PS3 Controller Capability Confirmed
Oh lord. Despite having a weak battery life, the Playstation Vita is looking to be one of the sexiest bits of kit we've ever seen... and with a launch lineup to die for. However, it also contains a few very nifty hardware features that will place it ahead of its competitors in the technological stakes, including augmented reality that doesn't technically require a marker or AR card to function. On top of that, the rumoured PS3 controller functionality has been confirmed, with its touchscreen and gyro able to augment home console games.
We want one... and we've got more details below.
Traditional Augmented Reality experiences (such the 3DS' offering that overlays gameplay on to real-time video footage) typically rely on a marker that gives the software a scale from which to make sense of the environment. This limits the scope of the game experiences that it can offer - after all, you can't move away from it.
However, the Vita's Wide Area Augmented Reality functions (WAAR for short) will allow you to place multiple markers around an environment, making for a much larger play area and potentially much more complex AR games. On top of that, you can take a photo of a surface or area and use it to create a markerless 3D play space. Here's hoping that developers will take advantage of this nifty new feature.
In other news, Sony has also confirmed and demoed the Vita's PS3 controller functionality at TGS, using LittleBigPlanet to demonstrate how the touchscreen and gyroscope provides a new way of interacting with the traditional experience. We don't know how many Vita units can be tethered to the same PS3 simultaneously, but we'll let you know as soon as we hear anything else.