PlayStation Vita - all the launch games
The long-awaited Sony PlayStation Vita, originally codenamed Sony NGP, will hit the shops by the end of the year. Great. So, what will you be able to play on it? The follow up to Sony's PSP, the PS Vita will use NVG cards - a new kind of flash card format - rather than than the UMDs used by its predecessor (although it will support PSP games downloaded from the PlayStation Store).
Although 30 games have been confirmed for the PS Vita, it's unlikely that all of these will be available on launch day. So far, Sony has officially listed 13 titles in the PS Vita website - none of which have been given official launch dates - but it looks likely that these will be the first to hit the shelves.
We've pulled together a roundup for your perusal, along with a list of the remaining confirmed PS Vita games at the end. Some of the game titles haven't been finalised, so if you see a few small name changes here and there by the time they land in the shops, don't worry. It's the same piece of software that we're talking about. So, without any further ado...
This kart-racing game started out on the PS3 before getting ported over to the PSP, so it's no surprise to see it lined up for launch on the PS Vita. The latest version has been enhanced for the new console so that you can use the touchscreen to draw tracks while the rear touch pad will let you customise the game by altering the terrain and creating your own mods and karts.
Alternatively, you can try your luck by shaking the console which will randomise your cutomised creations. You can earn yourself ModMiles by checking in at real destinations and also share pictures with your pals on Facebook and Twitter. Plenty of fun.
Known as Hot Shots Golf in the US, this Sony game uses cartoonish caricatures with which you can play your way to victory. You can putt away (and perhaps even get a hole in one) by using the touchscreen and rear touch pad to negotiate your way around the course.
Building on the successful PSP version, the game has a new shot system which makes use of the PS Vita's touchscreen control and it also allows for online playing using the PlayStation Network to take part in tournaments with your pals.
This will be the fifth game in the LittleBigPlanet saga, although an official title has yet to be confirmed. Sackboy returns as the hero of the piece in this puzzle platformer which will have a multiplayer function enabling up to four players to get stuck in. Along with the usual gameplay that you get from Sackboy and co, the new version is also set to include a series of touch-based mini games.
You'll be able to create your own levels and share them over PSN while some content, such as character costumes, is set to be transferable between the PS3 and PS Vita games.
No doubt a cheeky play on words, Smart As is a puzzle-based workout for your brain and features 15 different challenges that make use of the PS Vita's touchscreen and gyroscope. The challenges range from three-dimensional problem solving with Cube Mania, through to dexterity in Chain Reaction, while Roller Blocks will test your analytical skills.
You can compare your scores with friends on Facebook or with nearby players or even with all the players all over the country.
Released on the PlayStation in 2010, this is a relatively straightforward darts-based title. There will be nine classic darts games to choose from (including 501 and Cricket) as well as four brand new "darts-themed experiences". If you fancy a challenge, then there's scope for up to eight players to join in with turn-based matches.
You can even take pictures of your favourite scenes and customise your own dartboard. Each game of arrows is controlled using the PS Vita's touchscreen, along with the rear touch panel.
Vitua Tennis 4
Already available for the Move on PS3, the Xbox Kinect and the Wii, this hugely successful tennis game will thankfully be making its way onto the PS Vita. You can play as one of 22 different top-flight pros, there are 33 stadia to choose from and you can even take part on a two-player Touch Versus game on the same console.
You'll be able to share stats as well as chat and play online matches over PSN and, if you really want to get into the the thick of it, then there's an option for you to upload your own face into the game using the PS Vita's front-facing camera.
Super Stardust Delta
The Super Stardust saga started out on the Amiga before a remake made its way over to the PS3 and PSP. The idea is to create black holes using the touchscreen and blast asteroids to pieces using the analogue stick controllers, a bit like an updated version of the arcade classic Asteroids. The motion sensitive gameplay also makes it possible for you unleash powerful shock waves. Elements of the gameplay from the previous PlayStation versions will be included, along with PS Vita-exclusive modes.
You can adjust the camera angle by tilting the console and although there are no multiplayer options, you can can access the intergalactic leaderboards on PSN.
The little deviants in question are a collection of pint-sized noisy monsters that feature in a series of frenetically paced games. Including shooting games, singing options and platform style levels where you roll the monsters around, the game appears to make use of pretty much every feature of the PS Vita including the touchscreen, the rear touch pad and the microphone.
Up to seven of your pals can join you using the Pass Around mode and you'll be able to share your scores with your chums as well.
Included in the initial lineup to please beat 'em up fans, Reality Fighters also throws Augmented Reality (AR) into the mix so that the characters can battle it out in real-life settings. The idea is that you pick a location, whether that's a park, your office or a famous landmark, point the PS Vita at it and then it's time to put up your dukes. You can customise your fighter so that they look like you or simply create a fictional character and kit them out with whatever preposterous getup you see fit.
You can also claim opponent's characters by challenging them to fights (and winning), building yourself a rogue's gallery of fighters in the process. You can share post-fight photos or your fighters with friends on the PS Vita's Near location service or upload your snaps straight to Facebook.
The latest in the Wipeout racing saga, this PS Vita-specific title carries on the anti-gravity racing framework set by the previous versions. Set in a futuristic New York City, the game is played by tilting the console to steer your hovering car, while the rear touchpad is used for acceleration and you'll also have access to voice-activated weaponry.
You can play with up to seven opponents in multiplayer matches over PSN and use cross-play to include PS3 players in the fun. The game will take a snap or video of the victor of each race so that the winner's gloating mugshot will be there to greet the losers.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Set before the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (although not a prequel), this action adventure sees the return of intrepid adventurer Nathan Drake. His task is to uncover the secrets behind the massacre of a Spanish expedition to Central America 400 years ago. You can either use the analogue sticks and buttons or the touchscreen to jump, swing, slide and traverse your way through the game's exquisitely rendered backdrops.
The use of the motion capture graphics for the lead character also adds to the cinematic style of the gameplay.
The idea is that you can carry an awesome pool hall around in your pocket wherever you go. The fantastic graphics make the whole experience look about as close to the real thing as possible and there are a choice of cool settings for you you play in (which actually look much nicer than any real-life pool halls). You can line up shots using the touchscreen and rear touch pad and alter the view of the table as you go.
The game gives you the option of playing against friends (including PS3 users) over PSN. There's no mention of the trick shot mode from the PS3 version, but final details have yet to be confimed.
Offering something a little different, Sound Shapes is a side-scrolling platform game where your actions result in music. The game is based around a series of basic shapes and colours and sees the player controlling a small yellow orb which is guided around the musical levels. Along the way, you'll need to collect the white orbs.
The game enables you to create your own levels by choosing the sounds that the orbs make and placing them (along with other objects and obstacles) wherever you choose. You can then share your creations with other PS Vita players. This is definitely one to play with headphones on, unless you want to annoy everyone in the immediate vicinity.
And the rest...
We don't yet know exactly which of these will be released in each territory and how long after launch they might arrive, but other confirmed PlayStation Vita titles are: Bioshock Vita, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus, Broken, untitled Call of Duty game, Dragon's Crown, Dungeon Defenders, Dust, untitled Dynasty Warriors game, F1 2011, Gravity Daze, untitled Hideo Kojima game, untitled Killzone game, Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Mortal Kombat Vita, Mr Ink Jet, Oddworld: Munch's Odyssee, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, Rayman Origins, untitled Resistance game, untitled Ridge Racer game, Rugby Challenge, Ruin, Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja, Silent Hill: Book of Memories, Stardrone, Street Fighter X Tekken, WWE '12, Asphalt, Dungeon Hunter Alliance, Lumines and Assassin's Creed.
Which games are you looking forward to seeing on the PS Vita? Let us know in the comments box below.