Casting aside memories of the much-maligned PSPgo. Sony lifted the wraps off its successor to the PSP at this year's E3. PS Vita.
“Successively launching in the global market for $249 starting the end of this year, PS Vita incorporates a beautiful 5-inch multitouch organic light emitting diode (OLED) as the front display and a unique multitouch pad on the rear. Two analog sticks enable a wider range of game genres. Together with the front touch screen and the rear touch pad, PS Vita offers new gameplay, enabling entirely new experiences.”
Not sure about the nomenclature, but the hardware is on par with the PS3 and this could pose a serious threat to the iPod touch and Nintendo 3DS. The entry level machine is competitively priced at £229 to match its rivals and there's a Wi-Fi/3G option for £279! Retailers are aggressively discounting the 3DS from £229 to as low as £159. I snapped up a 3DS (Cosmos Black) over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend along with a copy of Dead or Alive: Dimensions (review to follow).
First and third-party support is integral to a successful launch and Sony's looking to inhouse franchises for a fillip. LittleBigPlanet (translated to the portable medium with such aplomb that I prefer the PSP version over its larger sibling), Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048 lead the charge.
Unlike Nintendo's draconian policies, you'll be able to download/transfer previous purchases from PSN onto the new machine without incurring additional costs. So, don't delete those PSOne classics just yet. UMD collectors will be left high and dry. Sony is abandoning optical media storage in favour of removable memory cards and there's no internal memory like the 3DS.
I'd suggest buying the Wi-Fi model as free wireless hotspots are in the ascendance or you could tether it to MiFi.
Pre-order PS Vita today.