There's no question that smartphone platforms like iOS and Android are becoming popular gaming devices, replacing traditional portable gamers like the NDS and PSP. Now Sony is fighting back with a new version of its portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, which has mobile connectivity.
While PS Vita's design looks very much like the first PSP, it now features a multi-touch (5-inch OLED) display, and the option to be connected all the time over a 3G network. You'll need a mobile data subscription, but if you are big on online games, then this is a must.
Of course, once connected, the PS Vita will also let you browse the internet, access social networks like Facebook, as well as download other applications from the PlayStation Store, including Skype for communications.
To run all that, the product features a super-fast, 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, as well as a 4 core SGX543MP4+ graphics chip, and comes with 512MB of RAM and 128MB of VRAM.
There are also two cameras, for taking photos and doing video calls, as well as a rear touchpad that lets you interact with games with your fingers from the bottom of the device.
One piece of bad news is that the PS Vita introduces (yet) another memory card format from Sony, so all those old PSP games won't work, although you can download older games directly online.
The 3G-enabled PS Vita is selling for US$299 in the US.
Pros: new multi-touch screen, fast processor, strong graphics, 3G connectivity
Cons: uses a new memory card platform that won't work on anything else