It’s one thing to simply talk about bringing different platforms together into a single gameplay experience, but the developers behind DUST 514 are looking to actually deliver. Aside from creating the first truly free-to-play FPS integrated into the larger world of EVE Online, DUST 514 is apparently set to extend the overall experience – in extremely promising ways – onto the PlayStation Vita. The developers at CCP Games have now hinted at much stronger ties between the console and handheld than may have previously been expected.
After CCP went out of their way to re-emphasize the connections between DUST and EVE, the announcement that the Vita’s level of integration into the PS3-exclusive experience would amount to little more than a ‘companion app’ likely came as a disappointment to owners. After all, the cross-platform play seemed the exact kind of opportunity Sony claimed to be looking for when the Vita was revealed at E3 2011.
Now those hoping for a more interesting use of the Vita can breathe a bit easier, since at least some at CCP are thinking about the possibilities offered by the handheld’s features. In speaking with the PlayStation Blogcast, CCP’s David Reid offered a bit of a tease for Vita support, going so far as calling the device a possible ‘controller’:
“Once you get your hands on the Vita, you can imagine it as a controller for your DUST experience. Suddenly you can think about all the things you can do with that screen.
“Our first steps will be cohort apps — the idea of taking a certain amount of the [game’s] admin on the go. But the opportunity is massive in terms of what could be on that screen while you’re playing DUST 514.”
Obviously Reid’s comments should be taken at face value, since this is in no way a confirmation that DUST 514 players will be able to use their Vita as an input device into the game itself. But it certainly points to more full-scale support and exploration than the previous details, with the ‘companion app’ version of the game now framed as a “first step.” But if the Vita brings game modes and chances to customize the player’s experience on-the-go, why can’t the same be done for iOS or Android?
It would be a shame for the Vita’s numerous control features to be cast aside in favor of simple apps, but even more of a lost opportunity if the game’s Sony exclusivity means other mobile platforms are ignored. Hopefully more news on these features will come soon, and whether or not iOS or Android releases are even a possibility.
Dust 514 is currently in closed beta and will be released exclusively for the PS3 and Vita later this year.
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