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Sony: Vita Was Designed By Game Devs, For Game Devs

The PlayStation Vita has grabbed plenty of headlines this month; Sony's new portable recently launched in Japan and gamers turned out in droves to snag the snazzy handheld.

And if you thought you knew everything about the Vita, visit the PlayStation Blog, where you can find five interesting factoids, which are well worth a read.

One of our favorites is the fact that the Vita was actually designed by the same guy who designed the original Sony Walkman. Takashi Sogabe, a 27-year Sony veteran, was head of the team "responsible for the look and feel of PlayStation Vita." Sogabe said they looked at a bunch of different designs (like one with a sliding back like the PSP Go and a clam-shell) and originally, the exterior was going to be entirely metallic. But the antennae required for Wi-Fi and 3G made this impossible.  ...all metallica might've been sweet, though.

That's very cool but from a more practical standpoint, it's very important to have a machine that game developers understand and actually want to make games for; hence, the third fact- "PlayStation Vita is designed by game developers, for game developers." Said President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida:

"When Kaz Hirai took over management of SCEI. he brought in the approach of fully integrating software and hardware development. Before that, we made brilliant hardware, no question of that, but our hardware team didn’t have such a good understanding of what game developers need or what features might be useful.

[With PS Vita] we [Worldwide Studios] were there right at the beginning to express our thoughts and reactions to the hardware that was being proposed. We were there at every stage and with every prototype, and we developed game builds to prove and, sometimes, disprove how each new feature was going to make for a great game system."

And that right there is what should give the Vita plenty of punching power right off the bat. No more of this struggling to come to terms with the new hardware; no two or three years of drastic improvement before games start to reflect the unit's power. Obviously, we expect some improvement over the years but the point is, developers should be comfortable with this thing very soon...or maybe immediately.

Great news for gamers.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, sony, vita details

12/27/2011 8:28:51 PM John Shepard

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Legacy Comment System (6 posts)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 @ 10:09:30 PM

This is very encouraging to hear. Thankfully, Sony learned from the disaster of the PS3's complex, hard to learn architecture. This gives me hope they won't make the same sort of mistake with the PS4.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 3:45:58 AM

i hope so!
its looking really good so far having so many developers lined up so close to launch.
i just wish they went with a different design!
it looks slick, but profile wise its almost the same as the PSP!
the whole point of this is a complete new machine, thats why its not called the PSP2 because $ony did not want a successor they wanted a whole new machine!
so why make it look so similar?
there are so many mock ups on what the PSP2 could of looked like on the net, all which look 100000 times better then the final vita design!
i just dont see the point in spending all the time and effort creating such a new device and slapping a old case on it.
its like Ferrari replacing the F430 with the 458, but instead of the 458s body they slap the old body on.
whats the point of a new device, if it looks old?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 3:51:42 AM

Yeah this is very good indeed.
But I wonder what kind of effect it had! How would the Vita be different if they hadn't done this. That'd be real fun to know.

Furthermore, will they do the same for the PS4? That would be *real* awesome, cause that could quite possibly mean that the "porting/multiplat issues" we've been plagued with on the ps3 may become history. Oh man how I'd love that.

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/28/2011 3:56:02 AM

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 4:15:55 AM

This is good to hear. One of the biggest mistakes made by Sony with the PS3 is making it so difficult to develop for. I agree with Jed's comment that it was a disaster, and I share in his hope that does not happen again with the PS4. One of Sony's statements that made me cringe was when Kaz said Sony made the PS3 hard to develop for on purpose. What possible benefit could come out of that? All it does is lead to inferior multiplats and increase development costs.

That's why I was thrilled when I heard Sony kicked Ken Kutargi upstairs after the reception the PS3 got. It's a good thing he is no longer designing hardware. I think things would have played out MUCH differently this gen if the PS3 had a better price point at the start, and was not so hard to make games for. Good to hear that Sony is not repeating mistakes.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 6:04:32 AM

"hard to develop for on purpose" - good lord what an arrogant thing to say. Good for Sony they got this tool knocked off his high horse.

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/28/2011 6:08:10 AM

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 6:52:53 AM

Here is Kaz's full quote that was in the Feb 2009 issue of The Official Playstation Magazine that generated the headlines Sony made the PS3 hard to develop for on purpose:

"We don't provide the easy to program for console that developers want becuase easy to program for means that anybody will be able to take advantage of what the hardware can do, so the question is, what do you do for for the rest of the nine-and-half-years?"

Huh? Flat out cringe worthy quote.

It was Ken Kutargi(the father of the PlayStation) that was kicked upstairs. Kaz Hairi is the #2 man at Sony I believe so he did not get knocked off his high horse although Sony seemed to get a lot of flack over that quote. I don't think he will be saying things like that anymore. Everything I hear from Sony sounds much better recently. The humble pie they have been served this gen seems to have changed there culture for the better. I do think Sony removing Ken from hardware development is a good example of them holding somebody accountable for the PS3's problems.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 12/28/2011 7:13:43 AM

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