With the PlayStation 4 about to steal any attention that the PS Vita might receive for some time, Sony's giving the little handheld a little love. Today Sony has released the PS Vita's 3.00 System Update which, among plenty of other things, will add the "PS4 Link" feature. This feature allows the PS Vita to be used with the PS4 for remote play or as second screen/alternate source of information. A new reason to own a Vita!
Again, the PS4 features aren't all that's included in the 3.00 update. Let's list all of the changes coming to the handheld, written up by Sony:
- Parental Controls - The Parental Controls application has been added to the home screen. You can now manage the duration of game play, and the use of games and videos that have parental controls. You can also control access to certain areas of the system, including the use of the Internet browser and Location Data.
- Photos - A Panoramic Camera setting has been added. You can now take panoramic photos on PS Vita, and look around the photo by using the PS Vita’s built-in motion sensor.
- Friends - The application layout for Friends has been improved. There are now four tabs:
- Find Player on PSN | Friends | Friend Requests | Players Blocked
- Messages - The Group Messaging application name and icon have been changed to Messages. The application layout has also been improved, and you can now send and receive messages with friends and players on PS4 or on mobile devices installed with PlayStation App.
- Party - The icon for the Party application has been changed. You can now voice chat and text chat with friends and players on PS4.
- Email - You can now sync the contacts saved in your email account from services including Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. To sync your contacts, select Contact List > Options > [CardDAV Settings] > [Add CardDAV Account], and then follow the screens.
- Content Manager - You can now use Wi-Fi to connect your PS Vita to a PS3, and transfer data between them. Your PS Vita and PS3 must be connected within the same network. Also, to use this feature, the system software of the PS3 you’re using must be version 4.50 or later.
- PS3 Remote Play - The Remote Play application name and icon have been changed to PS3 Remote Play.
- Settings - You can now download future system software updates automatically.
- Trophies - You can now display Trophies of PS4 software on your PS Vita. Rarity of the trophy cannot be displayed.
And of course...
- PS4 Link - The PS4 Link app has been added to the PS Vita system’s home screen. With this application, you can use your PS Vita to remotely control a PS4 system, and play a range of PS4 games on your PS Vita screen. When you’re playing a game on PS4 that supports second screen features, you can also display information from that game on your PS Vita and use it as a second screen.
All in all a very robust set of upgrades for the handheld. The only problem is that beyond the PlayStation 4 functionality and perhaps the release of Tearaway the PS Vita just doesn't have much going on this holiday season. There's no new bundle, no big price drop, and the United States isn't getting the PS Vita 2.0 or PS Vita TV like Japan is. In other words, in a tier of video game platforms to buy this holiday season, Vita is a hard sell.
That's not to say people don't want to buy the handheld, they just need a better reason why. $200 for handheld with no memory card, where a memory card cost around $50 for a memory card of substance. It', ah, but I digress.
Check out the PS Vita this holiday season. Its best new selling point is that it's now a peripheral for the PlayStation 4.