PlayStation Vita Coming to America in 2012

Were you looking forward to buying a PlayStation Vita this holiday season? Unless you want an imported Japanese version, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Sony’s next portable gaming system will not be available in North America and Europe until early 2012. Here’s more from Bloomberg:

The product will initially launch in Japan before the end of December, followed by introductions in the U.S. and Europe early next year, Kazuo Hirai, Chairman Howard Stringer’s top lieutenant, told reporters in Tokyo today. The company had previously said it planned a phased global rollout of the Vita from the end of this year, without providing specifics.

Sony was in a great position to compete with Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, which recently slashed its price due to weaker-than-expected sales. A lot of gamers were looking forward to the Vita and many are surely disappointed that it won’t be out in 2011 as originally expected. That said, the extra time should allow Sony to bolster the Vita’s launch lineup. Having strong games at launch would help Sony avoid one of the 3DS’ problems.

How do you feel about the PlayStation Vita being delayed until 2012? Are you bummed? Or are you hopeful that the extra time will lead to a better launch lineup? Perhaps the whole thing is leaving you with a profound sense of “meh”? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!


Sony Acquires Sucker Punch (inFamous, Sly Cooper)

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that it has acquired Sucker Punch Productions, developer of the inFamous and Sly Cooper games. Sucker Punch will now be part of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS). In today’s press release, SCE WWS president Shuhei Yoshida said:

The addition of Sucker Punch to SCE WWS reiterates our dedication to developing world class gaming experiences that can only be found on the PlayStation platform. With one of the strongest exclusive software lineups in the PS3’s history, combined with the diverse, innovate content in the works for PlayStation Vita, consumers have a lot to be excited about this year.

This is a prudent move for Sony in light of one its other longtime exclusive development partners, Insomniac Games, developing for Xbox 360. Sucker Punch has a strong track record, but probably cost less to acquire than Insomniac or Naughty Dog would have. The acquisition locks in one of Sony’s top developers and, more importantly, keeps it away from the competition.

I’m thrilled for Sucker Punch and I hope a lot of the people in the company will be a bit richer when the acquisition is finalized. I’ve been playing the company’s games since 1999’s Rocket: Robot on Wheels and I’m a huge fan of the Sly Cooper games. The guys and gals at Sucker Punch deserve this reward.

How do you feel about Sony’s acquisition of Sucker Punch? Do you think that it’s money well spent? Are you afraid of the studio changing now that it has new people to answer to?

PlayStation Vita Coming October 28?!?

Everyone knows that the PlayStation Vita will launch some time in 2011, but Sony hasn’t announced a specific launch date. If Blockbuster UK is to believed, the Vita will launch on October 28, 2011. One of IGN’s readers nabbed a Blockbuster advertisement listing a precise release date.

If the PlayStation Vita does launch in late October, are you going to pick one up? It’s sleek, powerful, and comes at an attractive price of $249. I’m in for two (not really)!


Watch This Stylish Sound Shapes Video and…

…let me know if you understand what the game is all about. I’m totally into Sound Shapes. It’s the PlayStation Vita game I’m looking forward to the most and it was in my top five games of E3 2011. That said, it’s really tough to “get” through screens and videos. One of my friends is working on the game and told me lots about it months ago, but it wasn’t until I got to play it myself that I understood Sound Shapes’ awesomeness.

Are you “getting” Sound Shapes? Or is it all a bunch of weird bells, whistles, and colors to you?

PSA: Don’t Forget to Claim Your Free PSN Games

Here’s a friendly reminder that you have until midnight July 3, 2011 to claim your free PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games as part of Sony’s “Welcome Back” program. Don’t let these freebies slip through your fingers! Out of curiosity, what games did you pick? I went with inFamous and Super Stardust HD for PS3. For PSP I went with LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers.

Today’s Poll: Who Had the Best E3 2011 Press Conference?

The “big three” pressers are over! Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony strutted their stuff and kicked off E3 2011 with a bang. Which company did best? Kindly vote for your favorite press conference and discuss!

The “big three” pressers are over! Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony strutted their stuff and kicked off E3 2011 with a bang. Which company did best? Kindly vote for your favorite press conference and discuss!

[poll id=”120″]

What Do You Think of the PlayStation Vita?

One of the biggest surprises of E3 Day 0 was the PlayStation Vita. Everyone knew that the hardware was going to be powerful since details were known when the system was codenamed NGP. The big surprise was the price point — $249 for the WiFi model and $299 for the 3G/WiFi model. That’s a bit cheaper than people were expecting. The recently released Nintendo 3DS retails for $249 and uses older technology (CPU, GPU, screen, etc.). Compared to the Vita, Nintendo’s portable system seems like a rip-off at the same price.

Then there was the AT&T “surprise”. On paper it makes sense; AT&T is the largest GSM carrier in America and would get more customers for the 3G version of the Vita. In reality, AT&T blows in some major American cities, such as New York and San Francisco. Tech writers have been bashing AT&T’s poor and inconsistent service for years; it tarnishes millions of iPhone experiences and will likely tarnish PlayStation Vita experiences. It was absolutely hilarious to hear the crowd groan when Sony announced its partnership with AT&T.

I’m absolutely high on the Vita. I’ve played with it and wish I could show you games like Sound Shapes (it doesn’t look all the impressive, but it’s so much fun!). Now that pricing and carrier information has been revealed, I wanted to get your updated thoughts on Sony’s next portable system. Please fire away with your PlayStation Vita musings!

This Week’s Videogame Releases

There are a pair of interesting games coming out this week. First up is Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. I’m looking forward to this action-RPG. It’s made by the peeps at inXile (The Bard’s Tale), a company founded by Interplay OG Brian Fargo. It looks like an evolved version of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance (one of my favorite games last generation). Fighting fans looking for action on the go will want to check out BlazBlue Continuum Shift II. Hardcore fighters raved about the first game and the second looks like it will deliver complexity that most portable fighters lack.

Any of you picking up new games this week?

Sony NGP = PlayStation Vita?

Is PlayStation Vita the final name for the portable console codenamed NGP (Next Generation Portable)? Games Pundit found a bunch of evidence that points to Vita being the retail name for the product. Gamers are already hating and loving the name. I’m kind of indifferent to it; it reminds me of Vitamin Water and Vita Coco coconut water.

Do you like the name PlayStation Vita? Do you like the album African Child?


Did You Sign Up for Sony’s Free Identity-Theft Protection?

Sony has rolled out its free year of identity-theft protection through AllClear ID Plus as part of its compensation for the recent PlayStation Network hack job. The sign-up process is simple and the protection seems comprehensive. If you’re a PSN customer then please let me know if you’ve signed up or if you plan to. How has your experience been so far?