Tag Archives | Playstation Vita

Playstation Vita 3G Data Plans: Same Old, Same Old

Sony announced the Playstation Vita with AT&T 3G more than seven months ago, but never bothered to explain how the data plans would work. Now, it’s official: the Vita will come with the same data plans you already get with smartphones.

That means 3G for the Playstation Vita will cost $15 per month for 250 MB, or $25 per month for 2 GB, in addition to the $300 price of the 3G Vita itself. (A Wi-Fi only model will cost $250.) Both data plans will include unlimited access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspots, of which there are 29,000 around the United States. The Vita launches on February 22 in the United States.

I’m disappointed that AT&T and Sony stuck with conventional data plans for the PS Vita. This would have been a great opportunity for AT&T to launch a shared pool of data among multiple devices–something wireless carriers have talked about doing for some time. I can’t imagine a lot of people will want to pay a recurring data charge just for a gaming device, especially when you get the same result by using a smartphone’s Wi-Fi hotspot feature, which would also allow for faster 4G data and connectivity with other devices.

Sony and AT&T are hoping to lure people into paying for data plans by offering exclusive in-game content when players check in at certain geographic locations. We may be able to judge the 3G Vita’s success based on whether game makers continue to produce these kinds of exclusives long after launch.

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Sony’s PS Vita Gets a U.S. Release Date: February 22

We already knew Sony’s Playstation Vita was going to miss the holiday shopping season in the United States, but now we know by how far. The handheld, which aims to be portable gaming’s last stand against smartphones and tablets, launches on February 22, 2012.

The post-2011 launch date outside of Japan gives Sony and game publishers more time to finish their launch titles. Sony must have seen how poorly Nintendo’s 3DS fared without a solid game lineup, and wanted to avoid releasing the Vita with a whimper. The company says more than 100 PS Vita games are in development now, but didn’t say how many will be available at launch. (In Japan, where the PS Vita launches in December, 26 games will be available from the beginning.)

Sony’s still planning to sell the PS Vita for $250 in the United States, or $300 with 3G connectivity from AT&T. Nintendo’s decision to slash the 3DS price from $250 to $170 apparently hasn’t changed Sony’s thinking on the matter. The cost of AT&T 3G service is still a mystery.

I’m looking forward to the PS Vita even though I have my doubts about the viability of gaming handhelds in a world of smartphones, tablets and the iPod Touch. The PS Vita acknowledges those threats by including a touch screen, front- and rear-facing cameras and apps like Skype, Facebook, Twitter and a web browser, but it also tries to be a serious gaming handheld with quad-core graphics and dual analog sticks for shooters and other modern games. I hope Sony is giving itself enough time to get the little things right and to have a big launch in four months.

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In the West, No PS Vita for the Holidays

Apparently Sony needs more time to prepare for handheld gaming’s last stand, as the Playstation Vita won’t launch until 2012 in America and Europe.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Sony Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai said the company needs more time to ensure a strong software lineup for the PS Vita. Sony’s not calling it a delay — the company never promised a 2011 release across all regions — but there’s no guarantee that the PS Vita will launch in Japan in time for Christmas, either.

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Playstation Vita: Hands-On With Gaming Handhelds’ Last Stand

Sony’s Playstation Vita is a gesture of defiance toward smartphones and iPod Touches. It has a bigger touch screen and more raw power than nearly any phone on the market. It includes dual analog thumb sticks and a full rack of buttons and triggers. And just to make things interesting, the rear panel is touch-sensitive.

Sony’s throwing everything it can into the Playstation Vita, which launches this holiday season starting at $250. It even has front- and rear-facing cameras and, for $50 extra, 3G connectivity. All of this leads me to one conclusion: If the PSVita can’t compete as a gaming device with smartphones, then all gaming handhelds face a perilous future.

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Sony Announces Playstation Vita, Stays the Course on PS3

Hand it to Sony for knowing its audience.

Although the Playstation 3 has become a multimedia powerhouse — Sony dropped the nugget that its console accounts for 30 percent of all Netflix streaming — Sony’s E3 press conference was almost entirely about games. The requisite parade of exclusives came first, followed by launch details for Sony’s next-generation portable, now known as the Playstation Vita.

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