Ever since Nintendo debuted the Wii U at E3 this year, gamers have speculated as to whether or not the PlayStation 3 and Vita would be able to operate in a similar manner. According to Sony Europe R&D manager Phil Rogers, the ability to use the Vita as a PS3 controller is not only possible, it only scratches the surface of the potential for interactivity between the two devices.
Speaking at the Develop Conference 2011, Rogers detailed the potential of Sony’s upcoming handheld:
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.
Another bit of functionality that Rogers harped on was the ability to implement cross-platform play. A demonstration was shown where Vita’s WipEout 2048 could communicate with WipEout HD on PS3 over the PlayStation Network.
On top of that, Rogers discussed another bit of functionality, dubbed Continuation Play, where a game being played on the PS3 can then be moved to the Vita to take it on the go. This feature was seen earlier this year as it was demonstrated on the upcoming title Ruin.
We have a system called Title User Storage, which allows 1MB of data on our servers for games. 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. You can save your game on PS3, go over to Vita, pull that data back and … take it on the train and continue.
Will this functionality be enough to suck the wind from Nintendo’s sails? Only time will tell, but it looks like Sony is headed in the right direction.