Sony's NGP is officially named PlayStation Vita -- and will have 3G service from AT&T
Sony on Monday night offered more details on the successor to the PlayStation Portable video game system, which was code-named the NGP but will now be called PlayStation Vita.
The Vita -- vita being the Latin word for life -- will feature a 5-inch touch screen on the front of the unit and a touch pad on the rear as well, for controlling games using hand gestures. Two cameras, one on the front and one out back, will also be included in the Vita, allowing for photos as well as augmented reality gaming.
For gamers looking forward to a more traditional way to play, two analog joysticks and standard PlayStation controller buttons remain on the face of the device, to the left and right of the Vita's screen.
Sony's Jack Tretton, who heads the PlayStation business in North America, and other officials at the Japanese tech titan were on hand at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Monday night for the Vita's unveiling as a part of the E3 convention, which is taking place this week.
The Times' Alex Pham was also there, covering the event for our sister blog Company Town, and noted that Sony started its show by acknowledging and apologizing for the attacks from hackers that began in April and led to the disabling of the PlayStation Network.
But while the thousands in attendance as the Sony E3 event on Monday might have welcomed the news of the Vita's impending arrival, a bit of a backlash also came when the company announced the exclusive carrier for a 3G version of the new handheld device.
From Pham's report:
Although Sony may have been able to sidestep the PSN-outage land mine, it inadvertently tripped a different bomb when it announced the service provider for the Vita. Loud boos from the audience greeted the news that Sony had selected AT&T as the device's exclusive carrier, lighting up a tinderbox of consumer resentment and frustration with the cellphone service.
Despite the sour note, Sony moved on to present a rash of game titles for the new console, which has 80 games in development from numerous developers, including Capcom, Sega, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft Entertainment and THQ.
The Vita will hit stores this holiday season for $249 in its Wi-Fi-only flavor, and $299 for the 3G/Wi-Fi model from AT&T.
For more on what games, new hardware and more details on PlayStation Network troubles, check out Pham's Company Town report.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: (Top) Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president of Sony and president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, introduces the PlayStation Vita during a news conference at the E3 in Los Angeles on Monday, June 6, 2011. Credit: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg
Images: (Middle and bottom) Sony PlayStation Vita. Credit: Sony