updated 10:55 pm EDT, Mon July 25, 2011
Company details location-based discovery system
Sony has provided several new details surrounding features for company's upcoming handheld, the PlayStation Vita. Users will be able to take advantage of text and voice chat functionality that can simultaneously connect across different games, rather than limiting communication to other users playing the same title. The feature, which is referred to as Party, will also provide options to create separate groups for different games or genres.
"You can chat across games through text and voice," Sony Europe's manager of research and development, Phil Rogers, said this year at the Develop conference in the UK, according to quotes posted by Eurogamer.
Aside from the chat functionality, the company is also planning to launch a Vita "landing point" referred to as LiveArea. The portal will serve as a place for users to post comments and view activities or ratings of other users. Rogers suggests game developers will be able to push data to users, updating their landing page with new announcements and images.
Users and developers will also be able to take advantage of location-based features, such as a gifting system labeled Near. GPS or cellular signal triangulation is used for local discovery and virtual gifts that are available to nearby users.
"You can see where people are in relation to your location, their five most recently played games and also gifts that they've registered," said Rogers.
Sony has yet to announce a time-frame for launching the new features. The Vita is expected to arrive on the market ahead of the holidays, with prices starting at $250 for the Wi-Fi edition.