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A Parent's Guide to the PS Vita

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PS Vita Concept

PS Vita

Sony

What is PS Vita?

PS Vita is the official name of Sony's new handheld system, which will replace the current PSP. The initials "PS" are an abbreviation of PlayStation, just like they were on PSP (which meant "PlayStation Portable"). PS Vita has been known as both PSP2 and NGP (or "Next Generation Portable"), so most older articles refer to it by one of these names.

Will my child's old PSP games work on PS Vita?

Yes and no. Yes, if your PSP games were purchased through the PSN Store--they can be downloaded again to the PS Vita. No, for games that you own on UMD--the optical discs used by all PSP models except PSPgo. These will not work on the PS Vita, since it will lack a UMD Drive.

PSP owners are hoping for a "trade-in" program where players could download digital copies of the games they own on UMD, but it is unknown at this point whether Sony will pursue that option.

When is it coming out?

If Sony keeps to their schedule, PS Vita will be released in time for the 2011 Holiday Season.

Edit: Sony has since pushed back the North American release to "early 2012".

I have heard about two models of the system. What is the difference between them (including price)?

The two models of the PS Vita will be released simultaneously. One is a WiFi-only model, which has exactly the same internet connectivity as the PSP does--that is to say, you can go online wherever wireless Internet is available, from Internet cafés to your own basement. The other model is a 3G model. This model has Internet connectivity from any area serviced by AT&T (in the US), meaning you can go online anywhere.

The Wifi-only model will cost US$249, while the 3G model will cost US$299.

How will the games be delivered?

Retail games will come on NVG cards, while direct download games will continue to be delivered through the PlayStation Store.

What family-friendly games will there be on PS Vita?

Most PS Vita titles announced thus far are still awaiting an ESRB rating (see this article for info on as-yet unrated games). Even without knowing the age rating, a number of early PS Vita games may be family-friendly fare. A few examples (with links to a profile of each game):

ModNation Racers

Little Deviants

LittleBigPlanet

Super Stardust Delta

WipeOut

New Little King Story - a follow-up to the fantastic Wii game, Little King Story

Hot Shots Golf

On the other hand, several PS Vita games have been revealed that, once rated, will fall into the Teen- or Mature-rated category. These include: 

Killzone

BlazBlue Continuum Shift II Plus

Dynasty Warriors

Street Fighter x Tekken

Uncharted: Golden Abyss


More game profiles will follow as they become available.

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