Sony’s press conference today at the Tokyo Game Show went more or less the way it was expected – lots of Vita talk and a bit here and there about new softwares and their developers. The conference was definitely oriented more towards Vita and its softwares – most of them being previously heard of, while small deviational details about a few new PS3 and PSP games/features were also discussed.
The news that probably got the reporters to scribble real fast was Vita’s launch date for Japan. PS Vita will be coming out on December 17th this year in Japan, though nothing was mentioned about western releases. There were also reminders of some of the games coming out at launch, such as Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and other software details such as the HD release of Final Fantasy X for the Vita and PS3.
New red and blue versions of the PS3 were also announced, along with a new red-and-black PSP. Mind you, the entire event was solely focused on the Japanese market; so don’t expect a red PS3 in your room any time soon unless Sony actually declares a western release.
Apart from this, there was some demonstration of the Vita’s multi-tasking capabilities, its music and video apps, and a show of casual gaming and how the Vita ‘interacts’ with the users. The Vita portion of the event started off with the demonstration of casual titles such as Gravity Daze, Monster Hunter, and Hot Shots Golf.
The demonstration of the Vita’s multi-tasking abilities was another intriguing portion of the conference. The Vita has some pretty sleek multi-tasking capability; for example, you can listen to music and at the same time go through your gallery of pictures. Similarly you could be playing a game and also tweet or post Facebook messages in between.
The Welcome Park was also demonstrated – a tutorial application that teaches users how to use the Vita. It consists of minigames that demonstrate its various features, like a sliding tile puzzle game, or one relating to sequential numbers.
So far, more than a 100 games are in development for Vita, with 26 of them almost ready for launch. Additionally, there are those many PSP games that will be playable on the system through the PlayStation Store.
A limited number of early Vita units in Japan will contain a free 100-hour prepaid 3G data plan when it goes on sale in December. Hooray for Tokyo!