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Sony Japan Playstation Vita Announcement 18/02/13
by Andy Urquhart

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So ahead of Sony’s big announcement on the 20th February, Sony Japan announced that it would be broadcasting a special
prerecorded announcement last night. This is what we have been able to get from it (bear in mind that all dates here are for
Japan only and that the announcement was in Japanese so our translation might be slightly off in some aspects, but we’ve got all
the major stuff!).

Ok here we go! SCEJ President Hiroshi Kawano was the man tasked with making this announcement and made quite a number
of interesting and exciting announcements over the course of the 30 or so minute long video.

First up a Vita price drop! Not entirely unexpected however in a strange move the wifi and 3G models will now be the same price in
Japan 19,980 Yen. No news as of yet on a US or European price drop but expect them to be announced over the next few days.

Free Playstation Plus for all for Vita for 7 days! Nice little touch means all vita users can give it a try and see what it’s like.
Again this is Japan only for now but expect US/EU announcements soon (likely through the respective Playstation blogs).

Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Ridge Racer plus 4 other titles (not announced) are coming to PS Plus in February.
Again Japan only and we already have Uncharted however Ridge Racer would be nice to see on the service (hint hint Sony EU).

Playstation Store Vita Debut Campaign was announced. Basically first time buyers on the Vita Store will get 200 Yen credit
(about 1.50/$2) nice touch again hope the bring this over to the west.

Phantasy Star Online 2 service begins on the 28th of February and was showcased alongside the new Ice Silver Vita which was
also dated for the 28th February (and will come bundled with PSO2). PSO2 if you didn’t know is a free to play MMORPG, and will
allow users to use their PC version data etc. The game looks amazing so far and stays true to the series roots on the Dreamcast.
There is a detailed character customization system.

Toukiden was announced for both Vita and PSP it is an action hunting style game in a similar vein to the Monster Hunter series,
some footage was shown off and it looks amazing so far (probably the best looking game on Vita to date)  though it is
still a while off as it has been slated for summer 2013 (in Japan).

A brand new video was shown off for Soul Sacrifice, Keiji Inafune from Concept then took over to discuss development on the Vita,
say that it is easy to develop for, allows for pretty graphics and that they wanted controls that did not frustrate or confuse players, this
combination is only available on the Vita. This game has been in development for 2 years already and is coming along very nicely
indeed judging from the footage shown. It’s a 3rd person fantasy action RPG style game. Really hope this one makes it’s way over
here as it looks amazing so far!. More Vita bundles this time with Soul Sacrifice bundled were also announced.

Valhalla Knights was dated for 23rd May (Japan) and a trailer was shown off. This is another 3rd person RPG, it looks OK so far
but pales in comparison to anything else on show here.

Eiyuu Densetsu: Sen no Kiseki trailer was shown off. It is now a 3D action/JRPG game with a free control camera system. The
character models are straight out of Japanese Manga and seem to mostly be Japanese schoolgirls with ridiculously short skirts!
Though you can also play as a school boy! This is very likely to be Japan only.

Gundam Breaker was discussed and confirmed to be coming for both PS3 and Vita (here’s hoping for cross buy!) and will be
released in 2013, though no firm date was given. 3rd person action/fighting game where you play as a giant robot (looks almost
exactly like the old Transformer cartoon). Likely Japan only again for this one.

God Eater 2 trailer. (see it here) God Eater Burst data can be transferred over to GE2 and God Eater Burst will be able to be
transferred to Vita for free at the end of February (if you own the PSP version of course). Again this is a Japan only feature but
would be nice if we could see something similar! Crisis Core on Vita? (not announced here sadly) Yes please! GE2 is a 3rd person
action/fighting game where you take on massive monsters/gods. This game looks great so far and has by far the most ridiculously
oversized weapons I have ever seen in a game!

A new Dragon’s Crown trailer was then shown off. It is a side scrolling fantasy beat em up syle game with RPG and magic
elements and reminded me very much of the original Golden Axe. This is something the Vita has been crying out for and is one to
look out for in the future!

And finally one last game was announced Final Fantasy X HD is indeed coming to Vita! It is currently in development (though sadly
no release date as of yet) and footage of some of the character models (Tidus and Yuna) was shown on the Vita. It looks
absolutely stunning! The graphics are almost as good as FFXIII

Some more trailers were shown for games releasing between now and March but nothing new so that’s a wrap!

Slightly underwhelmed by this announcement however they did announce 2 out of the 3 things that many Vita users (Current and
potential) were hoping for: a price drop and a bunch of games. However it is a slight worry that they didn’t announce any kind of
price drop (or even larger storage capacities) for their prohibitively expensive Vita Memory Cards.

Overall though Sony have done a pretty good job of showing support for the Vita and of keeping the momentum going in building
up to their big press event on the 20th. Keep it 42 on the 20th from 11PM GMT for live tweets about the event and an article detailing
any announcements made shortly after the conclusion of the press conference.

Andy Urquhart