PS Vita Will Function as a PS3 Controller

Sony's going all Game Boy Advance/GameCube on us with its upcoming handheld.

Sony Europe R&D manager Phil Rogers revealed at the Develop 2011 conference that the PS Vita will be able to function as a controller for the PlayStation 3. This sounds a lot like a certain other Japanese hardware manufacturer’s attempts at cross-platform connectivity. But with the Vita’s dual sticks, two touch screens and full suite of buttons and triggers, Sony’s take on the failed Nintendo experiment might actually make sense. Of course, this will doubtlessly draw comparisons to the upcoming Wii U and its tablet controller, as well.

What could you do with all of this? Here’s a few boring technical ideas: you could drive a display from a PS3 game, for example. PS3 can send data down to Vita and Vita can display it. You could use the unique features [of Vita] – gyroscope, touch front and back – as a control device for a PS3 game. You can run software on both devices and use the network to sync the game states. And that’s pretty good, because you then have the processing power of PS3 doing that work, Vita [doing] fancy graphics – however you want to do it. You’re not sacrificing the PS3’s CPU to be able to have a rich experience on Vita.

Rogers went on to explain that the functionality was newly thought up – way to throw more fuel on the “Sony copied Nintendo” fire – and that interested third parties should contact the publisher about it. He went on to show a demonstration of the previously announced ability to play Vita games on the PS3 with Wipeout 2048. Eurogamer reports that the two versions took quite some time to sync up over the PSN, but eventually played together as smoothly as butta’. The functionality will be available right of the box whenever the handheld launches.

Remote play won’t be the extent of PS3-Vita cooperation on launch day, either. “At launch we’re going to have some PSN features that work across both platforms,” said Rogers. “You could access data on each side and access scoreboards, for example. We’re building on that.”

“We have a system called Title User Storage, which allows 1MB of data on our servers for games,” he continued. “And that can be accessed on both platforms; you can access that same data. You can save your game on PS3, go over to Vita, pull that data back and swap it between them, so you can play a game at home, take it on the train and continue.” Currently, Ruin is the only announced title set to support the mode but more will be forthcoming.

MTB will be sure to bring you more details on the PS Vita in the months leading up to its release (whenever that ends up being) and beyond. Stay tuned.

[Source: Eurogamer]

[Image via Geeky Gadgets and Siliconera.]

Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo

MASH Veteran

Nick has been a gamer since the 8-bit days and a member of the MTB editorial team since January of 2011. He is not to be interrupted while questing his way through an RPG or desperately clinging to hope against all reason that his Philly sports teams will win any given game he may be watching. Seriously folks, reading this acknowledges that you relieve MTB of any and all legal liability for his actions.

The Latest from Mash