E3 2011: PlayStation Vita First Take

Formally unveiled at the company's E3 2011 press conference, the PlayStation Vita aims to provide the most comprehensive portable gaming experience around. We've had some time with Vita, so here's a preview of what gamers can expect before the end of 2011.

Overview Available in two models, the PS Vita will go for $250 or $300, a Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi/3G version, respectively.

Armed with a dazzling 5-inch OLED capacitive touch screen, the Vita also allows players to interact with games through a rear touch panel. Under the hood the Vita packs an ARM Cortex-A9 core (4 core) CPU and a SGX543MP4+ GPU.

Its 16:9 screen sports a 960x544-pixel resolution, which is flanked by a front-facing camera that can take 640x480-pixel photos. An identical lens is placed on the back to bring "augmented reality to a new level." Like the 3DS, iPad, and iPod Touch, the Vita will make use of motion control. This is accomplished via a three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer.… Read more

At E3, will Sony address the elephant in the room?

The E3 Expo is normally an ideal promotional event for the big three gaming hardware companies. Hordes of fans, the gaming press, and business partners hang on Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's every word at this show to hear about the new game console or game platform they'll be introducing.

But this year all that attention comes at a not-so-ideal time for Sony.

When Sony takes the stage at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Monday, it will only have been six weeks since 77 million customers of its PlayStation Network found out their personal information had been compromised … Read more

Sony previews NGP's key features

Sony has posted several videos to its U.S. PlayStation blog, showcasing the company's upcoming portable-gaming device, the Next Generation Portable.

The NGP, unveiled earlier this year, comes with dual thumbsticks and a 5-inch OLED touch display. Sony says that the graphical capabilities of the NGP will be substantially greater than those of its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable. To help add some more flavor to the platform, Sony has added a touch surface on the back of the device as well.

In the videos posted to the PlayStation blog, people are seen playing several titles that will be available … Read more

R.I.P. PSP Go, we hardly knew ye

Sony has confirmed with CNET that production has officially ended on the PSP Go, the company's UMD-less portable system that debuted in late 2009. The Go was undeniably sexy, improving upon the traditional PSP's overall design.

Aside from its sleek looks, solid feel, and slide-out screen, the Go never really took off. Perhaps it was the fact that there was no practical solution for previous PSP owners with UMD games. Maybe it was the limited availability of titles on the platform's digital-distribution model. Or perhaps it was the shockingly high $250 launch price tag that turned people … Read more

Sony: NGP's graphics won't match PS3's

All this talk of Sony's Next Generation Portable gaming device having graphical quality on the same level as the PlayStation 3 is overblown, Sony says.

In a talk at the Game Developers Conference yesterday, David Coombes, platform research manager at Sony Computer Entertainment America, made it clear that the company's upcoming NGP will offer much better graphics than those of the current PlayStation Portable, but won't come close to matching the graphics of Sony's home console.

"Some people in the press have said, 'Wow, this thing could be as powerful as a PS3,'" Coombes said, according to a report in Kotaku. "Well, it's not going to run at 2GHz, because the battery would last five minutes...and it would probably set fire to your pants."

The NGP's graphical abilities will be "halfway" between those of Sony's PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation 3, Sony engineers said, according to Kotaku.… Read more

Sony NGP lands in ancient coliseum

Sony's NGP console might not be out until near Christmas, but we're already rather excited. It packs some monster hardware, including two--count 'em--two analog sticks and an intriguing touch-sensitive pad on the back.

But it's enormous! Measuring in at 182 by 84 by 19mm, it really stretches the definition of "handheld." We were so blown away by those dimensions, we decided to enlist the help of our loyal cohort of Facebook followers to illustrate the NGP's gargantuan girth.

Click on the photo above to check out more of what our faithful CNETeers came up with. The first entry up there comes courtesy of Photoshop maestro Marc Crane, who adequately illustrates the challenges faced by shops offering home delivery for the NGP.

Read more of "Sony NGP Photoshops demonstrate console massiveness, reader creativity" at Crave UK. … Read more

Sony dropping PSP price to $129

Sony has substantially cut the price of its PlayStation Portable.

Starting Sunday, consumers can get their hands on the portable-gaming device for $129.99--the same price as the Nintendo DS Lite. The PSP currently sells for $169.99.

In addition, Sony has added 13 titles, including Assassin's Creed Bloodlines and Dissidia Final Fantasy, to its "Greatest Hits" and "Favorites" lines of games. Titles in the Greatest Hits list will retail for $19.99, while titles in the Favorites line will go for $9.99.

Sony has shipped 23 million PSP units to the U.S. … Read more

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play vs. Sony NGP

By now we've come to terms with the fact that the Sony Ericson Xperia Play is not the PSP Phone that we were all wishing for, but we still think it's worth comparing it against the game-centric Sony NGP, announced just a few short weeks ago.

The Xperia Play is the first PlayStation-certified smartphone on the market, which means it will be capable of downloading content from the PlayStation Store. Its 1Ghz Snapdragon processor promises 60-frames-per-second performance without wiping out the battery.

We're not sure if the Xperia Play can satisfy the gamer who wants the latest and greatest from the portable gaming scene, but the Xperia Play will probably offer the closest approximation to it of any smartphone around. The real question is whether consumers will find the need to own an Xperia Play in addition to a portable system like the NGP or 3DS.

For a head-to-head look at the Xperia Play and NGP, consult our spreadsheet below.

Read more

This wasn't the PSP phone I was looking for

I bought a PSP Go a year ago. Why? Because I believed the PSP could transform, become something more than it's been. Perhaps, even, achieve the promise I first felt when I held the very first PSP in my hands back in 2005. It was a magical device back then. It drew crowds, turned heads. Waiters and subway riders wanted to know what it was that I was holding, how they could buy one. My parents were fascinated. Friends wanted to hold it. A Sony portable device hasn't achieved that original PSP magic since--certainly not once the iPhone … Read more

preGame 39: Sony NGP wrap-up; InFamous 2

Last week we rounded up our thoughts and impressions of Nintendo's 3D portable, the 3DS. Not to be outdone, Sony revealed the follow-up to the PSP last week in the form of the NGP (Next Generation Portable). Today we'll wrap up all of the news from last week's announcements and say what we think the NGP will cost.

Before our NGP discussion, we're debuting a cinematic trailer for one of our most-anticipated games of 2011, InFamous 2. Then, we'll get a sneak peek at First Strike, the Xbox 360-exclusive DLC for Call of Duty: Black … Read more