PS Vita Slim + Borderlands 2 Bundle Incoming This Spring
The slimmer, redesigned PlayStation Vita, already available in Japan and having just launched in Europe this month, is inbound for North America this Spring.
Right around the Vita Slim’s launch, a bundle featuring Borderlands 2 portable port and the remodeled handheld will be made available. No specific pricing or date has been announced for the system solo or bundled (though it’s likely the latter will come in at $199).
So how different is a Vita Slim? Well, for one, it’s cheaper thanks to some cost cutting maneuvers. The handheld’s thickness is reduced by twenty percent and the overall weight is fifteen percent lighter than the original Vita, making it a bit easier on the hands (though, in my opinion, the first model is still a sight more comfortable to hold than either 3DS model – i.e. my wrists’ mortal enemy).
The only trade-down would be the swap from that beautiful OLED display to a more standard LED screen. Perhaps a gig of internalized memory will assuage you. No? Yeah, same here. But, hey, cheaper!
A decidedly soft lineup of software has stayed my wallet when it came to Sony’s second foray into the handheld market. Which is a shame, because whenever I got my hands on the Vita, I loved the shit out of it – its interface, its button placement, its generously sized screen. I already own Borderlands 2 on two separate consoles but… goddamn if one more won’t hurt. Looting on the go is too hard to resist, and Sony’s handheld struggles definitely aren’t because they produced a bad system. Far from it.
Come Spring, if you’re like me and have been living life without a Vita (get it?), the Slim may be the way to go, LED and all.
PlayStation 4 Release Date Finally Announced
Sony’s Gamescom conference today brought much in the way of news for just about everything slapped with the PlayStation logo today. I’ll get to the notables in a tic, but I wanted to get it out of the way since Sony’s hour and a half conference was an hour and fifteen minutes of too much foreplay:
The PlayStation 4 is launching November 15th in North America and November 29th in Europe.
We were already treated to the revelation that a PS Plus subscription is the new requirement for online play (but, gracefully, little else, meaning services like Netflix won’t be barred from use without Plus). With your PS4 purchase, however, Sony is throwing in a 14-day trial of the service at no cost.
Additionally, Music Unlimited – the PS3’s, uh, unlimited music service – is back in a modified form where you can easily access it by pressing the DualShock 4’s PS Button, allowing you to play music in the background of any and all games. As someone who is swayed by a custom tracks option even if the PS3 version of a game is technically superior, this is a triumph (I’m sorry Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, I cannot listen to your bullshit loop indefinitely in my eardrums).
Also, those looking for style in their accessories will be pleased as a plum to see the Magma Red and Wave Blue DualShock controllers (above) releasing alongside the console, priced at $59.99. You’re gonna earn yourself a hard, squinted look from me if you ask which one I’m springing for.
PS Vita’s Price Dropkicked
The thing that needed to happen, thankfully, went and happened. Sony’s impressive yet struggling handheld, the PlayStation Vita, has taken a $50 price cut, dropping its tag to $200. Additionally, Sony promised the bloated pricing found on the system’s proprietary memory cards will see a significant reduction in the future.
Remote Play functionality, in which PS4 games can be remotely streamed via WiFi to the handheld turning the Vita into a second-screen controller, will be found on “almost every” title according to the company.
Increased affordability and unique compatibility with PlayStation’s next household device, along with an up-spike in third-party support – yes, Borderlands 2 on the system is a humongous win – may just surge some life into the Vita (it’s a pun if you know Italian; it’s also a bad pun if you know humor).
Flower Blooms on the PlayStation Vita
thatgamecompany may have found widespread success with a little digital diddy called Journey, but the L.A. based developer was burning up the indie scene at all four corners way before gamers were chirping and hopping the cresting dunes of, er, Journey-ville?
I’m referring to 2009’s critically acclaimed PSN download — and my personal favorite from the studio — Flower. In this motion-sensitive game, you are the wind, and as the wind, you blow a flower pedal about, interacting with the world’s flora and gathering a colorful flotilla of even more pedals as you bring brighteness and life to sometimes sparse and desolate environments. It sounds like a six gram mushroom trip, I know, but it’s actually a relaxing bout of artful, offbeat fun.
Despite co-founder and lead designer Jenova Chen’s insistence on seeing his games made as widely available as possible, the majority of TGC’s catalog is PSN-only. Today, though, brings the news that Flower is being ported to the PlayStation Vita. The Vita version will come equipped with new motion and touch controls specific to the Sony’s handheld.
A release date hasn’t been locked down but Flower for the Vita will make an appearance as a part of IndieCade’s E3 display. While Flower arguably makes tons more sense for the Vita, I think the question stands among fans whether a portable visit to Journey-ville is in store? (They, uh, they’d probably word the question differently.)
Silent Hill: Book of Memories Demo Arriving for Vita Next Week
Whisked away from the critical flops that were Silent Hill’s HD Collection and the full-fledged sequel Downpour, Wayforward Technologies’ portable Book of Memories is finally seeing release on October 16th.
Exclusively designed for the PS Vita, Book of Memories infuses multiplayer – something not even its console counterparts have dared try – into a dugeon-crawling RPG that has masked itself in the skin of a survival horror game. You’d think such a cocktail would come across as disjointed as one of Silent Hill’s hapless abominations, but early impressions paint Book of Memories in a positive light (and thank the Old Ones for that; the Vita could use more meat on its library’s bones).
Come this Tuesday, North American Vita fans will be able to download a demo for the game, finally giving Hill fans a hands-on with 2012’s last entry into the franchise.
’Pls Be Patient’ For PSOne Classics on the Vita Asks Sony
Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, has updated Vita owners on the PSOne shaped holes located in the system’s marketplace. The ability to download PSOne classics has eluded the handheld since its release in Japan last year with the constant assurance something, somewhere was being done about it.
Yoshida recently promised engineers the company over were hard at work to right this 32-bit wrong. Credibility was earned when a downloadable version of the seminal Buzz Lightyear of Star Command appeared on the Vita’s European Store. Trying to actually play it, however, would result in an error code shut out.
In summation: we’re still waiting. Listen, Sony, if I can’t take Dino Crisis 2 with me on the go, I’m not even sure what the hell else I’m supposed to do with a Vita.