Five Things We Learned At The Japan PS Vita Launch

As you may have seen from the photo story posted earlier in the week, I attended the Japanese launch of PlayStation Vita. It wasn’t all gaming and bento boxes: I used the time to catch up with as many senior colleagues and game developers as I could. You can look forward to full interviews in the run up to 22 February but, in the meantime, here are five things that I didn’t know about PS Vita before, but do now.

What’s included in the box


*Bear in mind that this is a Japanese model and the actual contents may vary, such as the European model also including six AR Play Cards.

PS Vita has been designed by the same person as the original Walkman

We had the chance to speak to Mr. Takashi Sogabe of the Sony Corporate Design Centre, the team responsible for the look and feel of PlayStation Vita, for what turned out to be an interesting hour. It turned out that Mr. Sogabe has 27 years of experience with the company and designed the original Walkman.

He revealed that the team went through various designs, including one with a sliding back like PSPgo and a clamshell, before settling on the final model after discussion with developers. He also said that he originally wanted the exterior to be entirely metallic but that proved impossible due to the antennae required for the Wi-Fi and 3G connections.

The biggest surprise came when he pulled three prototype machines from his bag (I wasn’t allowed to take any photos but I did try!) One of them featured touch pads in place of the dual analog sticks and Mr. Sogabe told me that the sticks were decided on in the end because they provided the most accurate controls.

A full interview with Mr. Sogabe will be posted in the new year.

PlayStation Vita is designed by game developers, for game developers


We’ve heard developers say that PS Vita is a joy to make games for, but how is it different to other systems out there? Is it the hardware itself, the SDK, the support structure or something else entirely?

President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida shed some light on this during our interview.

“When Kaz Hirai took over management of SCEI,” he explained, “he brought in the approach of fully integrating software and hardware development. Before that, we made brilliant hardware, no question of that, but our hardware team didn’t have such a good understanding of what game developers need or what features might be useful.”

“[With PS Vita] we [Worldwide Studios] were there right at the beginning to express our thoughts and reactions to the hardware that was being proposed. We were there at every stage and with every prototype, and we developed game builds to prove and, sometimes, disprove how each new feature was going to make for a great game system.”

Welcome Park is your introduction to all the key features and it includes trophies


One of the first things you’re likely to play on your new PS Vita is Welcome Park. It has been designed by members of Japan Studio who also worked on Everybody’s Golf and, while its main purpose is to introduce features such as touch controls and the cameras, it does so through minigames that are surprisingly deep.

They include Digit Chase, a front touch game where you have to tap number in sequence (tougher than it sounds); Snap + Slide, which generates tile sliding puzzles from photos you take; and Sound Loop, a simple but excellent synthesiser that lets you record sounds using the built-in microphone and loop them against a variety of pre-recorded beats.

Welcome Park also has its own Trophies: one gold, one silver and 11 bronze.

Gravity Rush has the same game director as Siren: Blood Curse

We haven’t posted much about Gravity Rush, the cel-shaded action adventure coming exclusively to PlayStation Vita, but that’s going to change in the new year after I played it and found it to be one of the most interesting new titles on the handheld. I also spoke with the game’s director, Keiichiro Toyama, and discovered not only that he worked on PS3 horror Siren: Blood Curse, but that his greatest inspiration for Gravity Daze is the comics of Jean Giraud, AKA Moebius. Here’s a trailer.

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Did you learn people have and use more than one PSN account and that splitting apart content they pay for and the accounts they can use it on is not liked. At all.

Marselle_90 23 December, 2011 @ 4:03 pm   2

yeah, i agree with you, Gravity Daze is one of the most interesting new titles on the handheld… That’s why it is not being relased retail and only DD? bah… i was buiyng the PSV for this game at launch, but i do not want it on DD, i dont buy in that way (for exception of at maximum 10€ games) so for now i might pass the day one…

maddogarchie64 23 December, 2011 @ 4:13 pm   3

how come Japan get it 2 months earlier? I don’t understand it

Silent_Gig 23 December, 2011 @ 4:18 pm   4

Keiichiro Toyama is also the father of Silent Hill, he directed the original silent hill. So im hoping he goes back to horror and uses Vita as his platform.


So what is in the box?

USB cable
Power cable
Odd black object (can’t be the battery as that is sealed in)
Cleaning cloth
Beautiful PS Vita

deadsleepx 23 December, 2011 @ 4:29 pm   6

did you learn how to rip more people off?

AaronSOLDIER 23 December, 2011 @ 4:30 pm   7

Already knew about the Silent Hill/Siren developer.


The weird black object is the transformer for power supply


Give us 32GB MC!

the price keeps every laughing like it´s some kinda joke you can get a 3ds for about 150 euro and the Vita is twice that expensive yet it´s not even very new technology so the vita doesen´t even need 2 be priced at 250. o wait it´s not 250 it´s most likely close 2 like 500 with the memory card and games.


James can you clarify the whole trophy system and how it’s going to work with the PS3 list?


10# Well shut up with your whining all the time on the blog. Jesus you are always negativ every time you post. Buy a 3DS if you don’t want psvita then.

Psvita is really cheap for what you get from it. 3DS is a one generation back handheld which is why it is cheap. Sony is already losing money on every psvita so they can’t make it cheaper.


what´s so great about a downgraded handheld less battery life 4-5 charge time 2-3 hours can´t even play all psp games, ppl can start rebuying all their UMDs and no plans for them 2 rebuy the games at discount price,can´t play ps1 games at launch or any archived games,memory cards priced ridiculous instead off a standard memory cards, and now ppl can hope sony won´t kill off it´s next physical format

One major issue is that the combo of ARM Cortex-A CPU + PowerVR SGX GPU is already becoming a popular choice in smartphones and tablets. In other words, the PSVITA performance is directly comparable to those of smartphones and tablets.

This time, SCE could simply not afford the cost of developing its own CPU and GPU combo, and had to bring in a pre-existing architecture.


so instead off dumb ranting what you will most likely will be doing is so great about VITA 2 make it´s price great.
and explain in a logical way not a dumb fanboy way

jakster123x 23 December, 2011 @ 6:05 pm   15

Very interesting stuff


you forgot to mention that Lord Ian Sony has deemed that anyone going by the ID monkelus shall get one free on launch day. Can’t remember where I read that though, probably the internet so it must be true

KillerXp82 23 December, 2011 @ 6:19 pm   17

They really don’t want to give you much in the box these days, do they? I remember the days when you would got headphones with remote, memory card & at least a pouch to put it in. Just them little extras! I don’t think it’s asking for much when your paying all that money for it.

I know there’s preorder bonus pack but you shouldn’t have to preorder to get something that should be in the box & use to come as standard. Also what’s with such short usb & Ac leads?

Doesn’t seem like you’ve learned much to me!

Titchy_Penguin 23 December, 2011 @ 6:21 pm   18

personally i dont think the price is that bad as its more powerful thanan iphone 4s and is half the price although you need a memory car but still alot cheaper, better games, larger oled screen, back touchpad and proper controls. Plus gamecentre is terrible compared to PSN.

Tecnoboy1 23 December, 2011 @ 8:09 pm   19

To all you multiple account peeps, may I ask why you have more than one account? You know, aside from the family (Which is irrelevant on a handheld anyway), I can guarantee 90% of you people have about 5 accounts that have different nationalities on them to get free stuff.

That’s not liked. At all.


12 @ no u totaly rong

sony anounce 250€ wifi version = not tru
u almost are obligate to buy mem . cards = so more 300 € wiffi

+ i not buy mem. ore eni games untile europe gets 32 gb.

i hate swaping kards – ps3 = 320 gig
on 60 en 120 gig = to fast deleting things .


Cough, cough.. 32Gb memory card.

gameman1999 23 December, 2011 @ 10:12 pm   22

do vitas take memory stick duos? Anyone know?

Immortal-Wolf- 23 December, 2011 @ 10:22 pm   23

PS Vita has Playstation 4 capabilities ? um what um how ow its PS V function to Playstation 4!



US store gets more content, it gets content we never get. As the years go by the amount of content difference for SCEE vs SCEA just gets bigger, so having a US account is needed just to get equel treatment, but you cannot just have a US account because DLC is region locked, so you need a home country account also.

Forcing people to buy more than one memory card, expecting them to format the Vita when sitching beteen PSN IDs, and then not even letting them play games they paid for with all accounts like PS3 does makes mugs of customers.

…and yes, different accounts and shared content for multiple users on a single Vita is a perfectly normal expectation. Many people will treat it no different than a PS3.

vherostar 24 December, 2011 @ 1:10 am   25

Another thing you should know right now the VITA is broken. People are reporting a lot of problems with software crashing constantly. Hope they fix before EU launch as I am actually tempted to buy one.


I’m excited for February. FIFA and uncharted a must. Be interesting to see what else grabs my attention before the eu launch! Although I’m still disgruntled over these proprietary memory cards. Only bad thing about the vita for me that.

ShadowDoGGG 24 December, 2011 @ 1:38 am   27

Give us a free small memory stick! Stop trying to mug us!

M3RL1NS_N3M3S1S 24 December, 2011 @ 1:47 am   28

+1 on the 32GB card, EU NEEDS this at LAUNCH! make it so guys, please, there is no reason not to release it and if you don’t those that want it (myself included) will import it, meaning you wont even have us buying the lower capacity cards, what’s better: EU gamers paying SCEE for 32GB cards or EU gamers paying SCEA/SCEJ for 32GB cards? We’re gonna be getting 32GB cards either way, if you want our money, release the card in the SCEE market, simples 😉

32gb are sold out in Japan just after release. Lesson that SCEE learns: Customer in Europe probably don’t want those, so let’s refuse to offer them those right away!

Damn amateurs, SCEE must really be a collection of the most incompetent heads in this business. Well anyway, I already decided to NOT buy the Vita for 2 reasons.

1. The hassle if you want to switch regions.
2. The european stores simply suck.

There is no way in hell that I would invest in a system where I would depend on what Sony is willed to put in the german stores. Just keep this general nonsense going and see if you’ll make me buy as PS4.

RustyTachikoma 24 December, 2011 @ 4:00 am   30

I pre-ordered my Vita for Gravity Rush, now I learn it won’t have a retail release in Europe. I would have never thought I would be forced to import so soon…

THE_FORCE 24 December, 2011 @ 7:33 am   31

Thank god they decided to keep the analog sticks. Anyone who has tried using an on screen control method from a touch device such as the iPad will know how lame it is at replicating physical controls !


i hope Little Deviants not use mem stic
32@ jes not like front touch on screen
rear touch replace l2 r2 ore new future like moving earth in little deviants but 2 analog sticks are supper .

not buying u cards ore games who need stiks untile 32 gb in europe i have lots digital games .
not like u augment reality cards ore games , u can keep them .

multy acount = to get things here u normale can not get
sony need to place every game in 2 main language in the psn store
= jappanese en english
then if them feel the need to sel big trancelate to other language .

i wil buy lots more rpg in english even if mi riding = teribel
i read very good en understeand very good

so monsterhunter 3portabel hd . = jappanese / english
instand buy english if 32 gb . mem sticks are avaibel in europe


PlayStation Vita is designed by game developers, for game developers

i not understend , so game devlopers are buying the games ?

rong = PlayStation Vita is designed by game developers for esy creation ore esy porting any games for the gamers ( consumers )
but u forget consumers are not loving if u are not fair against them. u are coperation wo need to make profit = no problem .
but realy u never gone get ith : gamers need games + extras ath fair price portabel = not tv console .
consumers happy them coming back . rest = not inrtesting to us .


I wonder how long it’d be before it gets hacked to reach its full potential. I probably will get one but I’ve kinda gone off of consoles now. Both Sony and Microsoft suck in many many ways. (We’d be here until 24th Dec 2012 if I explained which ways and why.. though it’s pretty obvious.) There are a few games I want, but if its anything like the PS3, it’ll break 3 months after buying it and cost a lot of money for repairs that doesnt entirely fix it and continue to break on a regular basis whilst features gradually get removed after various system updates making it so we’re actually getting short changed.

But oh no, they have a right to do that, cause we only own the license for a PS3, not the actual PS3. In that case when its no longer in warranty you guys should still technically fix it since it’s your piece of scrap and not mine. So I shouldn’t really be paying for anything. /endrant

Dont get me started on account activations, sheesh.. scared people might be sharing games? I dont remember Sony stopping us sharing games before the internet.. they probably wanted us to stop though.

PSV better have that one comic viewer program on! 😛


Hello, i’ve got the Red Dead Redemption bundle, on this account all it’s ok, but when i log in to my default account, the one where i have my savedata/trophyes, the DLC included in the pack don’t show in games. Please help. Have a happy Christmas!!!


You know nothing at all….
and what’s so good about 3DS?
Sacrifice pixels and quality for stupid 3D?

And how in hell is PS VITA “Downgraded”?
It is better than PSP in every possible way.
If you mean PS3[DELETED].

Well PS VITA is at least 2-3 times more powerfull than 3DS so I think the price is great. I expected it to be 300-400…




I agree on both points, sony says they learn from they mistake from PSP-GO there wasn’t anything wrong with PSP-GO the only thing happen to it is falling foul like it’s Bro.

sony’s muti region SCEE president says there be games this time for the vita HOW?

SCEE haveing bad time getting ps1 imports from square, wild arms, the last 2 resident evil, delay of PSN games & generally being [DELETED].

so plz forgive cynical me here for doubting your words. the vita games will fall foul of SCEE QA as well.

Alienshade 24 December, 2011 @ 11:45 am   38

60 days left to Vita launch! I dont think that the psvita is so expensive. For me ther is no alternativ. My frend have the 3ds and if the PsVita and PSP didnt exist I would have bough it…..

chrisandsheva 24 December, 2011 @ 12:04 pm   39

I was all set to get a launch week vita, am not one to pre order etc. But the last few posts have really had me thinking i’d be better giving it a couple of months, As after the very positive opening details posts all’s i see now is the small print details, ie cost of mem, cost or rrp of games, something about region or account locking, and scee being the worse region (again) and there only the posts i have read, But if this platform is a game devs dream etc, How can they then justify the rrp of it’s games, i mean there dearer than the ps3’s, is this not known as shooting oneself in foot.. and i know the difference between a rrp and a probable price, which is Exactly why i believe it is worth questioning, I am not a ‘hater’, but i think i have to say that there seems to be a few fanboys here, and tbh you could tell them that it will all cost 10 times more but they’d still prob defend it, just had a picture in my head of those old captains who ‘went down with their ship’, not saying vita will sink, just the way i picture certain vita praise singers… But i wish it well and fingers are crossed that it will all be good.

obiadekanobi1980 24 December, 2011 @ 1:02 pm   40

im not paying that price for memory!!!!

if this is so future proof and current gen then it should have had on board memory of at least 8gb but no, they need to squeeze every drop of blood out of its loyal customer base will they never learn??

if they are selling them at a loss its there fault…..

but they shouldnt penalise customers by inventing annother new mem card and abuse the pricing on it just to recoup some lost revenue…

and dont get me started on the price of the games, there just absurd
and the fact that if you want to buy games for it off the store you WILL have to buy a mem card anyway……..

i was buzzing when they showed vita to us but as time goes by i really dont want it anymore not because its [DELETED], but because of the general content they are showing us consumers!!

i will buy one, but only (if)when they give the rights out for the 3rd party guys to make there own mem cards and accessiories until then they can shove it up there tailpipe….

obiadekanobi1980 24 December, 2011 @ 1:07 pm   41

which makes me very sad as i love sony design and they do design some of the best looking gadgets on the planet shame it run by a bunch of fools with too much freedom to do and act like they want typical western buisness idiots…..

RAYmyc896 24 December, 2011 @ 1:31 pm   42

Can’t wait till February!

mikalrkayn 25 December, 2011 @ 1:59 am   43

Please listen to what people are saying SCEE we want 32gb card at launch.We will be forced to import costing us more money and losing you sales.Europe is one of playstation brands biggest supporters and yet we seem to be playing second fiddle to the U.S. with regards to Vita so please show us some respect.
P.s. where’s the cradle it was going to be on my pre-order with the 32gb card.

AlexAtkinUK 25 December, 2011 @ 2:41 am   44

I don’t get why some people are saying the PS Vita is bad because its using the same technology as smartphones?

Surely the fact its using tried and tested (and British) technology is a GOOD thing. We know ARM and PowerVR chips are efficient, reliable and plenty of developers are already familiar with them. It makes far more sense to use a known technology that developers already know how to optimise for than to pick something brand new “just for the hell of it”.

Also, there is NO tablet or smartphone using quad core ARM and PowerVR chips yet and when they do, they will cost double the price of a PS Vita and not be comparable. PS Vita is optimised for gaming, phones/tablets aren’t, they will pull much more impressive games for Vita and that is without even considering the fact it has proper gaming controls.

Sure its annoying, IMO memory cards should have STARTED at 32GB minimum. What good is 4GB or 8GB when retail games will likely be that big. No point in digital download if you can only fit a couple of games per memory card, might as well buy retail then. Even so, I think anyone who feels Vita is not worth the asking price is being silly.

Billybobbean 25 December, 2011 @ 10:17 am   45

I think the real thing that was learned was how to make the European launch the worst of the lot.

I was genuinley excited about getting the PSV on launch like I did with my PSP and PS3 but getting it later, not getting bigger memory cards and the launch lineup being a bit poor (and in some cases way more expensive than I thought) has caused me to put my buying plans on hold for the forseeable future.

Big shame

Alienshade 25 December, 2011 @ 1:37 pm   46

32gig is minimum for me……..

MohammedMK 25 December, 2011 @ 8:32 pm   47

Gravity Rush looks great. Also, I know that it’s made by Toyama, that’s why I’m looking forward to it.

Bassie_1985 26 December, 2011 @ 5:55 pm   48


Things that are great (3DS)

1) Nintendo games = nostalgia and great gameplay
2) Dual screen
3)(Finally)Nintendo eshop

Don’t get my wrong : I love my PS3 and PSP. But I have more pleasure when i’m playing Nintendo games on my 3DS 🙂

SHAFTRULES 26 December, 2011 @ 9:45 pm   49

Iam fed up with ppl complaining about the price! yes it is a lot of money,but look at what this little machine can & will be able to do in the future,plus the games that are ready for launch & in development,the price of the memory card is a sore one for me but again the price should fall over time.I’ve had to save for the ps vita & looking foward to it now!

SHAFTRULES 26 December, 2011 @ 9:50 pm   50

also totally agree with comment 18!

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