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Playstation Vita Gets The Blessing Of The FCC


The FCC: at its best, it is decency's saving angel of grace -- the lone moral arbiter that stands between civilization and a savage dystopia, run on a depravity-based economy -- a collective hug for "the children" from your buddies on the Hill. At worst, it's a bothersome government agency that has clearly run out of things to do, and thus gets its kicks by issuing draconian fines for the utterance of "unacceptable" language -- by the way, your adorable little boy or girl is firing off such potty words like bullets from a killer's gun -- when frankly, we all have much better things to worry about.

When not silencing a caustic f-bomb or blurring out a rogue lady-t*t, the FCC performs testing on consumer electronics, and is generally the last hurdle a device must go through before making its way to market. According to images posted by Engadget (check the FCC's website for more), the Vita has cleared said hurdle, and is ready to send the PSP to... live on a farm. Indeed, a farm where little boys and girls will play with it all day, tell it what a pretty handheld it is, and never have to worry about sticky buttons or battery life again.

But I digress.

While it's noteworthy that the Vita has received FCC approval, Sony has yet to announce a release date. Speculation is that the handheld would be released around the holiday season, and a Blockbuster flyer seems to confirm this, stating a release of October 28th. Though we will have to wait for Sony for official confirmation, this sounds pretty accurate, giving Sony a chance to cash in on that most lucrative of times: the Christmas season.

Update: Sony will not be releasing the Vita before Christmas in the North American and European markets. The official launch date for the Vita is to be revealed at TGS.

Whatever the date, I'm just happy to see that the Vita will be out soon. I haven't been chomping at the bit to pick up a 3DS -- I will say, however, that I am somewhat interested -- and as I've mentioned in the past, the Vita looks fantastic on paper. Emerging somewhat jaded from too many interminable months of "nothing interesting" on the PSP, I'm a bit more cautious this time around. Still, I can't think of any particular feature on the Vita that I don't like; in fact, it seems to have much of what I had hoped for in a next-generation handheld, and then some.

So once again I find myself tossing a little prayer toward Valhalla that Sony won't disappoint me. Particularly with the 3DS not doing so well (to a degree that a massive price drop seemed like the best option), I'm hoping that the Vita will help to keep my beloved handheld gaming afloat - assuming the 3DS doesn't bounce back from its troubles.

via Engadget


blackboy said:

I'm curious, what do you look for in a next generation handheld?

SuperSwede said:


I'll skip over "good games," and "graphics," since that's terribly generic.

Decent online features are very appealing. The "Party" feature is particularly striking, as aside from the fact that voice chat in multiplayer is a must, and the fact that you don't have to be playing the same game to chat with friends makes the whole thing a more social experience. Simply having some sort connection between users, similar to a handheld's home console counterparts, goes a long way in enticing me to fork over the money for the system. For me, this is where multiplayer (which i'm typically not a huge fan of) helps to make those dry spells, where there simply aren't decent games to buy, a bit less dull, and extends the life of the truly good titles. Playing the same FPS over and over again is a bore, but hopping into a competitive multiplayer match keeps things fresh.

Then of course there's the user interface which, for the Vita, entirely justifies a touch screen. Navigating the Xross Media Bar is a chore, and i'm all for something more intuitive.

Lastly, we have media -- and by media, i mean "please not UMDs." Media cards are definitely the way to go, though i do like having digital downloads in case my precious games get lost.

As far as other features go, i'm not that picky. I couldn't care less about skype, i'll never use my handheld to watch movies or television, i probably won't use it for music or photos, and as far as web browsing is concerned... Well, it's a non-issue for me.

All that being said, i'll probably end up buying a 3DS at some point, now that the price is getting a cut. There are a few upcoming titles that i'm itching to play, and the 3D, while succumbing to the gimmicky "look, its that game you played years ago... IN 3D!!" business that we all expected, i'm less cynical about that mysterious third dimension than i was when the 3DS was first announced. There's something to be said for the fact that it's just another tool for people who want to use it artfully, and hopefully developers will collectively realize that 3D can offer more immersion than the quick-buck, "lots of sh*t flying at you" strategy we've seen in movies -- particularly for those of us who have seen the multiple 3D crazes over the years.

It could suffer the same death it's suffered many times before, in which case i'm perfectly happy with keeping the 3D slider locked firmly in the "of" position. While i'd like to have the option of using 3D (Nintendo has hinted that there may be some 2-d only titles in the future), i wouldn't be torn up if i had to indulge in more conventional visuals.

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