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3G VITA: The most neglected SKU (deservedly so).

Posted by anonymity on July 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

-In honor of all the crazy Vitadiscocats that died-


Let's start out this totally classy (and sassy!) piece with the assumption that very few have ever given At&t a penny for 3G contracts on their VITA. (As a owner of the 3G version, I know this is the case for me!) You might ask why? Simply put, anyone else (or I) can use the hotspot connection in a phone and/or tablet with the tethering ability in the (wifi only) VITA or just opt for connecting to a wifi signal.


Today, a handheld/console owner uses the built-in wireless (wifi) radio on their console/handheld to sniff out a signal - connect and your online! Disable the wireless radio and be offline to enjoy offline content; no effort, now enjoy single player content. If someone just plain can't get an online connection (perhaps, because they live in a place where internet hasn't been available for a while), than will just enjoy offline content. These are all the realities we live in: The way you know how to connect (if you want) for online gaming; going offline is painless. 


So, why would Sony want to jam 3G into a (albeit it secondary) Playstation VITA SKU at all? Well, let's try and change the perspective and conversation. When we begin to put ourselves in the shoe's of SCE's Playstation engineers (that developed the PSP2 - aka Playstation VITA) a few years back, the main question was, "How can we make a device to better the PSP?" Simple:


+Nicer screen? Check!

+Better tech specs? Check!

+Make the online experiences more robust? Check!


The Playstation VITA checked off a lot of boxes. (And people that own one love Sony for doing that!). But, almost no one gives Sony props on 3G connectivity. Why? With the advent of mobile phones and routers becoming more mobile (in part thanks to everything becoming more mobile), the 3G modules we get in VITA have been outsourced and outdone by various other mobile tech ...


Many devices have 4G LTE, meaning no need for the integrated VITA 3G. Many people don't want to be on AT&T or want that second contract for a VITA connection.  Even if you only want the mobile connection, routers (with 4G LTE) already come in teeny-tiny sizes that fit into any pocket. Moreover, people that will probably have their VITA connected (intermittently) will not want to deal with ISP's contracts (or fiddling with the extra settings and secondary maintenance on said VITA mobile connection). 


Hindsight is twenty-twenty, and if I where in charge, the VITA would have had an extra built-in hardware that added online at launch. (Dare I say, a few years ago I would have said to add in a 4G module and upped the price of a SKU even higher!). Nowadays though, I've calmed down that viewpoint and I leave the wireless (wifi) radio on and keep VITA connected to a wifi signal (and only a wifi signal). Having the mobile connection built-into the VITA was a daring gamble, but Sony was better or not making that risk. Instead, Sony could have used that separate SKU demand by offering different color VITA in the US and EU. Again, hindsight is twenty-twenty.


Those that own a VITA know a thing or two about the quality and the stand-out risky, cool things it does that no other gaming device on the market can claim to do (e.g. dual sticks and an OLED display). The fact of the matter is, mobile ISP's and the game developers that may have liked the 3G, those people never implemented any sort of game or game infrastructure to lift up the promise of an awesome 3G VITA future. A less crappy turn of events may have actually changed the conversation and made this rant more of a praise. HOOONNNNCCCHHHAAAA!!!

Proof or Spoof?: VITA finally gets its (unofficial) Capture Card.

Posted by anonymity on March 30, 2013 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Could it be that VITA has finally gotten the in-game footage capture so many have desired? Coobe!


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

[Click out here if you're seeing this on VITA's browser]


It appears a Japanese modder has managed to bust open the VITA and harvest the sweet, sweet [VIDEO-OUT] nectar within the berry-colored handheld (shown above). The mod can be purchased here (erm somehow, if you can manage to understand Japanese!). 


Before we start calling the guy doing this a fraud (or start pelting him with our old PSP's as rocks), this mod isn't just for that VITA. It appears (at least) one other Youtuber has managed to get their hands on this Capture card modified VITA thing,


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

[Click out here if you're seeing this on VITA's browser]


With another Youtuber (TheASHfire06) also going on record saying that he too has ordered one of these tall drinks.


Hmm. Still! One must wonder if this is a safe kinda thing to buy into. Sure, you can be one of the few Youtubers out there with direct feed VITA footy. But at what cost? Welp, it's currently 41 800 JPY! So, the mod'ed VITA cost over twice the price of a regular Japanese VITA (after SCEJ recently announced the price cut). Is it worth it? That all depends. Personally, I think it is still a big risk to spend close to $500 on something like this but if more Youtubers wind up buying it and putting up LP's, than I think it could turn into bank for whoever is doing this mod.


Remote Play: Footage of Ni No Kuni on PS VITA.

Posted by anonymity on February 14, 2013 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Through the power of Remote Play, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch on the PS VITA!  


www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDLrrggrhvk


Some Images:





The comboniation of an OLED display and the cel shaded artwork make a perfect pair. Who knew!


~Credit to the original Youtuber. You rock!


Update: I should say (to those initiated to the world of hacking) there is some custom firmware action going on with the PS3. Ni No Kuni is a game that normally would not Remote Play between the PS3 and VITA, but some trickery of sorts made this happen. The results here look fine (some of these homebrewed Remote Play experiences run better than others).

New Gaikai recruits will help "redefine future of video games".

Posted by anonymity on January 22, 2013 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

According to a recruitment tweet from Gaikai's director of user experiences Warren Benedetto, gamers may be in for a treat . . . erm, sometime in the future.

twitter.com/wmbenedetto/status/292342347272962048


Not everyday do companies get purchased for $380 million USD by SCE, have no PR for months, than return to the public eye so they can than hire even more people. Video game industry espionage and intrigue, ahoy!~


Think Gaikai's employers have not been kept busy between SCE's purchase and now? Wrong. Having before had the pleasure of discussing gaming and tech with Gaikai's co-founder David Perry (btw, he had no idea who I was nor how I got past his secretary!), I can safely say that the man is a leader that works hard and knows what he wants to get from the video gaming industry. In recent conversations with other gaming blogs, Perry seemed really eager to usher in an era where digitally distributed content was both abundant and easy to digest. A user-end digital distribution service experience where video game audiences (of any digital service language) can instantaneously enjoy a game they hear of and/or discover in the database of Gaikai's digital library.


(Sounds like an awful lot of work ahead of you Gaikai, if you ask me!)


Welp, as PS4 (or whatever it may be named) rumors ramp up and Sony's head honcho comments on next gen, we can expect to see more Playstation cloud gaming related stuff in the future! ENTHUSIASM!

PSA: VITA's got 24/7 free cross-game chat.

Posted by anonymity on January 21, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Aint no party like a party!


This is a reminder to everyone in the gaming world that PS VITA is the only device on the market to have both a huge social and eCommerce network (in SEN) and free cross-game chat. It's called "Party". Get it? Yeah! Weird, huh?


Anyways. The cross-game chat on VITA is not compatible with all games, but all online multiplayer games I have played and seen do work with it. Just in case,


 

  • Go to Gamestop.com and use the search bar (at the top) to check out a VITA game
  • When you arrive at the games webpage, go to "Jump to: >> Product Details"  
  • See if the game you want to buy has online multiplayer.

 


Again, single player VITA games (like Uncharted: Golden Abyss) disable online and cross-game chat, but no need to fret. Not all single player VITA games have a habit of disabling online and cross-game chat features. PSP games support party, so you and a friend can literally get your Patta-p-on! (I know that was a stretch, but I am not good with puns)  


Just in case you are new to VITA (or have not used cross-game chat on the device before) and want to know how, check out @skyghene22's youtube walkthrough and introduction to VITA's Party app,


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.



Party hard!


 

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Sorry for the play on words. Please, excuse me while I pass out (I have not been sleeping well these past few days). 

PS Mobile and VITA could force a new user interface standard on PS4.

Posted by anonymity on January 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Gotten enough next gen rumors? Pffffffffffffffffffffft! No. No you haven't. The rumor mill machine has just been turned on in this, the first month of the year next gen arrives.




Rumors going around the past 24 hours circle around the Playstation Dualshock. Various gaming sites have moles which matter of factly state the Dualshock controller format will be put to end because of complications between Sony and the people that license their force feed back technology to third parties. From Eurogamer,

 

Sony will drop the DualShock controller for the next PlayStation, according to a new report. Sources told CVG Sony has tested new controllers with biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch-screen. This information tallies with what Eurogamer has heard from our own sources.


Source

 

Recently SCE's Playstation Mobile (PSM) team launched the Playstation Mobile platform on PSN, Playstation Certified devices as well as PS VITA. Before this launch (and during the closed Beta of PSM) the same team in charge of PSM was tasked by devs and fans to push the PSM platform into PS3 (there is evidence of this on it's official PSM dev portal/forum and they probably had devs approach them). Coincidentally enough, SCE's PSM correspondant (Kish Hirani) responded to PSM on PS3 by stating ,

 

"The interesting challenge is how do you put a touch interface on the PS3, because it doesn't have one.We'd love to put it on there, but wouldn't want to make a half-baked job where something already works.Hirani added, "The buttons are great. The SixAxis, which actually has more buttons than you need for the Xperia Play as such. But how do you put touch in there? An interesting one would be if you use PlayStation Move, but again, it's a lot of work involved in there."


Source

  

Hirani is SCE head of development service and (according to his LinkedIn profile) his duties include a variety of SCEE related engineering duties, "responsible for developing and managing resources for all SCEE developer support-facing technical activities. . . ".


Speculating touch will being on PS4's new controls (based on this) is a kind of "stretch", but there is direct evidence that touch interface for controller was internally pondered by SCE. So, maybe, it is not as big of stretch to believe touch will be on PS4's new controller. what might have been an impossible task of adding touch to PS3 could be made simple if an OS and hardware supports touch API from the very start.


An internal SCEWWS 1st and/or 2nd team (either Quantic Dream, Naughty Dog, etc) may have wanted biometric sensors due to the fact they had a tech demo and/or game which they imagine would gain from having biometric data feedback. A meeting of the minds between content creator and hardware engineers probably happens a lot at Sony (it's how backtouch was incorperated into the PS VITA). Do not be surprised if something hardware/software/network related comes up as a slew of next gen rumors come out; do not be surprised if some wind up being in the final spec sheet(s).


The notion of homogenization of services/content (across hardware ecosystems) might also lead to the influences on PS4's design philosophy. iOS devices and Android devices have app stores, there are streaming services like Netflix, and Wii U allows for streaming to second screens. Sony want Playstation Mobile to be across a bunch of devices as well as have PS VITA and PS3 connect to one another. Presenting top quality "content homogenization" in PS4 may start with the new controller than peak into something like cross-controller 2.0 for VITA (where up to four VITA's can be streamed to at once or an Xperia Z can remotely play your PS4 games from a parking lot).


Whilst not completely out of the question, what some at Sony (privy to top secret next gen info) could also be doing are 'controlled leaks', rather than fully unveiling each and every detail about their next gen Playstation. In this case, Sony may want to observe publicreaction and be as agile as possible in getting input to their engineers (as they put on finishing touches on the successorof the PS3) while also getting an outline ready for a massivelymarketed unveiling and future promotions.


Qestion: What user interface(s) would you like to see on a next gen controller (not seen on current/past gen controlls)? Explain.


. . . And remember, they are listening!


"Just say what [suggestions] you want. If you put down things like, how about using the Move as the touch? That's just one of the ideas."

"If it does work, then we'd try and think it up for the market."  
-Head of SCEE development services, Kish "The PSM Pimp" Hirani 



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