Come December 18, the PlayStation Network will feature a new downloadable content pack for LittleBigPlanet 2. Given that the game initially debuted in January of 2011, it seems slightly odd that Sony would still be churning out DLC for the game, but that’s not the story here. Instead, we’d like to focus on a new feature set that makes this downloadable add-on unlike anything seen on a Sony console to date.
Dubbed the “Cross-Controller Pack,” this latest addition to LittleBigPlanet 2 brings with it a handful of new story missions. According to the PlayStation.blog, these new missions see Sackboy joining forces with “a group of lovable Space Pirates as they race to find a valuable treasure long thought lost to the Cosmos.” To accomplish this task, players will have to use all the skills they picked up by playing through the game’s built-in story mode levels, but in addition to this expected skill set prospective buyers of the $5 Cross-Controller Pack will also need to keep a Vita handheld nearby. “Cross-Controller lets you to use PS Vita as a controller for PlayStation 3, allowing the use of PS Vita-only features, like front and rear touch, in PlayStation 3 games,” states LittleBigPlanet community coordinator Steven Isbell. “More importantly, it provides a whole second screen where action can take place! This allows for an unimaginable number of new ways to play, some of which you’ll experience with the LittleBigPlanet 2 Cross-Controller Pack!”
If that sounds at all familiar, it’s likely because using the Vita as a controller/second screen for a PlayStation 3 title is undeniably similar to Nintendo’s key selling point for its recently-released Wii U console. All of Nintendo’s promotional material for the Wii U focuses on the utility of the screen built into the console’s Wii U GamePad. That controller, which is largely heralded as the default control option for the Wii U, features a standard set of video game buttons and joysticks alongside a touchscreen — a very similar set up to what you would find on the Vita. Further, Nintendo has spent months loudly proclaiming the awesome possibilities presented by this extra screen, in much the same way as Sony’s official announcement of this new LittleBigPlanet 2 DLC pack. Finally, while both Sony and Nintendo seem quite proud of their novel control scheme, we’ve seen little to indicate that it might cause a seismic shift in the way people play games. Instead, both companies promise that their screen-laden controller will prove its worth at some nebulous point in the future.
That said, we’re excited to see what Sony can do with this Cross-Controller concept, and love the idea of playing through additional LittleBigPlanet 2 stages. Hopefully Cross-Controller will see more support than some of Sony’s other much-hyped control schemes, like the PlayStation 2′s EyeToy peripheral or the PlayStation 3′s Move.