As we get closer to the launch of the PlayStation Vita, Sony has become more open to talking about the specifics of its latest handheld, including some lesser known features. We've already learned that Vita will support cross game voice chat, and while that is one advantage it has over the PlayStation 3, Vita still has some limits that PS3 users know all too well.
Like its household counterpart, the Vita will not be able to use its web browser in-game, meaning those who hope to to look up trophy guides and the like while playing will have to do so through another internet enabled device. This really isn't a deal breaker, and with the amount of memory that Sony has set aside for cross game voice chat and other features, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Those hoping for the browser to support Flash shouldn't give up hope as Sony is still working with Adobe to try and strike a deal, despite the latter's decision to cut mobile Flash support.
Thankfully, one oft-requested feature has made the cut. PlayStation Vita should be able to play custom soundtracks during any game. However, it will be up to the developers to choose whether or not they want it in their titles. Furthermore, the system will be able to output content at 720p, though that resolution could be increased through future firmware updates. You know, the ones that won't be terrible.
It has already been announced that all PlayStation Vita titles will release at retail and on PSN. For those who plan to buy all of their titles digitally, there will be one big plus: cheaper prices. Sony has not yet confirmed what the actual difference in price will be, but estimates from the company range from anywhere between twenty and forty percent. The former seems most likely, as that is what the price difference will be in Japan. Perhaps buying Vita titles digitally will offset the price of those expensive memory cards.
However, there is an issue pertaining to buying Vita titles digitally. Vita will be limited to one PSN account, meaning those who have an account for the North American PSN and one for Japan (or any other two regions) lose out big time. They will not be able to switch accounts unless they format the system and return it to factory settings, which could be very frustrating for those who just want to play Japan exclusive games on Vita, and then switch back to North American downloaded titles.
In terms of games and hardware, the Vita is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with when it launches next year. Hopefully, Sony will be able to to fix many of these negligible issues through a firmware update.
The PlayStation Vita launches in North America on February 22, 2012, or a week earlier for players who pre-ordered the First Edition Bundle.
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyMole