June 6, 2011 at 10:05 PM ET
Sony has finally revealed the official name for their forthcoming handheld game machine. Previously codenamed NGP, the device is now officially called PlayStation Vita.
The announcement came during Sony's Monday night press conference in advance of the Electronic Entertainment Expo taking place this week in Los Angeles.
Sony executive Kaz Hirai arrived on stage to announce that Sony will offer both a Wi-Fi only model as well as a 3G model available later this year. He said the Wi-Fi only model will cost $249 and the 3G/Wi-Fi model will retail for $299.
In something of a surprise — one that drew laughs and groans from the crowd — Hirai announced that Sony has partnered exclusively with AT&T to be the American carrier for the 3G version of Vita. (Clearly, they have not learned from Apple's mistake.)
Sony executives said there are more than 80 titles currently in development for Vita. Among them, "Uncharted: Golden Abyss," "LittleBigPlanet" and "ModNation Racers."
During the press event, they showed off how the "Uncharted" game will take advantage of Vita's two touch pads and tilt capabilities and just how good it will look on the sprawling 5-inch OLED screen. (Yeah, it looks good.)
In a surprise announcement, Ken Levine, founder of Irrational Games, said his company will be making a Vita game set in the "BioShock" universe.
Cheers went up as a trailer for "Street Fighter X Tekken" played on a giant screen in front of the packed house. Yoshinori Ono of Capcom not only arrived on stage to tell the happy audience that they would be making a version of the game for Vita, but he also played it in front of the audience on the big screen.
Game executives not only touted Vita's power and connectivity, but the way games would be able to be played both on Vita as well as the PlayStation 3.
Hirai said Sony selected the name Vita for the device because it means "life" in Latin.
"We’re confident that the PlayStation Vita will be the first device to truly blur the lines between entertainment and real life," he said.
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