either lets users play against PS3 owners at the same time or pick up where they finished on one system or the other.
A quad-core processor and quad graphics give it looks close to those of the PS3 and let it take games like Uncharted without reducing their experience.
Price is coming in low and is likely a cornerstone of Sony's strategy. A Wi-Fi version will cost $250, the same as the Nintendo 3DS and only slightly higher than the iPod touch. The 3G version won't carry a steep premium and will cost $300, although data plan pricing if any wasn't explained. Both models should be ready in time for the holidays.