by Anton Shilov
08/02/2011 | 03:31 PM
The forthcoming PlayStation Vita portable video game system by Sony Computer Entertainment will not only be a standalone handheld game device, but may also be a controller for PlayStation 3. The big question, however, is whether game developers will actually start designing titles that rely on both PS3 and Vita, considering that the latter is not truly affordable.
Sony's original PlayStation Portable can communicate with PlayStation 3 game consoles to download new content, access PSN, etc. With its next-gen handheld, Sony wants to make PS3 and Vita to work in tandem and allow former to stream data or certain visual content onto the latter's screen and Vita's controlling elements (gyroscope, touch-screen, etc.) to be used to control the game play. Essentially, Sony wants Vita to become a Wii U-like controller for the PS3.
"You could drive a display from a PS3 game [using PS Vita]. PS3 can send data down to Vita and Vita can display it. You could use the unique features [of Vita] - gyroscope, touch front and back - as a control device for a PS3 game. [...] You can run software on both devices and use the network to sync the game states. That is pretty good, because you then have the processing power of PS3 doing that work, Vita [doing] fancy graphics however you want to do it. You are not sacrificing the PS3's CPU to be able to have a rich experience on Vita," said Phil Rogers, an R&D manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, at the Develop Conference 2011, reports Eurogamer web-site.
Using PlayStation Vita as a secondary controller for PlayStation 3 and thus enable Wii U-like game experience (Nintendo's upcoming console has a controller with a touch-screen) is an interesting option to say at least. Potentially, this may prolong Sony PlayStation 3 lifecycle and/or provide an advantage over Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360.
At present Sony only notifies game developers about possibility to use Vita as a controller for PS3. It remains to be seen whether game designers become interested in tailoring their titles for such innovative controlling model.
In case Sony develops a game that requires both PS3 and PS Vita and makes use of both, it will truly encourage some of the PS3 gamers to buy Vita and otherwise. Unfortunately, since PlayStation Vita is pretty expensive, few gamers will get it as an additional controller for PS3 this and therefore no third-party developers are likely to create their games that rely on both PS3 and Vita.
Perhaps, a more interesting feature that Sony proposes is designing cross-platform games for PlayStation 3 and Vita. This would allow gamers to play one game on two devices no matter where.