E3 2011

Sony: PS3 and PS Vita Could Replicate Wii U

| 8 Jun 2011 18:31
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The link between the PS3 and Sony's upcoming PS Vita could imitate Nintendo's dual-platform strategy with the Wii U, says one of Sony's top executives.

Yesterday at the Nintendo conference, we saw how the Wii U is entirely built around its two screens - one in the controller, and one on the TV - and how the two interact. The day before at Sony's conference, however, we saw some similar interplay between the new PS Vita handheld and the venerable old PS3.

SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Develop that he was interested in and surprised by the technology behind the Wii U, and that he wouldn't be surprised if some Vita developers leveraged the connection between the PS3 and its portable cousin to do something similar.

"Already people are starting to ask about linking Vita and PS3 to do something similar, in terms of using two screens, and having controls on the screen," he said. "That's very interesting, and we will have to experiment."

Yoshida also added that, to some extent, there were already projects underway for Vita that did just that. "Lots of the things that developers of Vita games are doing, as you may have seen, is experimenting with connectivities between Vita and PS3 ... It's just a matter of time, as we provide the SDKs to developers so they can make use of both PS3 and Vita, and they might come up with something interesting."

Permit me to editorialize for a moment: I really wouldn't be surprised to see Sony go down this route, as it already has a built-in connection between its two systems. However, the real catch here is likely to be price: We don't know how much the Wii U will cost, but the Vita is going to be $250 to $300 on top of the cost of purchasing a PS3.

Nintendo experimented with console connectivity all the way back in the GameCube era, linking up GBAs to the 'Cube in games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. It did something similar this generation with the DS and Wii for Pokemon Battle Revolution - but these were experiments, nothing more. It turns out that requiring gamers to purchase entirely separate hardware to make the most of their games on another system doesn't go over too well.

In that light, it's not surprising that Nintendo just went "screw it" and built the functionality into the Wii U - it's a natural progression of ideas we've seen for almost a decade now. I think that Sony absolutely has the technology to do something similar with the PS3 and PS Vita (and Vita certainly "wowed" at the conference), but it can't ever be a core part of a gaming experience like Nintendo is doing with Wii U.

That said, it's a cool idea and I'm all for it if Sony wants to give it a shot.

(Via Develop Online)

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