At the E3 gaming conference, Sony just pulled the wraps off of its new PlayStation Vita portable gaming machine. A Wi-Fi-only version will be priced at $249 while a Wi-Fi/3G cellular model, connected to AT&T service, is expected to run for $299.
This update to the current PSP-3000 and smaller PSP Go devices will sport a big 5-inch OLED display, a screen technology known for high contrast and vibrant colors. The screen will be multitouch as well but the Vita will feature hardware controls too. These include two analog joysticks, more like real PS3 controllers, and a rear multitouch pad on the back of the device.
To further control gameplay, onboard is a six-axis motion sensor plus the familiar four-way directional pad and PlayStation symbol buttons (Square, Circle, Triangle, and X). Two cameras are built-in too, front and rear, as is a GPS receiver.
The most phone-like PSP yet, unless you count the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Play that’s more Android phone than gaming device, Sony plans for the Vita to be super connected. Using a combination of its GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular radios, the Vita will allow players to find other nearby gamers or chat with each other (video and audio) via the Internet. It all sounds like fun and we can’t wait until the units ship this holiday season. For more info, check out the PlayStation Vita site.