Playstation Vita Specs Detailed: More RAM than the PS3
Last year when Nintendo was hyping up their newest portable device, the 3DS, it actually had a lot of people excited. In tech demos and first looks, the 3D technology looked really cool and novel. But the device suffered from a poor slate of launch titles as well as a problem no one had really thought of -- you can't really play the thing in 3D all the time.
Needless to say, the 3DS' launch was disappointing. It failed to meet sales expectations or keep any of the buzz going in, and now, no more than a few months after it hit the market, the price has been slashed by $80. And while this has a lot to do with Nintendo's own failures, it is, in part, a response to the heavy amount of buzz surrounding their soon-to-be competitor, the Playstation Vita.
Yes, we're aware that we just got done explaining how Nintendo failed to live up to its own hype, but what Sony is doing with the Vita actually feels different. Instead of focusing on cheap gimmicks that really add little to the portable gaming experience, Sony has amassed everything that's been added to the mobile and portable gaming platforms since the release of the original PSP, filtered in their own technology, and made a robust and good looking portable device, that not only caters to today's market of social media specialists, but also, *gasp*, the CORE gamer.
These days it seems like everything coming out seems to ignore this sizable market. While I love playing games on my iPhone, the truth is that I'm not the type of gamer that device markets itself too, generally. Nintendo has completely ignored that demographic for nearly a decade now, and even the Xbox 360, as much as its fans will defend it, seems to cater more to the type of people you're going to see being assholes on Call of Duty online. The core market for proper hardcore gaming remains the PC. But with the Vita, it seems as if Sony is looking to woo that demographic over to portable gaming better than ever before.
We already know a lot about the device, including a slew of games coming out for it in 2012, but this week at Gamescom, Sony finally revealed the technical specifications for the device, and here are the highlights, courtesy of Sony's corporate site.
- Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and Skype will all be free downloadable apps for the device via the Playstation Store. There are really no surprises here, as Sony's been boasting the device's social networking and location capabilities since they announced the device, but Skype is a small, but very nice surprise -- especially considering it was just purchased by Microsoft. Adding Skype to the device pretty much allows some people to use the device instead of a cell phone, and adds a lot of value to the Vita.
- Despite rumors that Sony would have to halve the device's RAM in order to compete with the price of the 3DS, the Vita will boast more RAM than even the PS3, with 512MB of main memory and 128MB of V-RAM. The V-RAM is technically half that of the PS3, but keep in mind the resolutions are different
- I'm sorry if I lose anyone on this one, but the device will sport the quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 core CPU and SGX543MP4+ GPU, which apparently is similar to the technology used in the iPad 2, which means that games on the Vita are likely to look amazing.
- The device will have the one feature that has eluded PS3 gamers since its launch in 2006. CROSS GAME CHAT!
- As we already know, the device will have six-axis motion controls (gyroscope + accelerometer), not to mention a compass, a 5 inch 16:9 OLED multi-touch screen with 960 x 544 resolution, and a multi-touch rear touchpad.
- The controls include everything you'd expect (PS button, power, directional pad, triangle/circle/x/square, right/left shoulder buttons, start/select, volume controls), but also adds TWO arcade sticks, on top of the touch screen and touch pad already mentioned.
- Both models will have WiFi and bluetooth, but if you get the 3GS model, you'll also get the built in GPS.
- The device will use cards for games, as well as a memory card slot. The 3G model will have a SIM card slot, as well as USB, audio, etc ports.
The real important part here is the RAM. The device is going to be incredibly powerful, which means it's likely going to be able to play a lot of PS3-quality games. There have already been games like Ruin which have been announced for both devices, and not just a Vita port. You can actually pick up your Vita, play a level, save, and continue on your PS3. I wouldn't be surprised to see more games with this kind of functionality, not to mention the possibility of using the Vita as a controller for the PS3, in order to counteract the new Wii-U tablet.
Obviously, the success of the device will depend on whether it actually delivers on all these promises, as well as its slate of launch titles. We've seen Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the LBP and Modnation ports, the promises of exclusive Resistance and Bioshock games, and all the new original titles. But unless we can play them when the device actually hits store shelves, Sony might have the same troubles Nintendo did.
That said, everything here looks good, and we're very excited for the device. No official release date has been announced, but the Vita has been promised for Japan before the end of 2011, and will launch everywhere else in early 2012 with a $250 price point for the Wifi model ($300 if you want 3G).