Gamescom 2011 is the center of news for the PlayStation family as of late. In addition to the PS3 price drop announced today, Sony has also revealed some key new social networking features for the PS Vita, as well as details on new games for the handheld, including a new addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and details on the PS Vita Resistance game.

In terms of social networking features, the PSP successor, Vita, is taking the fight straight to smart phones, offering both the obligatory Twitter and Facebook apps. Despite worries from fans that the recent Microsoft-Skype acquisition may not bode well for third parties like Sony, the PS Vita will also feature a Skype app.

The original PSP also featured the ability to use Skype, though no details have been given on how the PS Vita version will differ from it. Lastly, a fourth social networking feature will be added: foursquare. Similar to one of the features from Facebook, foursquare allows users to check into places and in certain areas, use that to earn real-life discounts in restaurants and such if you frequent the locale and check in a certain amount of times. Users can also engage in some friendly competition between friends as they gain badges for each location they check into with foursquare, which helps to earn points for bragging rights. All of these apps will be available from the PlayStation store and can be downloaded for free.

The needed social networking news was accompanied by what the gamers wanted to see: announcements of four new games for the PS Vita! While no firm release dates have been given, fans can look forward to three new games from established franchises, as well as one entirely new IP:

Resistance: Burning SkiesA Resistance PS Vita title was confirmed to be development when the handheld was first announced, and now more details have surfaced. The game will make full use of the PS Vita’s dual analog controls, and will be written by William C. Dietz, the author of both Resistance novels. The game will feature an all new character.

Resistance: Burning Skies Art

Assassin’s Creed Details are slim on this one, but Sony has confirmed that the title is an all new-game, much like the PSP Assassin’s Creed game, so don’t excpect a port of one of the console titles.

Escape Plan Announced by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Escape Plan makes use of the PS Vita’s touch controls as players guide the playable characters Lil and Laarg through a plethora of puzzles.

FIFA As with the Assassin’s Creed title, few details have been given out regarding the PS Vita FIFA game by EA Sports. Judging by the Vita’s release date, the game could be anything: A port of FIFA 12, a spin-off title, it’s really up to speculation at this point.

Ubisoft also issued a press release today, reaffirming their support for the Vita and emphasizing their status as a leading company in supporting new hardware (which is 100% accurate from their launch titles for the Xbox 360 Kinect, Nintendo 3DS, the Wii U and now the PS Vita as well). Other Ubisoft titles joining Assassin’s Creed in development include Asphalt, Dungeon Hunter Alliance, Lumines, Michael Jackson the Experience and Rayman Origins.

The PlayStation Vita is set to launch in Japan later this year, and North America and Europe in early 2012. Have these new features and games convinced you that the Vita is worth picking up, or has the ability to use the Vita as a PS3 controller already sold you on it?

Source: PlayStation Blog

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