The PlayStation Vita has an uphill battle when it is released. While the Nintendo DS killed it in sales and went on to join the ranks of phenomena, the 3DS has been struggling badly until its controversial price drop and the PSP just never quite caught on like Sony hoped it would. Plus, with the rise of mobile gaming on other platforms like smartphones and tablets, a handheld gaming device faces a tough debut.
But Sony knows this, and so it is doing everything it can to make the upcoming Vita as user-friendly and accessible as possible. With a price tag of $249 ($299 for 3G), the company is almost certainly taking a loss on the hardware to make it more appealing, it recently confirmed that the Vita will be region free, and now Sony has announced that the Vita will be able to play multiplayer games with the PSP.
The PSP obviously won’t be able to play games developed for the Vita only, but according to Siliconera Vita owners will be able to download PSP titles from the PSN store and play ad hoc multiplayer with users in close proximity.There are also several games that will be released for both systems, which will be compatible.
This won’t work on all PSP games and Sony has yet to issue a list of compatible titles . 1up has confirmed that Sony is planning on doing something for its current PSP owners that upgrade to the Vita, possibly allowing them to re-download all the PSP titles they purchased onto the Vita. So far this plan is on for the Japanese market, but that may simply be because the Japanese launch is months ahead of the North American and European releases, and that offer may be forthcoming.
The PlayStation Vita will be released in Japan on December 17, then it will make its way to North America and Europe in early 2012.