Sony’s TGS briefing; Vita dated, will have 100 “launch window” titles

This year’s Tokyo Game Show may not have officially started just yet, but that’s not stopping Sony from taking the stage and holding a pre-TGS press conference, which ultimately hosted a number of representatives from different companies talking about PlayStation Vita. Aside from mentioning all the things we already knew about it, some — arguably — interesting things came to light. At least, if you’re Japanese.

Bear in mind that while we do have knowledge of foreign languages here at TVGB, Japanese is unfortunately not one of them. And given that Sony’s live stream broke two minutes prior to the event starting, we’ve gathered whatever we could, however we could of what went down.

First off, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s Hiroshi Kawano takes the stage and after a brief introduction, a release date for the PS Vita is announced. At 29,980 JPY (Yen) and 24,980 JPY, 3G and WiFi models respectively, Sony’s next-gen portable will launch on December 17th in Japan; clever move to let it out there just in time for the holidays. That doesn’t change the expected, and hopeful, Q1 2012 launch for the rest of the world, however. In addition to this, Sony announced a launch line-up of 26 titles, which will all be joined by an additional 74 eventually, bringing it to a total of 100 titles to be released within the Vita’s “launch window.”

The electronics giant also announced it will be partnering with NTT docomo in Japan to bring 3G to the portable device. Pre-paid data plans of 20 and 100 hours were announced for 980 JPY and 4980 JPY (roughly $13 and $65) respectively. The NTT docomo representative talked about three potential “plans” for the Vita: 3G network, cloud-based network and smartphone/tablet network, probably meaning the Vita will be able to interface with the smartphone market rather than compete against it.

As we dwelled deeper into the conference, a few quick demos occurred on stage, including one showing how it’s like to start up the Vita for the first time. This was primarily made to focus on the fact that the portable, if 3G-enabled, will immediately look for the network of your choice right off the bat without hassle. Further demonstrations showed the multitasking capabilities of the Vita as music was played while browsing the photo viewer among other things. Multitasking while in a game was also mentioned to be possible.

Social networks were also included in one corner of this press conference; Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Skype will all be available on Vita from the get-go and will support multitasking as well, meaning you can pause a game, send updates, and then go back to it.

There was also mentioning of the Vita supporting “most” downloadable PSP content. As to what extent that “most” implied is at this point anyone’s guess, but PSP owners can at least expect around 600 PSP titles to be fully functional on the Vita. In addition to this, PS3 and PC content can be extracted and stored on the Vita via USB cable.

Kawano concludes the conference announcing PS Vita pre-orderings (in Japan) will begin on October 15th and that TGS will host 80 Vita consoles and 31 games; plenty of hands-on for all you fortunate to be there.

Note: Most people involved in Sony’s press conference talked about and announced games as well, but that’ll be covered throughout the day so stay tuned for those updates.

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