Augmented Reality – in or out?

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the great things about the PS Vita is its unique capabilities. One particularly interesting feature is its ability to use its camera as a means of delivering Augmented Reality. For those of you that don’t know, the PS Vita will be making a few AR games available for free, yes FREE, on the day of launch. In fact, it will come with six AR Play Cards and a voucher to download a handful of free AR mini games through the PlayStation Network. These AR cards can be used to set up specific environments, such as an arena/stadium for Table Soccer (it’ll be soccer here in the US, where it is Table Football in the rest of the world – go figure). Take a look at the video below for a walkthrough:

A few game developers are already trying to take advantage of this, one being called “Reality Fighters” (you gotta hand it to them for coming up with such a great name). The concept of AR fighting is not entirely new, but will definitely be amongst the first for the PS Vita. The main concept of Reality Fighters is that it allows the players to play characters with real-world elements around them. But Reality Fighters doesn’t limit itself to just using the camera, it also leverages other features like the rear touchscreen, sixaxis motion sensors and more.

Personally, I’d have to say that I’m not totally sold on the concept just yet. At the moment, it seems more gimmicky than anything else. But that just might be to my own bias from using AR on iOS devices. While initially cool, they always turn out to be a little bit slow or laggy and can never maintain a high level of fluidity that would make it look really like reality. So while I’m hopeful that the PS Vita might change things around and bring something really cool to the table for AR, I’m not going to hold my breath.



Source : Sony PlayStation Blog