New Life: PlayStation Vita launches in Japan

By Johnny Cullen
17 December 2011 08:00 GMT

Sony has launched PlayStation Vita in Japan, with a flood of reports, pictures and videos making their way online while SCE heads Kaz Hirai and Andy House met and greeted day one buyers.

PlayStation Vita

Announced and unveiled at PlayStation Business Meeting in January 2011

Comes with OLED touch-screen and backward touch panel support, two cameras – one forwards, one backwards – and SIXAXIS support.

Western launch happening on February 22, 2012. Here’s the European launch line-up.

Vodafone in Europe, AT&T in the US and NTT Docomo in Japan all signed up as 3G partners

Q&A – PlayStation Vita.

Up to 600 people waited at Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara, waiting to get their hands on the system, first announced at PlayStation Meeting 2011 in January as NGP. The Vita name was announced at E3.

One person who queued up at the retailer for a unit was someone who decided to dress up as Mario. We’ve got nothing else to add to that.

It was reported yesterday that Sony had upped shipment numbers of the handheld by 200,000 across Japan, from 500,000 to 700,000 units, making it easier for anyone who didn’t pre-order to walk in and buy it without the need to reserve. Sony refused to specify numbers earlier this week.

But Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House has said he’s hopeful there won’t be any demand shortages in the long-term following the launch, although admits there may be issues short-term.

“I’m pretty confident … that there will not be major challenges in meeting demand, even though there may be short-term,” he said to reporters earlier this week, as reported by MSNBC.

House and SCE chairman Kaz Hirai were at the official launch in Shibuya, where Andriasang had a liveblog of the event. There’s also photos on Game Impress.

Official launch titles and apps include Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, F1 2011, Katamari Damacy, Ridge Racer, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Little Deviants, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, Dark Quest, Disgaea 3 Return, Lord of Apocalypse, Virtua Tennis 4, Dynasty Warriors Next, Hot Shots Golf, Dream C Club Zero Portable, Fish On, Minnato Issho, Monster Radar, Nature of Night of Kamaitachi, Niconico, Project N.O.E.L.S, Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja and Yuusha no kiroku.

My Name is Vita

A three-part introduction to Vita from the Japanese launch, via NeoGAF‘s twentytwo22.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

The Wi-Fi version of the handheld launched for ¥24,980, while the 3G version came in at ¥29,980.

Vita launches here in Europe and the US on February 22 for £229/£279, €249/€299 and $249/$299 for either Wi-Fi or 3G units respectively.

Vita already gets first Firmware update

A fit-inducing flood of media has flooded in since the launch this morning, with Famitsu (1, 2, 3), MSN Japan, Kotaku and Dengeki among others posting launch day pictures and videos from outlets across Japan.

Kotaku‘s Brian Ashcraft has posted a ton of pictures of him unboxing his unit. There’s an unboxing video from Gamewave on Engadget, while there’s a three-parter in the boxout to the left via NeoGAF.

Meanwhile, Sony has already launched a day one Firmware updatefor the system. Firmware 1.50 was ready to download just as consumers turned on their systems for the first time, although it’s currently unknown what the update brings.

And already, someone has taken apart a Vita unit. You can see the insides if that’s the sort of thing that turns you on at 7 in the morning over on Pocket News (via Andriasang).

Famitsu drops first reviews, Everybody’s Golf 6 scores highest

For its new issue earlier this week, Famitsu gave the first reviews for the launch games, with Everybody’s Golf 6 coming out as the highest scoring game with a 38/40. Dynasty Warriors Next followed with a 36, followed by Uncharted: Golden Abyss with a 35.

Full review scores are below from GameSpot:

  • Minna no Golf 6 – 10 9 10 9
  • Uncharted Golden Abyss – 9 8 8 10
  • Dynasty Warriors Next – 9 10 9 8
  • Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom – 9 9 9 8
  • Disgaea 3 – 8 8 9 8
  • True Night of the Kamaitachi – 9 8 7 9
  • Virtua Tennis 4 – 8 8 9 7
  • Ridge Racer – 8 8 8 8
  • Army Corps of Hell – 7 8 9 8
  • Katamary Damacy – 8 8 8 7
  • Blazblue – 8 8 8 7
  • Mahjong – 7 8 9 7
  • Shinobido 2 – 7 8 8 7
  • Lord of Apocalypse – 8 7 6 7
  • Little Deviants – 7 7 6 7
  • Dream Club – 7 6 8 6
  • Asphalt – 6 7 6 7
  • Monster Radar – 6 6 5 6
  • Michael Jackson – 7 6 5 4
  • Dark Quest – 5 7 4 6
  • F1 2011 – 6 5 4 5

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