Trailer: Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation

Impressions of the PlayStation Vita

Fifa 12 Vita, looking good in Santa Monica.

The PlayStation Vita certainly gives a good first impression.

Sony’s newest handheld, set for a Feb. 22 release here in the States, is capable of producing crisp and vibrant graphics. The portable is also comfortable to the touch, and playing a shooter with its dual thumb sticks has essentially the same feel as using a PlayStation console’s Dual Shock controller.

The Vita also boasts a touchscreen, because that’s pretty much a requirement for any new handheld device.

Based on my first impression, I like the Vita. Does that mean consumers should buy the Vita.

I don’t know.

As impressive as the Vita’s capabilities are, I don’t know yet if it’s worth $250 or $300 for the average gamer who likely already has a PlayStation 3 or XBox 360 at home. While attending a Sony open house in Santa Monica, I had a chance to sample Fifa 12 Vita, the Vita version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Resistance: Burning Skies, a forthcoming sequel to the PlayStation 3 FPS series.

More thoughts follow the jump:

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Sony unveils PlayStation Vita launch games

The PlayStation Vita will have 25 games available for sale on its release date, Sony revealed today.

The Vita, Sony’s next handheld, is scheduled for a Feb. 22 release date in the United States. Sony revealed in a blog post today that the following titles will also be for sale at that time in stores or via download:

First Party Games:

  • Escape Plan (PlayStation Network only)
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • Hustle Kings (PSN only)
  • Little Deviants
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip
  • Super StarDust Delta (PSN only)
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • wipEout 2048

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Trailer: Touch My Katamari

I don’t think “Touch My Katamari”is a double-entendre, but then again, I don’t speak Japanese.

Nonetheless, readers can rest assured that the trailer for Touch My Katamari, a forthcoming title for the PlayStation Vita, is safe for work.

Fans of the Katamari series would of course recognize the K-word and may know that the first game in the series, Katamari Damacy, made’s list of games that deserve to be regarded as modern art.

Touch My Katamari is scheduled to be released Feb. 21.

Free advice: How Nintendo can boost 3DS sales (Sony, you can listen too)

Nintendo’s price drop for its 3DS – $169.99 from $249.99 – is the day’s biggest gaming news, and probably something gamers and business journalists will be talking about and debating for the next few days, if not weeks.

The early consensus, which I tend to agree with, is that consumers are unwilling to shell out $250 for a portable game console when they can play games on their smartphones. If a customer is already paying for an iPhone or Android device that can play 99-cent games, why pay more money for another device that plays $40 games?

The only reason, for many people, would be that those $40 games are 40 times more valuable to players than what is available on a smartphone. That is not always going to be the case, and even though I like the 3DS, I think it will be Nintendo’s last handheld.

And I predict the same thing for Sony’s next handheld, the PlayStation Vita. By all accounts, the Vita looks like it will be a terrific piece of technology with a competitive library of games, but I won’t be surprised if Sony finds themselves having to lower the Vita’s price after launch in order to make up for slower-than-expected sales.

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