Most of the questions consumers had about Sony's upcoming portable gaming device have finally been answered at their press conference tonight on the first day of E3 2011 in Los Angeles. Instead of PSP2, or the silly NGP, the company has gone with a fresh name: Vita (VEE-TAH). Hoping that this platform will breathe new life into their handheld gaming division, they promise the device will blur the lines between real life and entertainment. And while they took the time to point out the graphical differences between mobile phone games and their already aging PSP, Sony has priced the Vita to compete directly with Nintendo's newest handheld, the 3DS, matching the latter's $249 price tag with the Vita's base Wifi-only model. For those looking to connect to the internet on-the-go, a 3G-enabled model will also be available at $299 running exclusively on AT&T's wireless network in the United States.
In addition to more powerful graphics, reportedly rivaling the PS3 in quality, the Vita will feature an OLED front touch screen, a touch pad on the back, two thumbsticks, front and rear-facing cameras, six-axis motion controls and GPS. The only thing setting it apart from a Dual Shock 3 controller is a single set of shoulder buttons, which some games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss make up for with on-screen buttons. Other games announced for the handheld include a Bioshock game, Street Fighter X Tekken (featuring inFamous's Cole exclusively), a Wipeout game that can be played online against PS3 players, a new game from the creator of Everyday Shooter, and more.
Look for both models of the Playstation Vita to hit stores worldwide before the end of 2011.