Looking for a little special something to give your sweetheart for Christmas? Thinking that he or she might really enjoy the comforts of the new Sony portable gaming device, the PS VITA, for the holidays? Well you’re right but stop it! We all know that the Playstation Vita won’t be around in North America in time for that! In fact the Vita won’t even make an appearance in time for Valentine’s Day. The new system will hit store shelves on February 22nd 2012. But let me tell you a little secret… it will be worth the wait.
Recently I had the chance to attempt some puzzle solving action in Little Big Planet for the PSVITA and get to know the VITA a little bit better in the process. In development from Double Eleven and Tarsier Studios, Little Big Planet for the VITA is an entirely new LBP experience. Our lovable Sackboy will continue to take us through the familiar puzzle platform we’ve grown to love with LBP but he also shows us some new experiences that fully utilize the VITA’s unique functionality.
As you familiarize yourself with the puzzle solving levels you will notice right away the need to become proficient with the VITA’s multi-touch display. Using a swipe of the finger (much like your iphone) you can propel Sackboy through a number of barriers. You will also find yourself utilizing the six axis sensors, the reverse touch screen, and the dual analogue sticks.
While all of these features are absolutely awesome they are sometimes challenging to use concurrently. During a portion of level gameplay there was a point at which I was required to use the analogue sticks along with the front and rear touch display. While it was possible I did find myself fumbling to readjust my grasp of the controls quickly. I have rather small hands and my thoughts went out to the all the big handed guys and gals out there who may not have the patience to constantly re-position the hands during gameplay.
Of course, as with all LBP titles, user created content will still be a large component of LBP for the VITA. Level creation will include all of the tools you enjoyed in LBP2 and you will be able to share them online with friends. While your levels can be shared online your costumes and stickers will be transferable to the PlayStation3. The VITA’s Wi-Fi and 3G options will make sharing with friends a real cinch.
Little Big Planet for the VITA will also include a slew of mini games proving that not all LBP is created platform. I had an especially fun time pwning GamerFitNation’s @nicfurlong at a nice game of air hockey (level of pwning is debatable). This is exactly the type of interaction that those long car rides with the kids could use. From the two player on screen to pass ‘ n play options to co-op play for up to four players, to the thriving LBP community, there is no arguing how social this game on this device can be.
My initial reaction to Little Big Planet on the PS VITA was similar to that of a child who’s first encounter with sugar was to consume a handful of pixie sticks. The amazement, the anticipation, the excited jitters, and also the crash. With a substantial wait for more LBP and the VITA, Little Big Planet 2 may have to make a return appearance on my PS3 (you know, to appease that monkey on my back, so to speak). And if you can wait that long then not only will you be a stronger person that I, but you may want to know a little more about the PS VITA in general. With a hefty price tag this is no small investment. But think of it more of a portable console than a handheld.
You can expect to see games like this on the VITA:
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
- Wipeout 2048
- Sound Shapes
- Gravity Rush
- ModNation Racers
- Rayman Origins
- Dynasty Warriors Next
- Resistance: Burning Skies
- Virtua Tennis 4
- Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
- And more!
Check out the trailer and let us know if you’ll be picking up the VITA.
We knew it was coming, we just weren’t sure when.
Today my inbox was delighted to receive the official email from PSN regarding the return of the PSN store and the start of their “Welcome Back” program.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Welcome Back program for users of Sony’s Play Station Network is an effort to appease upset after a major security breach that put personal information (including passwords and credit card info) in the hands of hackers.
For the most part I have stayed away from discussion about this controversial breach of trust and how I felt as a customer. Suffice to say Sony felt the need to extend an apology to consumers and the Welcome Back program is an extension of that apology.
The email sounded a little something like this:
Thanks for your patience and continued support during our service outage. To show you how
much we value that, we want to let you know about our “Welcome Back” appreciation program:
Two Free PS3 Games
Select two PS3™ games from the following list:
(yours to keep*)
- Dead Nation
- Super StarDust HD
- WipeOut HD Bundle
Two Free PSP Games
Download two PSP® games from the following list:
(yours to keep*)
- Killzone: Liberation
- Little Big Planet
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
PlayStation®Plus—30 Days Free**
A premium subscription service that gets you access to free games, huge discounts and great exclusives.
100 Free Virtual Items
To welcome users Home, PlayStation®Home will be offering 100 free virtual items.
This is our way of saying thank you for being a loyal fan. And once again, welcome back to PlayStation®Network.
The PlayStation®Network Team
If you took advantage of the PS+ service, PSP downloads, or PS Home items, I’d love to hear from you as well.
Don’t forget that with the Welcome Back program:
- You can download the available content on up to five activated systems that are associated with the PlayStation Network account.
- Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.