As the PlayStation Vita continues to bomb at retail and the all-important holiday season draws nigh, Sony used its Gamescom press conference to “drive momentum” for the powerful handheld gaming machine still struggling to claim its deserved success on the market. Showing off new games helped, as did pledging greater support for PS3-to-Vita integration with Cross Buy, but details regarding the next system update also show that the Vita is on the right track.
As part of system patch 1.80, which will be going live on August 28th, the Vita will finally gain support for downloading and playing PlayStation 1 Classics, in addition to other features which include: button control for the LiveArea home screen and applications; importing playlists from PS3 or iTunes; variable speed playback, fast-rewind, fast-forward, and repeat play options in the Video app; a “Cross-Controller” icon within the Remote Play app for enabling the Vita to function as a controller in supported PS3 titles (LittleBigPlanet 2 has been confirmed to be compatible with Cross-Controller play); rear touch pad control in the web browser; the ability to change certain settings and capture gameplay screenshots while games are running; support for MPO format photos; layout enhancements and ability to take and send photos as attachments in Group Messaging; interface improvements to the Maps app; and an upgrade to “near” to enable the gathering of information from surrounding Wi-Fi points without an online connection.
Although a specific roll-out date has not been established, the premium PlayStation Plus subscription service will be expanding to the Vita sometime before the year is out. If you’re already set with a Plus account, your benefits will extend to the Vita when the service becomes available–membership includes PS3 and Vita, it will not divide them into seperate subscriptions.
With Plus support extending across both platforms, Sony will also be enlarging the storage space for cloud storing game saves. The storage limit will jump from 150MB to a beefier 1GB!
The future for the Vita looks promising indeed. So, are you finally going to buy one already? If not, what more do you need to see before making the investment?