Minecraft players everywhere but the PS Vita

It was recently confirmed in a meeting with Daniel Kaplan that there were “no plans” to bring Minecraft to the PS Vita. This comes as a bit of a surprise given that it was ported to work with the other Sony “handheld”, the Xperia. In fact, it was exclusively released to the Xperia PLAY on the Android Market on August 16, 2011. iOS and other Android users eventually got their hands on Minecraft – Pocket Edition later on in the year. Since its being available, it’s been reported that over 8500 people have played.

Now before you Minecrafters freak out, just because there aren’t any near-term plans to bring Minecraft to the PS Vita doesn’t mean that could change in the future. Assuming that the PS Vita becomes a resounding success, the PlayStation Store will hopefully serve as another channel to distribute the popular indie game.

Image Credit: Reece Bennett

Happy Launch Day!

After a long wait, the PS Vita is finally (fully) available in the US and in Europe. We’ve been covering the PS Vita for some time now, and there certainly has been a lot of mixed news about the portable device, ranging from whether it would be Dead-on-Arrival to how great the device is. For many of you gamers out there, you wisely opted not to get the First Edition Bundle due to the lackluster game that came with it: Little Deviants. We’ll be posting our own first impressions soon, so stay tuned.

We’ll be continuing our coverage of the PS Vita for years to come, so remember to check in back with us.

Image Credit:  sippakorn yamkasikorn

System Software Update v1.61 brings Mac support and more

Sony has gone ahead and slipped some new features into the next System Software Update. At the top of my list, they’ve gone ahead and added Mac support for the Content Manager Assistant (don’t worry, they updated the Windows version too). They also added video support within the Photo application using the PS Vita’s camera.

Here is the full list of changes:

  • A new application, (Maps), has been added to the home screen.
  • In addition to photos, you can now take videos using the Photo application.
  • You can now publish stories about the products that you rate in PlayStation Store to Facebook.
  • In near, players’ information is now displayed on the Discoveries screen. On this screen, a list of the online IDs of up to 100 players that you have encountered, and the number of times that you encountered each player, are displayed. Tap an online ID to display that player’s profile screen.
  • The Mac OS version of Content Manager Assistant for PlayStation has been released. The Windows version has also been updated.

As always, you can either update directly from your PS Vita (Settings -> System Update) over WiFi, or you can connect your PS Vita to a computer or PS3 and update via the Content Manager.

My ideal PS Vita case

So we’ve had several posts already that talk about some of the cases that will be coming out for the PS Vita. And while I went ahead and purchased Sony’s official PlayStation Vita Carrying Case, it still leaves something to be desired as it appears the PS Vita can still be damaged when throwing it in a backpack, which I typically do when traveling. That’s where the Pull ‘N Go Folio for PS Vita might save the day! The Pull ‘N Go Folio (“Folio”), is described as:

The ultimate organization and protection solution for PlayStation Vita. Holds a PlayStation Vita system, PS Vita AC adapter, up to 23 PS Vita Game Cards, 2 PS Vita Flash Memory Cards and other accessories. The Removable PS Vita mini-system case protects the PS Vita system and holds up to 4 game cards. Officially Licensed by Sony. *PS Vita system, PS Vita game cards, PS Vita Flash Memory Cards and other accessories sold separately.

While it doesn’t offer some of the features that the Carrying Case offers, such as the ability to tilt your PS Vita on a stand, it makes up for it in its ability to carry and protect everything, not just the PS Vita and a few cards. Not sure about the build quality just yet, but I’ll be purchasing it this week and I’ll give my impressions once I do. Hit the jump for more pictures.

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DealsLounge: Buy 2 games get 1 free

If you’re looking for an excuse to buy a bunch of games, Amazon, Target, and Toys R’ Us might have just given you one. For a limited time, if you buy 2 select games from Amazon or Target, you will receive a select game of your choice for free.

As for Toys R’ Us, they are offering a $20 gift card with the purchase of $50 or more in games or accessories. Additionally, you can purchase Uncharted: Golden Abyss for $10 off.

UPDATED February 22, 2012:
Both Best Buy and GameStop are also offering similar deals, with GameStop offering a more limited selection. Thanks kiesye for the tip!

Image Credit: iChaz

Vita midnight launch event satisfies your geek needs

Don’t have anyone to cuddle up next to at night? That’s OK because Sony has your back! On Tuesday night at 8pm, Sony stores across the US will be celebrating the launch of the PS Vita, offering the first 200 people to buy a PS Vita a free copy of ModNation Racers: Road Trip.

Locations that are celebrating the event are:

Towne Center at Boca Raton – Boca Raton, FL
Houston Galleria – Houston
Fashion Valley – San Diego
Century City Mall – Los Angeles
Valley Fair –  Santa Clara, CA
Flagship Sony Store – New York

 

PS Vita continues to struggle in Japan

Despite the success of Gravity Rush (or Daze) in Japan, it hasn’t necessarily translated into additional sales of PS Vita units in Japan. For the week ending on February 12, Gravity Rush sold 43,462 units, but the PS Vita only sold 13,939 units, down from 17,141 in the previous week. Even though the PS Vita has emerged as the successor to the PSP, the PSP continues to outsell the PS Vita in Japan, selling 15,860 units in the same week. This is amidst reports that major publishers were defecting from the development of the PS Vita to Nintendo’s 3DS.

What does this mean exactly for the PS Vita? Hopefully nothing. Sony expects to make a much larger splash outside of Japan and I think they’ll be able to do it too. I remember purchasing my PSP on its launch day and hearing similar reports about flailing sales early on. But with the release of major titles like Monster Hunter and a generally large library of games, the PSP saw a lot of success (as evidenced by its sales even now). We may need to just give the PS Vita some time to mature and launch a major title. Who knows, maybe Call of Duty will be THE game changer for the PS Vita.

Call of Duty coming to a PS Vita near you this fall

 

In a recent interview by Gametrailers with Sony’s SVP of PlayStation brand marketing, Guy Longworth, it was revealed definitively that Call of Duty would be coming to the PS Vita in the fall:

in the autumn, they’re really looking forward to Call of Duty on Vita, and we think that’s going to be an absolute game-changer for the platform.

While there are a few first person shooters already planned for release, such as Resistance: Burning Skies, I’m sure there is a huge population of gamers waiting to see if the PS Vita’s dual-analog sticks can bring the console game successfully to the portable gaming market.

iFixit tears down the PS Vita exposing its innards

Whether you’re sensitive to gore or not, iFixit has gone ahead and ripped open the PS Vita to exam its guts inside.

Nothing in the PS Vita seems that out of the ordinary – the device uses Philips #00 screws that come pink and blue in some instances, like around the  motherboard. In fact, opening the PS Vita didn’t pose too much of a challenge, requiring just the removal of the screws and some prying of the plastic case, thereby making the replacement of the 2,200mAh battery relatively simple for the average consumer. Overall, iFixit rated the PS Vita a 8 out of 10 in terms of repairability.

Super Stardust Delta: my first game?

I’ve been doing some research on which game to get first on my Vita.  IGN has been rating more games for this system recently, so I decided to start there.  To my surprise, Super Stardust Delta got a 9.5/10.  Not that a game like this wouldn’t be fun, but because I had expected one of the “big production” games to take this top spot (ie. Uncharted).

I’m pretty sure I will be downloading this from PSN the day my Vita arrives.  Or I can get Super Stardust Delta + Blast Pack DLC for free if I sign up for one of AT&T’s 3G data plans ($15 for 250MB or $30 for 3GB).  If you haven’t seen the game yet, check out the video in this post.  Anyone else claiming this as their first game? Continue reading