TotalRoundTable: How Is That Vita News Playing In The Cheap Seats?

E3 2011 may be done, but our thoughts on their biggest announcement, the price and some of the new features for the PlayStation Vita, are far from settled.
Author: Ryan Green
Published: June 20, 2011
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After E3 wrapped and the dust settled, we had a lot of things on our plate to do. But during our adventures in L.A., the show crew of Ryan and Sam never got to talk to the support crew (the sad/well-rested folks that did not attend the show) about the handheld news. Being in the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena was one thing, but we didn't know how it played at home. From all across the U.S. (and dirty Canada), the TPS team sounded off in this latest installment of the TotalRoundTable.

Ryan Green, senior bumbling editor:

Having finally recovered from physical exhaustion (yeah, that still happens), I wanted to talk to you guys about one of the biggest pieces of Sony news (if not gaming news in general) from E3. The next gen handheld for Sony was touted a lot with some bells, whistles, doodads, gizmos, widgets, flanges... but some specifics were left out of that original announcement. Just to remind you, here are the official specs.

The PlayStation Vita is Sony's response to the changes we've seen in portable gaming over the past several years. A gross margin of portable devices have touch screens, while even more sport wireless capabilities. Graphically, the system will rival the PlayStation 3, but obviously on a much smaller screen. 

But I guess the only reason the PlayStation Vita (don't fight it; we don't say "Natal" anymore, either) exploded like it did was because of the price: $249.99 for Wi-fi only models and $299.99 for Wi-fi/3G editions. Ignoring the uproarious laughter heard when AT&T was mentioned as the nation's fastest, most reliable broadband network, what do you guys make of this? Is Sony making good for their past mistake of trying to break even on the PlayStation 3? Is the PSV a true rival for handheld gaming giant of Nintendo?

Aram Lecis, senior-citizen editor:

Let's get one thing straight right off. I'm calling this thing NGP for all time. I will never call it the PS Vitamin Stupid Name. Screw that. Everything else about the system, well, that fucking knocks my socks off. 

I've never cared about having 3D on my portable game system, but I'm over the moon for a second analog stick and everything else they are tossing in is just gravy. $250 seems like a fairly reasonable price (I also have no interest in a 3G model, sorry Sony) and the cross-communication and cross-gaming with the PS3 seems excellent. 

I won't buy one though. iPhone's are pretty much all I need for portable gaming. Still, amazing product at a great price! Hope they can sell some...

Jen Alaggia, canadian contributor:

It's a 3DS killer. It's got the touch screen gameplay integrated in a new, more interesting way, dual analog sticks, cross platform play (WIPEOUT!!), and it's being sold at the same price. Probably not a day-one purchase for me, and definitely not the 3G model, but only because in Canada our data plans through phone carriers are pretty ridiculously sad. Still buying one though.

The new features are ones that makes sense, and the touch screen does seem a little gimmicky but nowadays you can't seem to sell anything without a gimmick.
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