TGS 2011: Sony devotes media briefing to new handheld; 26 titles due at launch, including Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Lord of Apocalypse, Lord of Apocalypse.
Last night, Nintendo kicked off Tokyo Game Show week with a press conference devoted almost exclusively to the 3DS. Among the highlights were the announcements of two Monster Hunter games for the glasses-free 3D handheld, the first portable installments in the series to venture beyond Sony's PSP.
While Team Ico's The Last Guardian was notably absent from the list, it did feature anticipated PS3 games like Uncharted 3, Dragon's Dogma, Ninja Gaiden 3, and Battlefield 3. And for portable fans, the Vita will have a lineup of 18 games on display at TGS, including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Hot Shots Golf Next, Dynasty Warriors Next, Ridge Racer, and a new Katamari Damacy game for the Vita that will, according to Japanese gaming news site Andria Sang, use the Vita's touch screen to implement a new extend feature.
Sony Japan also announced two new PlayStation 3 colours: Splash Blue and Scarlet Red. The new 320 GB variations of the PS3 are for Japan only at this stage, and are due out on November 17 priced at 29,800 Yen ($387.70).
[UPDATE] According to a new Andria Sang report, Sony expects the PS Vita to play games for only three to five hours on one charge. This estimate was measured with the screen at factory setting, Bluetooth off, and without the use of any network features. For multimedia functionality, the system will get five hours video playback and nine hours music playback when in standby mode. Also according to the report, charging the Vita's battery from an empty state will take 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The full list of the Vita's 26 launch titles is below.
BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend (Arc System Works)
Project NOELS (Arc System Works)
Browser Sangokushi Touch Battle (AQ Interactive)
Fish On (Kadokawa Games)
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (Capcom)
Dynasty Warriors Next (Tecmo Koei)
F1 2011 (Codemasters)
Army Corps of Hell (Square Enix)
Lord of Apocalypse (Square Enix)
Shinobido 2 (Spike)
Power Smash 4 (Sega)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Sony)
Sawari Ma Kuru (Sony)
Minna to Issho (Sony)
Hot Shots Golf 6 (Sony)
Yuusha no Kiroku (A lifestyle application from Sony)
Monster Radar (A location-based application from Sony)
@field (Sonic Powered)
Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru (ChunSoft)
Dream Club Zero Portable (D3 Publisher)
Nico Nico (Dwango)
Disgaea 3 Return (Nippon Ichi)
Katamari Damacy No Vita (Namco Bandai)
Ridge Racer (Namco Bandai)
Dark Quest (Ubisoft)
Michael Jackson The Experience (Ubisoft)
[9:06] Sony Computer Entertainment Japan's Hiroshi Kawano takes to the stage.
[9:06] This press conference will focus on the Japanese market, including strategy and plans, he says.
[9:08] Kawano is now introducing Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.
[9:08] House is now greeting the audience, and welcoming everyone. House joined Sony in 1995. He says he is excited about the PlayStation Vita.
[9:09] House says the PSP and PS3 have been performing well since the prices of the hardware were dropped.
[9:09] He says Sony will stay committed to its users. House then leaves the stage, and Kawano takes over again.
[9:10] Kawano says it's time to move on to the topic of the conference. He says in the last year, PlayStation has made a great leap forward. As of June 2011, 51.8 million PS3 units have been sold across the world. Since last year's TGS, Sony's market share has been 49% for hardware, and 46% for software in Japan.
[9:12] Kawano now says the PS3 will have two new colours: blue and red. He also said the PSP has sold 71.4 million units worldwide through June 2011.
[9:12] Since Tokyo Game Show 2010, the PSP has a 43% market share for hardware and a 49% market share for software.
[9:13] He then introduces a new PSP colour: red and black!
[9:13] Kawano notes that more and more female gamers are attracted to the PSP.
[9:13] Kawano thanks users for their continued support.
[9:13] He's now talking about the PSN breach earlier this year, saying that he regrets what happened.
[9:14] However, PSN business is back to normal, he says, and he is appreciative of PSN users for their support.
[9:15] He's now outlining Sony's growth strategy, saying the PS Vita will play an important role in this.
[9:15] Now we're ready to talk about the PS Vita!
[9:15] Kawano says the PS Vita will join the PlayStation family as its new member.
[9:15] However, smartphones are changing the way people play games, as are casual and social platforms and titles.
[9:15] This diversity of playing styles means the user base for gaming is widening.
[9:16] As the gaming user base is expanding, this is leading to more unique gaming experiences--from core to casual.
[9:16] He then introduces a sizzle reel for the PS Vita.
[9:17] It's a man unboxing a Vita, followed by some whimsical music.
[9:18] Now on to some gameplay footage, as the video shows the console friend networking services and social games.
[9:18] Not much substance, but a good deal of hype in that one.
[9:18] Kawano is back on stage now.
[9:19] 3DS price reduction be damned, the PS Vita prices will remain as what was previously announced.
[9:19] Kawano notes that Sony didn't receive much of a negative reaction after the system's price was announced.
[9:20] We have a Japanese launch date! December 17, 2011.
[9:20] This release date will be a strategic move to come out before the holiday season.
[9:21] Kawano says Sony has communicated with its users through its community site and now wants to address some issues raised.
[9:21] He says that with the launch date now settled, the next point to discuss is the features of the 3G model of the Vita.
[9:22] With AT&T named the US carrier, the PS Vita will use NTT DOCOMO as its 3G carrier partner in Japan.
[9:22] Kawano now announces Tsujimura-san from NTT Docomo to talk about the partnership.
[9:24] Tsujimura-san says he is excited about the partnership and has great expectations for the Vita. His company will launch unique plans specially for the PS Vita--a prepaid data plan is in the works.
[9:25] NTT Docomo will release two prepaid data plans: a 20-hour prepaid data plan for 980 yen and a 100-hour prepaid data plan for 4,980 yen.
[9:25] The PS Vita will be the first application for these plans.
[9:27] Tsujimura-san says there are three potential plans for the Vita: a 3G network, a cloud network, and a smartphone/tablet network.
[9:27] This will ensure that the console will allow for casual gamers to enjoy the social aspects of the console, and will allow Japanese users to communicate with non-Japanese speaking users.
[9:28] Tsujimura-san is now leaving the stage.
[9:29] Kawano says that the smartphone market will not be competing with the PS Vita; instead, Sony has chosen to collaborate with the market through its partnership with NTT Docomo.
[9:30] Now Kawano is going to get some PS Vita action himself; someone has brought him a console and he's going to play it on stage.
[9:31] Kawano's goal here is to demonstrate how the PS Vita works in more detail.
[9:31] He says he's now going to show us how to connect the console to a 3G network.
[9:31] So he's trying to start the console but it's not working. Riveting live demo!
[9:32] Take two! And it appears as if it's now working. Hooray!
[9:32] The start-up screen will ask users to select a language and time zone, as well as input the date and time.
[9:32] Stop us if you've seen this before.
[9:32] The console will then search for a 3G network automatically.
[9:33] The console has found a network and will now proceed to ask users for their PSN account details.
[9:33] Users will then be asked to input their location, and date of birth.
[9:34] That's it for the demonstration, Kawano has given the Vita back. Thank god that just happened.
[9:34] He now says Sony wanted to provide an easier user experience.
[9:36] He's now introducing Kenjo Akiyama from the development department from Sony Japan.
[9:36] Akiyama-san takes to the stage with a PS Vita in hand.
[9:36] He will demonstrate some of the console's applications.
[9:36] The home screen of his demo unit shows a customised background.
[9:36] The home screen will have customisation options to choose which applications you have on home screen.
[9:37] Akiyama-san is now playing some videos on the Vita: a trailer for Amazing Spiderman, and a Japanese video clip.
[9:37] Also, an adorable corgi.
[9:37] He's now playing some J-Pop! Yeah!
[9:38] Users will be able to multi-task on the PS Vita. For example, users can look at photos while listening to music.
[9:38] Users will be able to 'peel' the applications to terminate them.
[9:39] Welcome Park is a tutorial application that will feature five different application to teach users how to use the PS Vita.
[9:39] Applications include mini-games designed to teach users how to use the touch panel, camera, and other elements.
[9:40] Akiyama-san is now demonstrating a photo puzzle, which is one of the five Welcome Park applications.
[9:41] Goodbye Welcome Park! The demonstration has ended.
[9:41] Akiyama-san is now talking about the 'Near' application, which is the location service of the console.
[9:41] He's now talking about the PS Vita's browser.
[9:41] Data can be interchanged with the PS3 or PC using a a USB cable.
[9:42] The friend functionality can be accessed through existing PSN accounts, meaning PS Vita users can communicate and play with their existing friends. Trophy information can also be shared.
[9:43] Social networking services on the Vita include Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and FourSquare.
[9:43] So, while users play a game they can user Twitter or Facebook to send updates, and then resume playing.
[9:43] Akiyama-san now leaves the stage.
[9:43] Kawano-san is back, and he's armed with a PS Vita. Unfortunately, all he's doing is running through the console's features again.
[9:45] Oh thank god Kawano is now going to talk about software!
[9:45] He says the PS Vita has challenged many Japanese game developers.
[9:46] Some people say the Japanese gaming industry is lacking energy, but Kawano believes the game industry can revitalise the Japanese economy.
[9:46] Kawano believes the gaming industry needs creative minds to make new experiences.
[9:47] He says a lot of those minds are in Japan.
[9:47] One of those minds? Yoshinori Ono. The Capcom developer takes to the stage.
[9:47] Ono says people expect him to talk about Street Fighter x Tekken.
[9:47] But today, Ono will talk about something different.
[9:48] New announcement: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the PS Vita, and it will be a launch title.
[9:49] The game will feature the same content from the PS3 version of the game.
[9:49] PS Vita users will be able to play UMVC3 with others across the world through the console's network.
[9:50] The game will utilise the console's touch pad, and the Near application.
[9:51] Ono is now saying that Sony told him not to talk too long about Capcom stuff, so he's going to try and move on.
[9:51] He says the future of fighting games is strong.
[9:52] He says he never expected the PS Vita to revitalise the fighting genre, but both Marvel vs. Capcom and Street Fighter x Tekken will be great on the handheld because it can do things that other devices cannot.
[9:52] Ono says community is important; the Vita's ability to connect to social networks through 3G and Wi-Fi is really the key.
[9:53] This means the fighting game community around the world will be broadened and extended.
[9:53] Ono is now pointing to some very confusing graphs, the gist of which seems to be: Connectivity = Win.
[9:54] Ono wants to get us even more excited! One tip: Less crazy graphs, more gameplay footage.
[9:54] He closes by saying that both Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom for the PS Vita and Street Fighter x Tekken for the PS3 will be available for play at TGS tomorrow.
[9:55] Kawano is back, and he appears to be quizzing Ono on what kind of PSN profile he has.
[9:56] Ono is now playing a video to demonstrate the community aspects of the game.
[9:56] Say what? The cat from Monster Hunter is in Street Fighter x Tekken?
[9:56] Toro and Kuro will participate in Street Fighter x Tekken for the PS Vita.
[9:57] Something that users requested, apparently!
[9:57] Ono departs, and Shinji Hashimoto from Square Enix takes the stage.
[9:58] Hashimoto says Square Enix is developing two titles for the PS Vita. The first one is Lord of Apocalypse, an action RPG which will also be a launch title for the PS Vita.
[9:59] The second title is Army Corps of Hell, a new horror title featuring what appears to be lots and lots of goblins and in-game items. It's also a launch title for the PS Vita.
[10:00] Now we're talking about Final Fantasy Type 0, which will launch on October 27.
[10:00] Hashimoto also confirms Final Fantasy XIII-2 will launch in Japan this December.
[10:01] Final Fantasy has sold more than 100 million copies around the world, Hashimoto says.
[10:01] He says it's a title that represents Square Enix around the world.
[10:01] Now he's talking about a new 10th anniversary installment in the series.
[10:01] Final Fantasy X will be re-made in HD for the PS Vita and PS3.
[10:03] Unfortunately, Hashimoto says there's no launch date yet for Final Fantasy X for the PS Vita and PS3.
[10:03] He says he's sorry he could not show us anything from FF X but soon, soon!
[10:04] Hashimoto has left, and Konami's Hideo Kojima takes the stage.
[10:06] Kojima is talking about Transfarring, which was first mentioned at E3. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker HD edition for the PS3 will be launched in November 2011, and it will make use of the Transfarring ability of transferring data from PS3 to PSP.
[10:07] Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 HD edition, created for PS2, will be able to be Transferred to the PS Vita.
[10:07] To be launched in 2012.
[10:08] Oh look, Zone of the Enders on the PS Vita in 2012.
[10:08] It's the same ZOE HD update announced at E3.
[10:10] Kojima says the Fox Engine is now being developed for PS3 and Vita. Kojima is saying he's working on something but he can't talk about it just yet. He wants us to wait.
[10:10] Hideo, you tease.
[10:10] Kojima says it might take a while before he can reveal anything.
[10:11] He says it's his own title; he did the design and supervision.
[10:11] Kojima says he was impressed by the Vita's social and casual features, but he loves core games and he says the Vita is the only portable device that is for core gamers.
[10:12] He says he has high expectations for Vita.
[10:12] And that's it for Kojima!
[10:13] Producer Masami Yamamoto from Sony now takes to the stage to talk about more PS Vita software.
[10:14] He talks briefly about Golf 6: Everybody's Golf.
[10:16] Tittles using networking capability include a new title, Yuusha no Kiroku, focusing on day-to-day scheduling.
[10:16] It involves something about monsters, dungeons, and paying the rent!
[10:17] The next title is called Friend Network, a title focusing on using PSN friends functionality integration.
[10:17] Online users are connected and the point is to have as many friends as possible.
[10:20] Seiji Sugimoto from Niwango now takes to the stage.
[10:22] He's talking about NicoNico Douga, which is a popular video sharing network in Japan. Looks like it's coming to the Vita in Japan only, so don't worry yourselves too much about this one.
[10:26] As soon as someone says something that doesn't involve the word NicoNico, we'll let you know.
[10:27] Exciting news: Seiji Sugimoto has finally left the stage.
[10:28] Kawano is now back, talking about the challenge for Sony to combine gaming and network connectivity on the Vita.
[10:29] Okay so now it's on to launch software, all 26 titles.
[10:29] Dark Quest, Ridge Racer, Dream Club, a whole bunch of Japanese titles that elude the comprehension of this reporter.
[10:31] Gravity Daze, Metal Gear Solid HD Edition, FIFA, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Raymon Origins.
[10:31] 100 more titles in the works for Vita.
[10:32] Of these 100, we can't really see that many because they're all in Japanese!
[10:32] The last point Kawano is going to talk about is PSP title support on the Vita.
[10:32] Says there will be as many as 600 PSP titles that will be available to play on the Vita.