E3 2011 Viewpoints: Sony PS3, PSVita, and more

Bill Loguidice's picture

After starting off with Microsoft, it's now time to talk about Sony's E3 showing. Here goes:

  • Something of a bizarre one-off, but nevertheless, a clever and interesting gamble, particularly if you use it as a PC monitor as well--a PlayStation-branded 1080p LED-lit LCD 3D monitor with two HDMI inputs, stereo speakers, and integrated subwoofer. You get the monitor, a pair of active 3D glasses (additional are $69 each), an HDMI cable, and a copy of Resistance, for $499. The truly unique aspect of the monitor? If you have a second pair of glasses, you can play split screen games where each player has their own full view of the action (with the caveat that games must be programmed to support that feature). That's right, no more split-screen nonsense! It still remains to be seen if the pricing is truly competitive (and gamers are willing to forgo big screen HDTV's in favor of the smaller form factor), but I do appreciate the effort.
  • The NGP's name is official, PSVita, or PlayStation Vita. That name was of course leaked last week. The powerful handheld will be very competitively priced at $249 for the wifi-only version, with the addition of 3G through AT&T going for another $50. While the 3DS has received a tepid response overall, Sony is at least going with the right price point this time around to help what will still decidedly be an uphill battle. It's definitely a promising system though if the public is willing to give it a chance in this age of buzz- and gametime-stealing smartphones and tablets. The handheld offers six-axis motion sensors, dual analog controls, front- and rear-facing cameras (for the now seemingly mandatory augmented reality feature-set), an OLED touchscreen, and a touchpad on the back. Several promising and high profile titles were also announced, so early signs are definitely good.
  • Though minor, I found Sony's PS3 wireless stereo headset interesting, particularly since it works with a USB dongle (there's nothing I hate more than having to fumble behind these systems). For only $99 to pre-order on Amazon, it's supposed to deliver 7.1 digital surround sound. Too bad it doesn't hit until October.

Overall, a very good showing so far for Sony, though I would of course like to have seen more interesting PS3 stuff beyond the TV thing and the right-up-my-alley wireless headset...

EDIT - Amazon now has the PlayStation Vita available for pre-order, both versions:

Comments

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Game Over, nothing to see

Game Over, nothing to see here, move along. Sony has screwed the pooch this gen, year late, to expensive to start, hard to develop on, avg online service. Data THEFT was just the nail in the coffin.. World wide they hung in there, but I cant see them recovering from the hackers.... there is so much fear of online theft right now, i just cant see any meaningfull life left in the PS3.

Split screen, nice idea, but $$$ jsut not an option, does sony not get that the gamers want to spend money on games not hardware?

More handhelds? I wonder if Sony has made money on any of them? I guess that try again attuitude is good, but having 5-6 also rans in your rearview mirror, some hardly supported at all and where dead from the start, sure cant instill much into a new handheld buyer.

Wireless headset, the WOW one from logitech? was and is nice.. $50 cheaper Sony one that works as well, good thing!

Matt Barton
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Wow! I'm super impressed with

Wow! I'm super impressed with that split screen thing for two-players. Split screens have always bugged all of us, I know, and this is just an amazing solution if it really works (I'm a bit skeptical until I've seen it for myself).

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:

Wow! I'm super impressed with that split screen thing for two-players. Split screens have always bugged all of us, I know, and this is just an amazing solution if it really works (I'm a bit skeptical until I've seen it for myself).

The concept is sound. Since you need to essentially generate two different screens for 3D anyway, why not use the 3D glasses to create two separate 2D screens instead of one 3D screen? The catch is what games will support it. Probably not many, especially if this is the only display to offer the feature.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
I think i misunderstood that.

I think i misunderstood that. I thought this was an option to add a second montior, not use the same monitor for both gamers with the glasses (damn quick reading). More interest now. Support really should only be limited to frame rate. ANY split screen game should be able to made to do it if the machine can handle the frame rate. My guess is the code to do it to older split screen games could be patched in fairly easy, but most older games cant take the frame hit that 3D requires, hence they cant do it. Running at a lower res would make many of them work, and that shouldnt take any programing work at all. As an ex programer, i cant see it being hard to implement, but doing it to match some predfined specs and frame rates might be.. I can see the headlines, SONY downsamples so games are playable, without the extra info about it being 2 screens at once.

i guess alot would come down to how the world is rendered... if two players are on it, it could get taxing as Im sure most good engines dont render stuff they cants see, but with 2 players, your seeing 2X as much.. ok maybe Im wrong.. it maight be a bit more work than I thought.

Nous
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Joined: 04/07/2007
Errr... Clok ? Sony has mada

Errr... Clok ? Sony has mada a ton of $$$ from the PSP .. .sold over 70m units worldwide (still selling well) ... it's definitely been a success and very profitable overall ...

How well the Vita will do is another story, in today's highly competitive portable entertainment market! But giving up on it would be madness. Why would they?

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Yeah, the PSP series was only

Yeah, the PSP series was only a disappointment in comparison to the DS series, and the only true failure was the PSPgo. It is a much tougher market now, though, and it will be challenging for both the 3DS and Vita to match the performance of the DS and PSP before them. The 3DS has done all right, not great, but expect its fortunes to improve greatly once all the Nintendo IP's hit, starting with the pending Zelda game. We'll see the response to the Vita. Early signs (and response) are promising, but the proof will be in the sales. It may very well be the case of starting out strong like the 3DS, then tailing off once all the early adopters got their hands on one.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
yes I have no idea on the

yes I have no idea on the sales numbers of the PSP, or most handhelds.. The Lynx was the last one I really liked that wasnt a linux emu box.. I must admit Im a bit suprised it did well, when you go to any store teh DS areas is like 4X the size of the psp one.

Bill Loguidice
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PlayStation Vita (PSVita) pre-orders now available

I just pre-ordered the WiFi-only version from Amazon, who just made it available:

If you'd like a PlayStation Vita, either version, please consider clicking the link above to help support Armchair Arcade. It's $249.99 for the WiFi version and $299.99 for the WiFi/3G version, free shipping and no tax.

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Bill Loguidice
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Ah, I just saw something I

Ah, I just saw something I didn't see before in the Amazon description. I'll assume it's true. Apparently the Vita will be able to play all PSP titles, including minis. Naturally this does not include UMDs, but that's a big deal if true, because I was debating about getting a refurb PSPgo since I didn't feel like adding a high capacity MS stick to my original PSP just to play all the Minis and PS1 games I have access to via my PlayStation Plus membership.

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