PS Vita officially launches in US and Europe

While people who pre-ordered the special First Edition bundle version of the PS Vita got their consoles a week ago in the US, today is the day that the new portable gaming console from Sony officially launches to the masses in North America and Europe. The $249 WiFi only version and the $299 WiFi/3G version (with wireless service from AT&T) is now on sale in retail stores. The PS Vita also went on sale in Latin America as well as Australia today. The console launched in Japan back in December.

Sony held a launch event for the PS Vita in New York City on Tuesday night to celebrate its release and today the company is promoting the next generation hardware of the console, including its quad-core processor. It is also promoting its 25 official PS Vita US launch titles, which Sony previously announced.

People who purchase the PS Vita in the US will be able to download a number of free non-gaming themed apps for the device today via the online Playstation Store. They include the PS Vita versions of Netflix and Flickr along with Live Tweet, a third party Twitter app. There are also a number of downloadable games and game DLC packs available to purchase as well as a few free game demos.

The big question: Will the PS Vita be a sales hit in the US and other parts of the world? That remains to be seen. Even though the device has gotten solid reviews from critics (including our own review) sales in Japan have so far been disappointing.

Image via Sony

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Sony files patent for Kinect-like motion device

Next Story

Your next Linux desktop could be an Android Phone

21 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

What I want to know is where is Facebook in Canada? It's been released in other parts of the world. I was told by a Sony rep a couple days ago that it was coming on launch day.

dogmai79 said,
What I want to know is where is Facebook in Canada? It's been released in other parts of the world. I was told by a Sony rep a couple days ago that it was coming on launch day.

Should be out. I have friends in Canada who have it o_O.

I can't help but think the days of dedicated portable video game devices are numbered. This hardware is impressive now but it's fundamentally the same as what's going in cell phones and tablets. It's a quad core ARM Cortex A9 CPU with a quad core PowerVR Series 5XT GPU. There are already cell phones out with more RAM and higher resolution screens. Quad Core CPUs are on tablets now and will be in cell phones probably in a few months. The iPhone 4S has a dual core version of the same GPU already and I doubt the quads are that far off. Next years cell phones will probably beat this thing in every respect. Cell phones are replaced about every 2 years so your next cell phone is probably going to beat this and the one after that will make it look like complete garbage. Your going to carry a cell phone either way so why not just use that instead of buying one of these. It doesn't hurt that cell phone games are significantly cheaper either. I think Sony is much better off focusing on the PlayStation Suite going forward and I have no idea what Nintendo is going to do as it's Gameboy empire begins to crumble.

Asmodai said,
I can't help but think the days of dedicated portable video game devices are numbered. This hardware is impressive now but it's fundamentally the same as what's going in cell phones and tablets. It's a quad core ARM Cortex A9 CPU with a quad core PowerVR Series 5XT GPU. There are already cell phones out with more RAM and higher resolution screens. Quad Core CPUs are on tablets now and will be in cell phones probably in a few months. The iPhone 4S has a dual core version of the same GPU already and I doubt the quads are that far off. Next years cell phones will probably beat this thing in every respect. Cell phones are replaced about every 2 years so your next cell phone is probably going to beat this and the one after that will make it look like complete garbage. Your going to carry a cell phone either way so why not just use that instead of buying one of these. It doesn't hurt that cell phone games are significantly cheaper either. I think Sony is much better off focusing on the PlayStation Suite going forward and I have no idea what Nintendo is going to do as it's Gameboy empire begins to crumble.

You have a good point, but you overlook the main appeal of a portable gaming device and what it does BETTER than the phones/tablets you just mentioned. It has buttons. Touch screens are ok for RPGs and Angry Birds, but fighting/arcade/racing/fps games will always be more enjoyable with physical controls. That's what keeps them alive, but only amongst the truly gaming oriented. Casual gamers that are perfectly content with Angry Birds will likely never need more than their cell phone.

Asmodai said,
I can't help but think the days of dedicated portable video game devices are numbered. This hardware is impressive now but it's fundamentally the same as what's going in cell phones and tablets. It's a quad core ARM Cortex A9 CPU with a quad core PowerVR Series 5XT GPU. There are already cell phones out with more RAM and higher resolution screens. Quad Core CPUs are on tablets now and will be in cell phones probably in a few months. The iPhone 4S has a dual core version of the same GPU already and I doubt the quads are that far off. Next years cell phones will probably beat this thing in every respect. Cell phones are replaced about every 2 years so your next cell phone is probably going to beat this and the one after that will make it look like complete garbage. Your going to carry a cell phone either way so why not just use that instead of buying one of these. It doesn't hurt that cell phone games are significantly cheaper either. I think Sony is much better off focusing on the PlayStation Suite going forward and I have no idea what Nintendo is going to do as it's Gameboy empire begins to crumble.

No matter how much power you throw into a cell phone, you are never going to play a game like Uncharted or Marvel vs. Capcom comfortably. And because of the economics of 99 cent games, no developer is going to put in that much resources into a game anyway.

And when the top selling game on the iOS store has been Angry Birds for the past two years despite the fact that the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 have the best GPU in a smartphone. At best, you get a game like Infinity Blade II that really tries to take advantage of the GPU, but you can only swipe at the screen for so long (<15 minutes honestly).

dagamer34 said,

No matter how much power you throw into a cell phone, you are never going to play a game like Uncharted or Marvel vs. Capcom comfortably. And because of the economics of 99 cent games, no developer is going to put in that much resources into a game anyway.

And when the top selling game on the iOS store has been Angry Birds for the past two years despite the fact that the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 have the best GPU in a smartphone. At best, you get a game like Infinity Blade II that really tries to take advantage of the GPU, but you can only swipe at the screen for so long (<15 minutes honestly).

Agreed, not only that but who would want to spend the time waiting for a 2.7GB game to download on a cell phone.

WisdomWolf said,

You have a good point, but you overlook the main appeal of a portable gaming device and what it does BETTER than the phones/tablets you just mentioned. It has buttons. Touch screens are ok for RPGs and Angry Birds, but fighting/arcade/racing/fps games will always be more enjoyable with physical controls. That's what keeps them alive, but only amongst the truly gaming oriented. Casual gamers that are perfectly content with Angry Birds will likely never need more than their cell phone.


As noted Sony should concentrate on the PlayStation Suite not give up mobile gaming entirely. What is the only PlayStation Suite phone out right now? The Experia Play which happens to have physical buttons. Continuing to evolve and refine this strategy ("Experia Play 2", 3, etc) with more up to date hardware seems far more practical than the PlayStation Vita. Making the cell phone work with a standard PS3 controller (which uses bluetooth) would also give you physical buttons and with the HDMI out many smartphones have when not on the go you could actually use your phone like a mini console system and play with a wireless controller on your TV or for tablets just prop them up to use as a display and use the PS3 controller (or other wireless controller) for input.

dagamer34 said,

No matter how much power you throw into a cell phone, you are never going to play a game like Uncharted or Marvel vs. Capcom comfortably. And because of the economics of 99 cent games, no developer is going to put in that much resources into a game anyway.

And when the top selling game on the iOS store has been Angry Birds for the past two years despite the fact that the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 have the best GPU in a smartphone. At best, you get a game like Infinity Blade II that really tries to take advantage of the GPU, but you can only swipe at the screen for so long (<15 minutes honestly).


Again I didn't say Sony should abandon mobile development I said is should concentrate on the PlayStation Suite. PlayStation Suite games are NOT basic android games and they aren't just $0.99 games. The are sold in a different market, the PlayStation Store and there is no reason Uncharted and Marvel vs. Capcom couldn't be released there.
You are correct that general Android/iOS games tend to have to cater to the lowest common denominator but that's the reason Sony has to "PlayStation Certify" a device before it can include the PlayStation Suite. Right now the PlayStation Certification is geared toward capably running the PS1 game ports they intend to make. There is no reason tough that the Certification can't be tiered by console generation and the Experia Play 2 class device with updated hardware add support for PlayStation 2 ports, etc. Again evolving the PlayStation Suite strategy in such a way makes much more sense to me at least then an additional dedicated hardware device.

neo158 said,

Agreed, not only that but who would want to spend the time waiting for a 2.7GB game to download on a cell phone.


I believe one of the big selling points of the PS Vita is that you can buy the Vita games through the PlayStation Store instead of having to buy physical media so apparently Sony thinks a lot of people would be interested in that. The success of Steam on the PC seems to indicate people don't mind but so much either but sure you'll want to do that in the background when you're on WiFi unless you have unlimited data on 4G or something. That being said they could easily require a microSD card slot on any "PlayStation 2+ Certified" device and sell microSD cards with the game pre-downloaded. You could then use this to install the game much the same way you can buy Steam games on discs today.

Asmodai said,

I believe one of the big selling points of the PS Vita is that you can buy the Vita games through the PlayStation Store instead of having to buy physical media so apparently Sony thinks a lot of people would be interested in that. The success of Steam on the PC seems to indicate people don't mind but so much either but sure you'll want to do that in the background when you're on WiFi unless you have unlimited data on 4G or something. That being said they could easily require a microSD card slot on any "PlayStation 2+ Certified" device and sell microSD cards with the game pre-downloaded. You could then use this to install the game much the same way you can buy Steam games on discs today.

True, but then the specs of phones at this point in time aren't really good enough to run the type of games the Vita has, you have to remember that the Vita has an ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core CPU and a Quad Core GPU. Most Android phones at this point just barely have a Dual, let alone, Quad Core CPU.

neo158 said,

True, but then the specs of phones at this point in time aren't really good enough to run the type of games the Vita has, you have to remember that the Vita has an ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core CPU and a Quad Core GPU. Most Android phones at this point just barely have a Dual, let alone, Quad Core CPU.


Did you not read my initial post in this thread with respect to hardware? If you need more details though phones will Quad Core CPU's will be officially announced next week at Mobile World Congress. Examples:
1. HTC One X
2. LG Optimus 4X HD
3. Huawei Ascend D1 Q
Don't think Samsung and Motorola are going to be left out on this one too. Motorola is expected to launch a Quad Core "Atrix 3" and Samsung is expected to unveil their new Exynos 4412 which is Quad core CPU and Quad core GPU just like the PS Vita. Phone hardware is progressing VERY rapidly and like I said while your current phone may not match the PS Vita your next phone probably will, especially if you're willing to spend the $250+ the PS Vita costs.

Asmodai said,

Did you not read my initial post in this thread with respect to hardware? If you need more details though phones will Quad Core CPU's will be officially announced next week at Mobile World Congress. Examples:
1. HTC One X
2. LG Optimus 4X HD
3. Huawei Ascend D1 Q
Don't think Samsung and Motorola are going to be left out on this one too. Motorola is expected to launch a Quad Core "Atrix 3" and Samsung is expected to unveil their new Exynos 4412 which is Quad core CPU and Quad core GPU just like the PS Vita. Phone hardware is progressing VERY rapidly and like I said while your current phone may not match the PS Vita your next phone probably will, especially if you're willing to spend the $250+ the PS Vita costs.

I actually own a PS Vita and yes Quad Core phones will be ANNOUNCED at MWC that's NOT here, on the market, ready to buy now.

As I've said before, Mobile Phone Games are for Casual Gamers only. They are good enough to play for 5-10 minutes but no more than that.

Asmodai said,
I can't help but think the days of dedicated portable video game devices are numbered. This hardware is impressive now but it's fundamentally the same as what's going in cell phones and tablets. It's a quad core ARM Cortex A9 CPU with a quad core PowerVR Series 5XT GPU. There are already cell phones out with more RAM and higher resolution screens. Quad Core CPUs are on tablets now and will be in cell phones probably in a few months. The iPhone 4S has a dual core version of the same GPU already and I doubt the quads are that far off. Next years cell phones will probably beat this thing in every respect. Cell phones are replaced about every 2 years so your next cell phone is probably going to beat this and the one after that will make it look like complete garbage. Your going to carry a cell phone either way so why not just use that instead of buying one of these. It doesn't hurt that cell phone games are significantly cheaper either. I think Sony is much better off focusing on the PlayStation Suite going forward and I have no idea what Nintendo is going to do as it's Gameboy empire begins to crumble.
Don't you post this BS on ever handheld article?

No gamer gives a frick about phones. Casuals with no clue about a scene have been making predictions like this since forever. Hell, people like you predicted consoles would be the end of PCs for gaming, and it's only been almost 2 decades since then. pff

neo158 said,

I actually own a PS Vita and yes Quad Core phones will be ANNOUNCED at MWC that's NOT here, on the market, ready to buy now.

As I've said before, Mobile Phone Games are for Casual Gamers only. They are good enough to play for 5-10 minutes but no more than that.


I never said they were here NOW. If you read the initial post I said within months. PlayStation Store games are NOT for Casual Gamers only. Android and iOS games may be but PlayStation Store games are what the PlayStation certified and PlayStation Suite programs are all about. Sure you'll be able to play the same casual Android games as any other android device on your PlayStation certified phone but you will ALSO be able to get "gamer" games from the PlayStation Store that most Android (non-PS Certified) devices will not be able to get.

Arthax said,
Don't you post this BS on ever handheld article?

No gamer gives a frick about phones. Casuals with no clue about a scene have been making predictions like this since forever. Hell, people like you predicted consoles would be the end of PCs for gaming, and it's only been almost 2 decades since then. pff


I don't believe I've ever posted about the PlayStation Suite or mobile phone gaming versus dedicated hardware in the past so no I don't post this on every handheld article.
I've owned a PSP since just after launch. In the roughly 6 years I've owned it I've never felt like some other handheld device surpassed it as a gaming platform. I believe I totally got my $200 (or whatever the launch price was) worth and have been very happy with it. I can't see going anywhere near that long with the Vita when I expect the next cell phone I purchase when my contract expires at the end of October will have similar or superior GPU, CPU, Memory, and resolution to the Vita. If that next phone is a Sony Xperia Play like form factor (Sony Xperia Play 2?) with updated specs then I'll have hardware controls and everything. Jump ahead 2 more years till my next contract renewal and with the rapid pace smartphone hardware is advancing the PS Vita is going to look quite antiquated and we're talking less than 3 years or half the life my PSP has had.
As for games sure the regular cell phone games you get from the Android, Amazon, or Apple market are going to suck compared to the Vita games but that's because they cater to the lowest common denominator and are mainly for casual gamers. That's where the PlayStation Suite comes in though and if these new devices get PlayStation Certified they'll gain access to the PlayStation Store and be able to buy and play non-Casual games.
And for the record I am a PC game not a console gamer. I own a PS3 but I use it more for playing Blu-Rays or streaming music over my livingroom speakers then playing games. I basically just own sports, fighting, and party games on my console but I play Skyrim, Minecraft, Civ and such on my PC. I'm certainly not a Sony hater either. I have a Sony VAIO laptop, the PSP, PS3, heck my receiver and speakers are even Sony (TV's Samsung though).
I never predicted the death of PC gaming but the argument could certainly be made that consoles have in fact killed it to a great degree. The vast majority of "hardcore" gamer games today are made so they run on consoles. This means almost nothing requires anything more than DirectX 9 because that's all the consoles can handle. Console version of even these "hardcore" games tend to outsell the computer versions and so that's what developers target. PC's are an afterthought to a large degree. As a PC gamer I hate it, I'd love to have games push the hell out of my new rig but that's just not how it is. I expect the next major upgrade to DirectX (12?) will be whenever the XBox720 (or whatever they call it) is released and until then games will keep being primarily DirectX9 with little 10 and 11 extras tacked on after the fact for those who have the hardware to support it.

Cool hardware, but not my cup of tea anymore since Android/iOS/WP7 devices can play many great looking games now-a-days.

dbam987 said,
Cool hardware, but not my cup of tea anymore since Android/iOS/WP7 devices can play many great looking games now-a-days.

Fair enough, but I always found that Smartphone games are casual games designed for a few minutes play and nothing more.

I've not seen anything on a Smartphone that compares to Uncharted Golden Abyss for story either.