Fight for the future

Polite Plea: After almost seven years and 7,000 articles, the number of stories is slowing down. Time and developers move on, but I'll always be posting, as the Vita becomes the new Dreamcast.
However, I do need a new Vita as my launch day model is starting to show its age. Please consider clicking an ad to help my new Vita fund!
Once reached, hopefully in time for Christmas, I will remove all adverts, leaving this island of Vita life an ad-free oasis!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dragon's Crown comes with free voiceover pack DLC for one month

I wish Atlus would send emails as text rather than big images. However, here's some news on the upcoming Dragon's Crown (you know, the one with all those videos. Basically you can get the game narrated by the character of your choice.


Starlight's full trailer lights up

After a tease last week, here's the full Starlight Inception trailer showing off Escape Hatch's Kickstarted game for the first time. We've got fleets, planets, fighters, tailfire, lasers, space stations, surface skimming action, explosions and everything else you'd want in a space combat game.



It all looks pretty slick with some impressive destruction when a big ship goes down (although I'm guessing this is all done on the PC version. Hopefully the Vita version will keep up the detail. More art, screens and details on previous posts.

If I had to say one thing about the game it looks a whole lot more than a $150,000 worth of game, so well done the Escape Hatch team.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spooky indie hit Limbo ghosts onto the Vita next week

Prepare for a raft of 'vita in limbo' jokes as the stylish adventure platformer is making its way to the handheld next week for £9.99 on PSN. That's might sound pretty steep, but the game is still £6.99 on Steam and no one is making Vita owners buy that version.


It'll be another neat addition to the indie cavalcade hitting the Vita (Flower was added to the list earlier) and with the awesome reviews the original got, should be well worth exploring if you've missed out. A little more info on the PSN blog.

Flower headed to the Vita, but where's Journey?

Flower was pretty and all, and comes some four years after the original to the Vita on the soggy heels of the PSP version of Flow (which was made by a third-party developer, I think). Not sure if Thatgamecompany is involved in this one, since it has finished its developer agreement with Sony. 


It will likely use the Vita's tilt controls to mimic the Sixaxis input and brings its near spiritual gameplay to the handheld's gorgeous screen. But, while its another welcome addition to the console's indie collection, surely the more recent game-of-the-year winning, more high-profile Journey would be a better story at E3?

Hopefully good sales of Flower will open the door for Journey of the Vita. 

Paint Park gets a DLC makeover in Japan

The Vita's venerable drawing app is responsible for lots of great art from talented types and a bunch of fat-fingered lines from the rest of us. A new paid version came out in Japan a while back which is now being made free this week, offering social media and what looks like trophy support, allowing you to post your art online.



 You can buy extra art features as DLC, which is taking the Matisse slightly, but there you go.

Super Heroine Chronicle wings it to the Vita

More JRPG madness is heading the Vita's way with a range of pint-size ladies battling for justice or some such. Developed by the Queen's Blade Spiral Chaos (PSP) team and published by Namco Bandai, this early trailer seems to pack in lots of cookie cutter battles, hopefully there's more to it than that.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

PSN EU blog roundup, indie reigns

Its another week in indie heaven with Quell Memento and Rotating Octopus being the only offerings for PS Vita gamers in the latest PSN update. There's a dose of free DLC for Soul Sacrifice players.



Over on PlayStation Mobile, there's a bunch more games continuing the recent good run. We have Blue Skies, King Bean and Ascent of Kings. Blue Skies looks the pick of the bunch, an attack helicopter arcade game at £2.39, while King Bean and Ascent of Kings bringing some very classic platforming/puzzle action into play.


Japanese charts, Vita on the slow rise

Valhalla Knights 3 managed to sell just over 40,000 copies, landing at No. 5 in the new Media Create chart as the only Vita entry. Based on the earlier story, it also sold 25,000 digital copies, which shows the increasing importance of PSN sales.

That nudged Vita hardware sales up a few thousand to 12,171 (or 13,719 according to Famitsu's numbers) which is ticking over but still way below what Sony needs to hit its targets. Roll on E3 for all this "big news" then.


Rotating Octopus to liven up the Vita today

If you're not into the free SoulSac DLC, then Rotating Octopus HD from Dakko Dakko should bring some joy to your day as an off-beat puzzler for the Vita. An update on a PS Mini title, its full name is The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character.

It packs in a full art and audio upgrade, online leaderboards for the Challenge Mode, trophies and tweaks to the difficulty factor.

Eight new quests free for Soul Sacrifice today

With today's PSN update comes a bunch of new content for Soul Sacrifice, with a new map, eight new quests and two new baddies, if you've made it far enough to reach the particular point in the game. More on the PSN blog.


Eight new quests will be added upon using the unlock key. To play the quests, go to Mad Chronicle > Inside Avalon > Avalon Pacts > Forgotten Pact > Hour of Amber (game progress required). In these new quests, you will see two new boss characters called Dullahan and Behemoth and a new map called Caverns of Goliath.

A new Death Ray Manta coming to the Vita

Death Ray Manta (DRM) is another great indie shooter, this time from Retroremakes, and rather than just port it over to the Vita, they're bringing a full on new DRM version over promising hints of Minter at his finest. Read the rambling launch speech here, I think the essence of that is that this will be awesome fun.

All PS4 games will play remotely on the Vita

According to a developer talking to EuroGamer, all PS4 titles that don't make use of the Eye camera will be automatically enabled for remote play on the Vita. While many will only want to play on their super-res HD screens, for those with competing demands for the TV and who just need to be elsewhere in the house, this is excellent news after the laboured remote efforts on PS3 (I've only ever played God of War HD).



If this talk proves true then the Vita-as-a-substitute-screen gives it another reason to exist and makes those PS4/Vita bundles a little more likely to happen. But, can Sony provide another link between the two to make their coexistence really useful, fun or essential. Having read through many Wii U boards, it seems few see value in the Wii U's extra screen, so can Sony find the magic ingredient?

Japan gets Radioko, a Vita radio app

While Europe still clings on in the hope of a Netflix app, Japan is rolling out a new Radioko app to allow Vita owners over there to stream live radio, with live Twitter feeds to add some interactivity. It looks pretty feature-packed for a radio app, perhaps we'll see a version in 2014, given the slow pace of apps arriving here (Wake-Up Club being the last memorable one).



While Sony Europe is doing an ace job driving indie games, which are pretty key to the Vita's survival, it'd be good to know if someone in the company was pushing for regular apps to make the handheld as essential as an iOS device.


Prostitution helps Valhalla Knights 3 sells 65,000 in Japan

Marvelous AQL has announced that combined download and boxed-copy sales for Valhalla Knights 3 hit 65,000 after being launched on 23 May in Japan. This comes ahead of this week's charts which should finally wake up after a few slow post-holiday sessions.


Part of the sales may be down to its ability to do some 'speed dating' in between quests, auto-translation reads... "Also be interacting with the girls, when it comes to intimate relationship to receive "special services"."

Vivid's Real Boxing still coming to the Vita

I thought this had dropped off the radar, after Polish developer Vivid seemed to be focusing on those hundreds-of-million selling iOS and Android (including Nvidia's Shield handheld) devices with its titles like this and Ski Jumping Pro. The Vita logo had dropped off its games and little news was coming out.


However, it now appears that Vita's first boxing game will hit the US PSN in August with an EU release likely around the same time. Polish gamers will get a hands on at a Vita meeting in Warsaw  In the meantime, I'll put this back on the release list.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Rayman Legends is headed to the Vita

Once upon a time, there was a Wii U exclusive called Rayman Legends, but that console is selling worse than the Vita, so Ubisoft decided to release for it all consoles. That list now includes the Vita as a handheld version has been confirmed with extra maps and costumes as exclusive content.

From the PR:
Rayman Legends on Vita includes all of the original Rayman Legends content, as well as five exclusive maps playable with Murphy, the greenbottle fly seen in previous Rayman games, controlled through the Rear TouchPad. A multiplayer mode is locally accessible on Wi-Fi and fans from the same country can play in cooperation.Players can also compete with one another in the online challenges and compare rankings in the online leaderboards. 
In addition to the five Vita-specific maps, two exclusive costumes were created by the Ubisoft Montpellier team. Fans will have the opportunity to dress Rayman in a costume from Prince of Persia, the legendary hero of Ubisoft popular franchise, while Globox can be dressed in a costume from the famous spy series, Splinter Cell.
Here's a peek at part of the Wii U version.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mega Blast and Yu-Nama rock Playstation Mobile

Have you been ignoring that quirky PlayStation Mobile tab on your Vita's PSN store? Give it a tap now and there's loads of fun new games arrived for it, led off by a cult-like Japanese puzzler Yu-Nama that mixes a tile game and demon bashing in one for £2.39.


Next up is Mega Blast from Super Icon, a retro shooter that looks all bright and vectory, and is just £1.79 if you've still got an itchy trigger finger after playing Sine Mora and Velocity Ultra.


There's also passing time, a unique sounding football game from the Frobisher Says devs Honeyslug, where all you have to do is use the touch screen to pass the ball between players to beat the opposition,


There's a few others too, includoing tilt puzzler Labyrinth, another Japanese puzzler Saicoro and Flight of the Turtle, plus recent cracking titles like Rymdkapsel and the immense Life of Pixel, so get cracking if you want some cheap gaming fun

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vita getting Kickstarter action, here comes ARG Clandestine Anomaly

Having just posted that Kickstarted project ANNE will get a Vita version, here comes news that ARG Clandestine Anomaly is in development. The game has two weeks to pick up $45,000 in funding so chip in if you have the means.
One of the most common questions we receive is whether or not Clandestine: Anomaly will be released on the PS Vita. Seems many vocal fans of the system want a game like Clandestine on their beautiful handheld console. Being Vita owners ourselves, we can understand the interest; it's an amazing little device with too few games, and even fewer that utilize the system's more advanced features like Clandestine would. We'd love to put Clandestine onto the Vita, which is why we're pleased to announce that efforts are underway to bring this truly innovative experience to the world most powerful handheld console.
 

Retro shooter A.N.N.E. will arrive on the Vita, eventually

A.N.N.E. is a retro looking shooter and platformer from Gamebymo with lots of quirky details and a certain cute factor to it. The game reached its Kickstarter approval goal recently, but not quite enough to stretch to a Vita version, however, the developer has said it will get made eventually.

Aksys bringing Muramasa to E3 plus two new titles

Not sure what the formats are for the new games, but the company will definitely be showing off the lovely Muramasa on the Vita. A release from the company, who just dropped Hakuoki on the US PSN says:
Two New Titles – We’ll be announcing two new titles that we’re bringing to these here shores! Are you ready? Stop on by and find out! We’ll have awesome trailers and—oh my goodness!—playables!

Aksys brings Hakuoki to US PSN

Aksys Games has just dropped Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi on the American PSN bringing a blend of beautifully told visual novel and an action-packed adventure game based on Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom.

As one of six legendary samurai, become stronger and more deadly as you battle imperial soldiers, samurai and blood-thirsty furies. Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi follows two storylines where players can either follow the events of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom or play in an alternate universe where events unfold very differently.

Two Major Storylines – Play through events of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom with each of the six playable characters, or change history in “Shinsengumi Chronicle”!



Shinsengumi Chronicle – Change history as any one of the six main characters in “Shinsengumi Chronicle” mode. Play in an alternate universe where you control the fate of the Shinsengumi!
Shinsengumi Memorial – Step into the shoes of your favorite samurai and play through battles from Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. Join in on the action as you battle your way through Kyoto in “Shinsengumi Memorial” mode.
Skirmish Mode – Replay past battles to add some more kills or level up your character to be more deadly. Unlock two addition characters in this mode and duke it out on your favorite stages.
Fury Mode – When a character’s life is spent, he will enter Fury Mode, unleashing an inner ferocious killing machine, able to tear down anyone that gets in his way. However, becoming a Fury too many times can unlock a particularly bad ending.

Starlight Inception gets a one-year on... trailer

A year after reaching its Kickstarter goal and the team at Escape Hatch has been hard at work ever since on Starlight Inception. Now they've put up a teaser trailer for the Vita and PC title, ahead of a full trailer at the end of the month. Enjoy if you invested in their efforts, and get ready for the big show next week.


Ghostlight announces Eliminage Original for the PSP

Ghostlight have done great service for PSP owners, bringing the Persona games our way, Trails in the Sky, Fate/Extra and others. Continuing that run, it is now bringing Eliminage (any Eye of the Beholder fans out there?), an old-school looking RPG to the system in both boxed and digital (and therefore the Vita) editions.



With the likes of Black Rock Shooter arriving recently, there's still life in the little PSP yet and with most games now pretty cheap on PSN and cheap memory cards, its an ideal box of fun. More on the Ghostlight blog.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mens' Room Mayhem trails off to a drip

UPDATE: The game is live on PSN, just search for it on your Vita.

No toiler humour jokes here, oh no. Just enjoy the simplicity of guiding patrons to the loo, to the sink and out the door. It will cost just £1.99 (or 99p for PS+ subs) so give it a whirl and see if you can help them go with the flow.

Killzone Mercenary new screenshots blast off

This really could be the game that proves the Vita can do FPS. Accompanying another batch of previews, these screens show immense amounts of detail and scope for fun when screwing with those pesky Helghast. As long as the action keeps pace with the imagery, and it throws in some clever merc tricks to keep the gameplay fresh, how can this not be a winner.






Tearaway screens accompany new previews

Everyone seems to like Tearaway judging from a batch of new previews hitting sites, and what's not to love. Check out these new screens that show our paper-based hero exploring his/her that are packed with depth, charm and stylish effects.





First Freedom Wars/Panopticon screens and details emerge

Most of the the holes on the site are blanked out on Freedom Wars' official site for a staggered pre-E3 reveal, but a few have been filled in to show us our first look at the game in action. Interestingly there's a Yahoo maps logo on one, so likely the game uses real world mapping for 8-player online multiplayer, although that does sound odd for a game set in another time and another place.


UPDATE: Some text off the Japanese site has been auto-translated and reads roughly as: "In the far future, the Panopticon prison city dominates in a world that has been devastated, with no life outside its walls. In order to manage the sprawling mass of people, Panopticon imposes imprisonment for most humans and their sins. Criminals can participate in the war against the beasts and capturing other criminals, called "volunteer" labour to win their freedom. (Rough but I think that's what it means.)


The character details look crisp, while the weapons have that slightly annoying oversize feel to them and there's some tentative proof that the game does manage the huge leaps as shown in the trailer.

Confirmed: Panopticon is "Freedom Wars" for the Vita, new video!

Here you go, the same trailer pretty much with the official details tacked on the end, including a coming 2014 date, which means this game won't be saving the Vita's bacon any time soon. This ridiculously futuristic game is set in a city or world called Panopticon and while the pre-rendered stuff looks fun, I have serious doubts the Vita will produce anything close to this ideal.



While some commenters seem to think that multiplayer now must always mean "Monster Hunter," this game is classed as a "recovery" game which most likely means the focus is on rescuing people, with a healthy dose of monster bashing thrown in, no doubt.


While the trailer was announced in Japan, Sony Europe has a trademark for Freedom Wars, so expect the game to appear in Europe, eventually.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vita sales around 15,000 a month in America, ouch!

While Michael Pachter may be a self-serving games gimp to most, he should at least know the numbers from his day job as an industry analyst. So, when he says that estimates for April's NPD figures for the Vita are around 15,000 units (which is what it often sells per week in Japan) then its time for another wince and clench from existing happy (or unhappy) Vita owners.

Every time a number does appear, it seems way below what the Vita needs to attract western (and even Japanese) developers, beyond the welcome indie hordes. And, while there might be a last push from E3 up to Christmas, if the Vita doesn't take off dramatically by that point, then Sony will have to look at refocusing its effort on PS3/PS4 since developing big games at a major loss can only be tolerated for so long.

Which leaves us pretty much six months for a GTA, Gran Turismo or proper Call of Duty or Monster Hunter -esque title that will help sell millions of handhelds. Even if a new big-hitter does appear, with the next-gen hardware imminent, it is hard to see gamers flocking to a portable for just one or two games.

Perhaps if Sony throws in a year of PS+ (I think "20+ free games with this console" sounds rather good) with new bundles then things may get moving, but based on those numbers and Sony's insistence on hiding the true figures, you know things can't be good.

The last hard figure for Vita sales was 2.2 million worldwide some 11 months ago. If it is over three million now, I'd be impressed and most of that from the Japanese price cut and recent resurgence. Yes, we're well past the "Vita has no games" issue now, but even the supposed system sellers, Persona 4 and Soul Sacrifice made the merest dent in the chart.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Killzone Mercenary gets dodgy deal pre-order bonuses

When isn't a pre-order bonus a bonus? I'm comparing real things that add value to virtual guff (or cheating even) that just makes the game easier. Check out these offerings that will come for early orders of Guerilla's Killzone Mercenary exclusive for the Vita.

Players who pre-order Killzone: Mercenary will receive “Blackjack’s Briefcase,” a reward for their early support that affords them an early edge in both the game’s competitive online multiplayer and extensive Campaign mode. It includes: Double XP Boost Get out ahead of the pack! Start the 48-hour clock with this special access code and all contracts, bonuses and payoffs earn you twice the normal XP for two straight days! In-Game Cash Bonus Start the game and go straight to the armory!

With this bonus payout, you’ll have enough Vektan Cash to pick up a new weapon before you even step foot on the battlefield. In addition to the above, fans in the United States who reserve a copy of Killzone: Mercenary at GameStop will receive an exclusive gun for use in both Campaign and Multiplayer action: the M224-A1 Light Machine Gun.

A powerhouse weapon of the ISA, the M224-A1 carries more than enough ammo to get the job done at the cost of accuracy.

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (QForce) due on Vita next week

The long delayed Vita version of Insomniac's latest R&C opus is finally good to go and will hit the US and EU PSN stores next week. With a bonus game, Ratchet: Gladiator coming soon as a freebie to make up for the delay.  More news on the PSN blog, note the games are called different things in different places for no good reason.

Amazon lop £5 off the 32GB Vita memory card

Sure, its not a massive discount, but the price has rarely dipped below £60. Still, if you've been waiting for just a sniff of a price cut, then this will have to do. The PS Vita 32GB Memory Card cut follows recent trims to the basic Vita unit and the bundles. But, without much in the way of new software, sales have to be treading water at best.


I haven't really looked around, but let us know if one is cheaper anywhere else.

Velocity Ultra soundtrack available for purchase

You might not really notice or appreciate the driving soundtrack behind Velocity as you're concentrating on picking up the survivors, sending bombs left, right and backward and warping into tiny crevices for the bonuses, but it is probably worth a listen in less stressful surroundings.


Composed and produced by FuturLab's James Marsden and Joris de Man of Killzone fame, plus a host of musicians and remix artists such as CoLDSToRAGE, you can pick it up on iTunes, Google Play or Juno with 11 tracks (or 6 tracks and 5 remixes, running at 64 minutes) from £5.99 to £7.99.

Sony Japan Panopticon confusion conundrum

What the heck is going on here? We have a TV spot out in Japan:



That hints at a new PS Vita monster hunting/party style game, then we have the Panopticon trailer come out on the same day, but no link is made between the two events.

It seems odd they'd run this on TV, show the Panopticon trailer on the web and not link the two in some form. Which makes me wonder if two different games are coming out, as Panopticon looks more of a big-screen experience with the scaling that seems really off for a handheld game (okay, its pre-rendered, but can they really do that sort of landscape/monster/character scale and interaction on a Vita at any decent framerate?)

Perhaps they are one and the same, but it would be nice of Sony to actually tie its advertising together, rather than leave gamers scratching their heads. Of course, Panopticon could be a PS3/PS4/Vita crossover game which would make more sense, but again, a little clarity please!

Word is more about Panopticon will  be unveiled on the 21 May, the same day as Microsoft's Next Xbox is unveiled, not much of a spoiler is it?

OlliOlli gets its first video outing

Miss good Tony Hawk games? OlliOlli won't replace them, but the brief tech demo showing the game, at least hints that it has the potential to be an attractive addition to the Vita's small collection of endless runners with some boarding tricks thrown in. Obviously, it'll look better with the backgrounds thrown in (first story).

As I said on first hearing about OlliOlli, this will be sold on the soundtrack and EuroGamer says the developers (I'm guessing with Sony support) have signed up U.S. blues-rockers Leftlane Cruiser and Mizz Beats from London's Grime scene to provide the score which seem to be pretty opposite ends of the spectrum.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Having failed to hype the Vita at recent events what magic could Sony have for E3?

With all the recent hints, there is tangible annoyance among Vita owners that no new games have been revealed recently. That's left the release schedule deader than a dead thing and leaves Sony's promises that things will all be fine soon looking pretty hollow.

Which leaves just one conclusion/hope/Hail Mary in that Sony has got its stuff together for E3 next month when it will need to make up for last year's disaster, give Vita owners a reason to keep their handheld and make gamers want to buy one. And these games have to stand out above all the clamour and news on the next-gen consoles. No small task.

This really is the last chance saloon, with anything else Sony has planned too little, too late. By this time next year handheld gaming will be a 3DS and mobile preserve unless Sony can deliver 15-20 million handheld sales to convince third-parties to get on board quickly. Currently the Vita has sold just shy of two million and Sony predicts 5 million PSP and Vita sales for the year at a minimum. That's a big gap to cross and needs more than just one hit game and a herd of Monster Hunter clones.

Would you developer a big budget game for a maximum of four million gamers? So, come E3, what could Sony show the world to change its mind about the Vita?

Since Gran Turismo Vita wasn't announced at the Silverstone event, are they holding that back for E3? I don't think so, the game just looks too advanced for the handheld to cope with. In which case who has Sony tagged to bring a big name racer to the Vita? Criterion did a stand-up job with Need for Speed, so how about a unique Vita Burnout title to be published by EA?

I'm not sure why Panopticon was unveiled today, especially without any format information. But if its a next-gen PS4 title, are Sony drip feeding releases from here to launch to build up hype (tricky with a game that looks a bit generic among all the Infamous and Deus Ex style games doing the rounds).

Things we should see include Assassin's Creed Phoenix Rising, Batman, perhaps Phantasy Star Online 2 and hopefully a decent FIFA 14 effort that links into the PS3 version, and a new Black Ops title, plus the rest of Sony's new secret games.

What we don't need to see is Tearaway (again), Killzone (again), and all the worthy indie games (again), except for Jeff Minter's Tempest effort. Sony needs Quadruple A titles in short order to get this wagon moving again.

What we won't see is Bioshock, still in limbo according to the last report, and much in the way of third party support (only Sega seems really on-board the Vita boat). So how Sony can pull a big Vita show out of this train wreck is something of a sticking point, nevermind making it an interesting and credible event.

Panopticon, a new PlayStation game

Format unknown, could be PS4 but if anyone has to support the Vita, it is Sony Japan. Looks good up until the crazy big monsters near the end, but it wouldn't be a Japanese game without them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gran Turismo 6 headed to the Vita, advantage GPS users?

It was always a given that Gran Turismo would pack in new cars, tracks, and more amazing detail from Silverstone, Bathurst and other world famous circuits, and all the other stuff. The more open questions were, would it come to the Vita? And, what would it offer beyond the PS3 (or PS4) version that are surely the key formats for Sony and Digital Polyphony.

Answer, so far PS3 only, no news on any version but some news is being held back for E3. All the car details are up on the GT site.


It looks like the answer is through the use of GPS that drivers can use compatible vehicles, like a Toyota GT86, will be able to drive their local race track (on track days I'm guessing), and see their Silverstone (or wherever) laps recreated in Gran Turismo, allowing them to see it from the outside and learn from their mistakes and practice laps to get better.

That doesn't make much sense if you have to go home and do it on your PS3, but if you could see the action on a Vita, in your car in the pit lane, then things become a lot more useful. That's what I'm hoping will happen but the event is dragging out the news.

At a basic level, hopefully the Vita game will at least match the number of cars you see on track this time and run in native resolution to show the series off at its finest. Anything less and I don't think they should really have bothered. The event is on-going, will update with any official news:




  • Gran Turismo is most successful PlayStation franchise ever - over 70 million copies sold to date, almost 50% in Europe.
  • Car makers are increasingly important to the series (Nissan, Toyota and Ford are at the event, plus loads of classic racers).
  • GranTurismo 6 will launch this year on the PS3 platform, in time for the holiday season. Core parts of GT6's game engine will be renewed. GT5 was very complex; objective of GT6 is to make it cleaner and future proof. This will make GT6 run smoother; the rendering engine will be completely renewed for a better experience.
  • New graphics updates will increase dynamic range by 50x compared to GT5 for a richer graphical experience, comparing car movement between GT5 and GT6, we have achieved a visual much closer to real life.
  • GT 6 will run on PS3, with information sharing in some form with PC, tablets and smartphones (no mention of Vita), what the hell? Really Sony, that's it? 

This week on the EU PSN update, Velocity Ultra, Star Wars, Sound Shapes, Tractors and Bigfoot

Taking a screenshot is so much easier than typing it all out. If you weren't tempted by Farming Simulator last week, then there's a demo to try now. Plus time to redownload Sound Shapes if you want to try out the new download packs. But, star of the show is Velocity Ultra, which anyone who considers themselves a gamer should be playing.


Putty Squad is all squishtems go

The classic System 3 16-bit title is nearing relaunch on all formats including the Vita, with a new trailer and box-art to celebrate. "Platformers don't get any tougher than this" as MasterPlatformer host Greg Wallace might say.






Velocity Ultra now live for Vita on EU PSN

Just search on your Vita in the PSN store for Velocity and the Ultra version appears at the top of the list, £6.49 or free for PS+ users. Download it now and get shooting rather than waiting for the official update later today. Well done to FuturLab on this awesome upscaled version in every respect, except for the (R) logo in between the two title words, that looks really horrible.



The game is 224MB to download and along with Sine Mora which also free for PS+ users makes the Vita the best shmup machine around at the moment.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shields up, here comes Nokia

For all Sony's Vita woes, there must still be some value in portable because hardware companies are still producing games-focused devices. Next up is the Nvidia Shield, a Tegra-4 powered Android device with HD-out plus a 5-inch, multitouch 720p pop-up screen. The Tegra 4 offers four CPU cores and 72 graphics cores to play at 3200x2000 res, so games can be played at higher HD resolution on your TV.

The hardware will be upgraded annually, so new Shields will always be able to play the latest games, unlike Vita which already sees developers making compromises to get dedicated games to play smoothly.


As well as a decent list of Shield-optimized Android games (so I guess it won't play the full array of mobile games via the controller), the Shield can play your PC titles if you have a suitable NV graphics card and will retail at $349 around $100 more than the basic Vita (according to Amazon) and will be out in June. Optimized games include Dead Trigger, Max Payne, GTA III, ShadowRun, Sonic and more.

Coconut Dodge ducks into the Vita

Another PSP mini is reborn on the Vita as FuturLab take time off its Velocity do-over to bring the crabby fruit ducker to the next-generation. Read about its development and the perils of indie gaming in this fun PSN blog post from the team.


Coming armed with trophies and leaderboards, and the one game that really should use the Vita's tilt mechanism, it might look simple but is surprisingly fun and challenging. Out in early June.

Mando's Cardboard Castle and Hills of Glory head to PlayStation Mobile

Cute cut-out characters are the order of the day in this French mobile title that's headed to PSM. Developed by Mando, it is their first PSM game with more to follow (assuming sales go well, I guess) including the particularly neat looking Hills of Glory: WWII.


In this cardboard cut-out world, a fearless knight travels his realm in search of frightened orphans, damsels in distress and the occasional princess to save. He meets various obstacles and dangers in his path such as hideous monsters, hellfire and dark bottomless pits. To help him overcome them, use various items to interact with this world: snip walls down with your scissors or strike enemies with them.

Hills of Glory, coming soon

Mind 0 gets a proper Vita trailer

Enough with the remixes of the quirky live-action video, here's a proper trailer showing Acquire's Mind 0 in action. We've got angular characters, school kids, a city to explore, a Dungeon Master style step-by-step world to navigate, and demons to fight using the creations of you mind.



Not at all Persona-like then, in fact the differences seem enough to make it stand out. Hopefully GungHo )owners of Acquire) will continue to bring their Vita games west as I'd quite like to see this, out in Japan in August.

Killzone Vita gets a new trailer

What do you expect from mercs? Killzone Mercenary's latest trailer has leaked out of Russia, highlighting the creed of the soldier for hire (anything for the right fee) and showing death up-close and personal or from far away at large scale.



Packing some seriously cool weaponry, the game might look a little angular in places, but if they can cram all that onto the Vita at a decent frame rate, gamers should be seriously happy about the proof of concept that the Vita can handle an FPS.

Is Killzone the right FPS? Well, that's up for debate, but we'll take what we can get, frankly. And, if that's the case, I want a mash-up video of gamers singing Montell Jordan at Activision, "This is how we do it..."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sony closes in on two million Vita sales

The first thought on Sony confirming that it has sold 1.8 million Vita systems to the end of March is 'ouch'. But add in the 100,000 it's added in Japan since then, (20k a week) plus the few western systems that Soul Sacrifice will have helped shift and the system must be nearly at two million.

Still ouch territory, but at least sales are rising and Kaz Harai and others at Sony have promised more to come...
"A game platform, like Vita – the software is the key to success, how good the software is," he said. "We have to reinforce the software area in order to improve the business, that is the basic line. And vis a vis Vita, at this moment, there is no decline or lack of motivation as a portable platform. And also, in order to connect with the Network, this is a very important product indeed for us, and therefore we still have a very high motivation to develop this further. There is no change. And services and software must be strengthened. In other words, the collaborative approach is very important, so is third-party. And from first party studios, the titles will be presented one after the other, so please look at them and give your evaluation based on them."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Soul Sacrifice selling better than suspected.

Monday's UK chart showed Soul Sacrifice flirting with the wrong end of the chart at No. 26. However, an update from the same chart company now shows it at No. 18. Make that 15 if you delete multi-format entries of the same game, which is practically respectable mid-table.

Week 18, 2013 - Individual Formats (Units)

01 (01) 360 DEAD ISLAND: (RIPTIDE KOCH MEDIA)
02 (02) PS3 DEAD ISLAND: (RIPTIDE KOCH MEDIA)
03 (03) 360 INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US (WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE)
04 (06) 3DS LEGO CITY UNDERCOVER: THE CHASE BEGINS (NINTENDO)
05 (09) 3DS LUIGI'S MANSION 2 (NINTENDO)
06 (10) 360 TOMB RAIDER (SQUARE ENIX EUROPE)
07 (05) 360 DRAGON'S DOGMA: DARK ARISEN (CAPCOM)
08 (04) PS3 INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US (WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE)
09 (12) PS3 TOMB RAIDER (SQUARE ENIX EUROPE)
10 (18) PS3 GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)
11 (17) 360 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
12 (11) 360 BIOSHOCK INFINITE (TAKE 2)
13 (16) 360 FIFA 13 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
14 (15) 360 DEFIANCE (TRION WORLDS)
15 (13) 3DS FIRE EMBLEM: AWAKENING (NINTENDO)
16 (07) 360 STAR TREK (NAMCO BANDAI GAMES)
17 (08) PS3 DRAGON'S DOGMA: DARK ARISEN (CAPCOM)
18 (NE) PSV SOUL SACRIFICE (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)

Never really investigated the chart mechanisms before, but maybe these include digital sales? Any ideas?


Dragon's Crown's Amazon puts it about a bit

Defying the laws of physics in many ways, the Amazon, spins, slices and kicks her enemies into oblivion and with thighs the size of a sprint cyclist and a pole-arm axe combo, who is going to argue with her? While she seems a lot less subtle than some of the other characters (check out that knee to the head move), the Amazon should definitely be high up the violence roster.

Sega bringing five games to the Vita this year, but which ones

In its latest financials, Sega mentions five games are coming to the Vita this year. I guess that depends on if that's from a Japanese or western perspective. Since its a Japanese document, let's assume its for the company's home market, so that would be the new Sonic title, Pro Soccer Club, which leaves lots of room for a Vita Yakuza title, given the PSP Black Panther games did rather well, perhaps a Vita-uprated version of Shining Arc and something else.

From a western perspective, we've got Phantasy Star Online and possibly Hatsune Miku to look forward to. The other three could be anything from a proper Football Manager title via Sports Interactive. Then there's the recently acquired Relic which could see Homeworld, Company of Heroes or a WarHammer title on the way. And, could Creative Assembly squeeze a Total War Arena title on to the Vita.

For reference, Sega sold 150,000 PS Vita games from the Vita's launch to March 2012, 520,000 games to March 2013, and expects its 5 new games to sell 650,000 copies this financial year. So 125,000+ sales seems to be above par for a good Vita game.

The company also reported better than expected sales of items and gear in Phantasy Star Online 2, suggesting the Vita and PC free-to-play game is turning in a decent profit for the company.

Mystery "big" game coming to the Vita - Sony

Sony's hero of the hour, Shahid Ahmad, has set tongues wagging on Twitter that an amazing game is coming the way of the Vita. Hard to divine anything from his words. Hopefully, "hooked" doesn't mean another fishing game. But we'll see in due course just how big or amazing it is, and if its one of his indie conquests that are keeping the Vita running or he's talking about a major series from the wider Sonyverse.


Minecraft would be the obvious killer game, but what else could it be?

UPDATE: Shahid has confirmed that it is NOT an indie game, but he has no clue as to when it will be announced. Since we're already pretty sure Gran Turismo is on the way and has kind of been trailed, it should be something else shiny, new and  BIG.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Vita gets a second Kickstarted game, C-Wars already funded

One of the stretch goals (for raising more than its required amount) for PC title C-Wars was a Vita and 3DS version. The campaign has hit that stretch number so now there will be a Vita version of this game, which makes it second to Starlight Inception, as a crowd-funded Vita title.


Check out the Kickstarter page for all the details. Note there's no option to contribute and get a Vita version, and the company isn't a Sony developer yet, so you may be waiting sometime for this version, still it looks great fun.

Digital Polyphony's Silverstone event gets a trailer

This must be big then, if a press event is getting its own trailer. The obvious conclusion is Gran Turismo 6, as hinted by the not-so-subtle tease at the end, but if Sony does have a shred of decency in its soul, a Vita version has to be in there somewhere (someone has noted the underscore at the end blinks three times, possibly suggesting three games for Vita, PS3 and PS4).



The good news is the event will be covered live on PSN and GT.com, so we can all join in the fun. With the game up against Drive Club on the PS4, DigPoly will have its work cut out to show new gamers that it isn't just treading water with any sequel.

Vita hardware and bundles go down in price on Amazon

Not sure exactly when this happened, but the Vita hardware has had a price trim on Amazon, possibly ahead of an official price cut, or just surfing on the tide of supply and demand.

The new offers see a basic WiFi Vita for £176, the 3G model for £179 and the CoD or AC3 bundle for £189There are some even better offers from other Amazon partner retailers. UPDATE: Must have been a boo-boo somewhere, the 3G version has pinged back up to £199 as I was typing.


Historical prices this year were £220 until March and £195 until this week for the base WiFi unit. Anyone else spotted reductions on other sites or around the world. Is this related to Sony's forecast for weak Vita sales or not? Either way, its not much of a price cut, which would have to be £149 to really kick sales off, but if you want a cheaper Vita, feel free to jump in now. 

Memory card prices have been pretty flat throughout the Vita's life with the 32GB model barely budging, the 16GB getting a very rare trim and the 8GB seeing regular moves between £22 and £25.

Sony actually make a profit! Vita sales outlook down

Sony has reported a profit for the last financial year (to the end of March) of $458 million, its first since 2008, and expects a profit of $2.3 billion for the current year. Mobile was the big winner for Sony, up 100% on last year, so expect more focus on Xperia products, while gaming was down 12% as the Vita struggles to take off and the PS3 continues to wind down ahead of the PS4.

Here's the key slide showing Vita/PSP sales, which had their strongest quarter of the year in the Christmas Q3, diving in this quarter (which is kind of traditional) in both game and hardware terms, but its not exactly a rocket ship is it? Find all the gory details here.


On, the bright side, Sony met its much reduced outlook of seven million handhelds and has put down a target of just five million for the 2013 financial year, a number likely to kill any interest of big publishers in making a major investment. I'd guess that's 1.5 million PSPs and 3.5 million Vita devices, which is basically selling 20,000 Vitas a week in each main territory (which it is only just doing in Japan) plus pocketfuls more around the world.

If it misses that figure then god help the Vita and all who sail on it. Sony barely made a profit on games, which could be expected in this between-cycle phase, but if the good times don't come back, I doubt there will be a PS5 and certainly no Vita V2. Of course, all it will take is one globally-successful breakout game for the Vita, but realistically speaking that's not happening, and won't happen based on those numbers.

One way Sony could expand the user base is a Vita Xperia combo device, something like a full-Android gaming phablet that runs Vita cards and PSN games, but there is little guarantee of sales in such a savage market.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Olliolli rolls forever on the Vita

Olliolli puts a skateboard under the feet of your endless runner in this new indie game coming to the Vita later this year. Check out a little more detail and behind the scenes developer stuff on the game's Facebook page.

Developer Roll7 is into all sorts of digital wizardry, but if they know what plays well could easily find a hit as the Vita is a bit light on down-to-earth urban games (and most other games when you think about it).


Due for release in November, keep an eye out for a game where grinding should be fun. Just the one image so far, but I reckon that'll do nicely for a slick art-style and well-crafted character, throw in some decent tunes and what's not to like?

Pre-order Starlight Inception for your Vita

Escape Hatch has opened up its e-store for those who didn't get into the Kickstarted space combat game during the funding phase. You can now pre-order the Vita game (digital copy) for $15, or perhaps go for the PS3 and PC versions too,  or pick up the soundtrack, a baseball cap or mug.

An incoming update should have some new artwork to show us, but with an Autumn planned release date, really hope to see some gameplay soon.

PlayStation Mobile goes free to develop

Now this should produce some results. Having seen a lot of moaning about the low-key PSM profile and slow addition of content (despite some gems along the way), Sony is making it free to access for developers to help get more games on the Vita and its Android portal.

While the quality could suffer as every coder and his dog stab away, thinking crap graphics can replace subtle design and fart sounds are just as good as classic chip tunes, there has to be some indie genius out there that could take this as an opportunity to make a name for themselves.


Please go read all the stuff at the developer portal before leaping into your first coding project and think up a good idea, either a simple one done very well, or a cool one that would make people go wow.


Gran Turismo media event next week, Vita version a gem or a blot on the landscape?

Let's play guess what happens here. Sony takes a lot of bloaters round the Silverstone track in a supercar to much whooping and some yamming. Then the DigPoly guys unveil Gran Turismo 6 officially to the world. Question: What can they add that isn't in 5 aside from a few new or slightly updated models and some new courses?


I can't see DP going the Forza Horizons route or going open world, all I know is it'll look fantastic. Then there's a quick aside and GT Vita flops out like a placenta after the birth of your first perfect child.

OR, Sony and DP have thought this through and will intrinsically link GT 6 across PS3, PS4 and Vita and do a decent transfer between portable and big-screen content and progress. Which do you think is more likely.

Follow the gossip on the #15yearsofgt hash tag

Sine Mora for free on PS+, Nun Attack on PSN in EU update

Yep, the gorgeous shooter is now a freebie for PS+ subscribers, to liven up an otherwise pretty limp day at the PSN store. Hey, you can always check out the new sales though. Alien Spidy, which I thought was coming out for Vita, is only on PS3 while Nun Attack is now out for £1.99 plus some tables for the Pinball Arcade.

Grand Theft Auto PSP and fantasy PSone titles on-sale on PSN

The EU PSN store is having a couple of sales this week, with RPGs in one and GTAs in the other. On the GTA side Vita owners can grab Rockstar's PSP hits cheap at just £5.99, with an extra 10% off for PS+ types, that's this lot if you weren't keeping count.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PSP)
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PSP)
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (PSP)

On the fantasy side, there are no Vita or PSP titles, which Sony really need to sort out, but a couple of PS One classics that might tempt you:

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver for £4.79
MediEvil for £3.99

CounterSpy to stealth up Vita and PS3 gaming

Spy vs. Spy fans might like the sound of this game, from new team Dynamighty (formed from ex-LucasArts, Pixar folks). Mixing hints of Bond, Men from UNCLE, Matt Helm and other sixties spy TV shows, it puts you in the smart shoes of an elite member of C.O.U.N.T.E.R. whose goal is to infiltrate, sabotage, and silently neutralise the super powers in their insane arms build up of mega bombs and secret weapons.

With lots of stealth, stylistic shadows, and hopefully an arsenal of clever tricks up your immaculately starched collar, this could be the perfect antidote to all the spy games that turned out to be grim first-person shooters.


More on the PSN blog, looks like a brilliantly realised theme, hope the gameplay holds up to those lofty ideals. I've asked the developers for some more details, as this could be a game that ticks every box in my gaming wish list. There's some more cool art on the company blog.


Rymdkapsel simplifies space and RTS on PlayStation Mobile

PSM has been a bit quiet recently, so quiet that the Life of Pixel guys have launched a Kickstarter campaign to get it on other devices due to low sales (come on people, cheap, brilliant and nostalgic fun, go get it!). But, PSM might see a little more action if the likes of Rymdkapsel keep appearing, this minimalist RTS set on a space station.



More on the game, which is out today, on the PSN blog.

PS Vita firmware update 2.12 now live, no real features

An optional update has gone live for Vita owners, with just some tidying in the back office to show for your download. Sony announced the update on Twitter,

To be honest, I've seen my Vita crash once or twice in the year I've had it, and even when running multiple tasks, it always seems pretty perky. I'm also still surprised that it hasn't been properly cracked yet (touch wood) but I guess each of these updates includes a few fixes here or there to nix the would-be pirates.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hohokum the first PS4/Vita indie title

Part of Game Informer's splurge on the PS4 includes a few indie titles, some of which will also run across on the little old Vita. The first of these is Hohokum, a collaboration between Honeyslug (who did Frobisher Says) and Sony's Santa Monica Studio.



Here's some early gameplay from the concept back in 2010. Downloading the mag now, will update details as I read them. 

Sony's big news this week, needs to actually be massive, Game Informer's cover coming soon

Sony has promised some cool news this week via a post on the PSN blog, saying "We’ve a busy week in the offing, with some intriguing game announcements planned." Trouble is, 'intriguing' won't cut it on the Vita when a game like Soul Sacrifice can't make the Top 20. If Sony's news is for the Vita, it has to be huge, and releasing pretty soon, to get the handheld moving in time for Christmas.

Comments seems to be focusing on Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3 or PS4, and a Vita version would be welcome news, given the weedy, but good-looking, PSP version still sold some three million copies. That's a game that can be announced now without really denting Sony's PS4 E3 show. Then again, even if DigPoly announce a Vita version, it could be years before we see it.

There's also the news that Game Informer's next cover (out very soon, site under maintenance now) will be its biggest in years, that doesn't sound like a Vita game but any tie-in would be welcome on such a massive story. Exclusives Editor Andy Reiner's latest comment is "This isn't a typical one game story for us. There are many pieces to it."

Which sounds like a split-level franchise announcement to me. It doesn't sound like the new Wolfenstein (big-screens only) which has just been teased, but that's a series that seems past its prime, despite this brave new vision for it.

The cover should be announced around about 5PM UK. With GTA V done and dusted, it won't be GTAVita, but what other big series coming could have a portable facet? EA has bagged the Star Wars games rights, but that's breaking news, with the parties unlikely to have started serious work. So what do you think if could be? (Apart from me being completely wrong and overly-hopefuly as usual.)

Milestone's MotoGP 2013 trailer gets a hole shot

Ooh, this looks good, on big consoles at least, hopefully the Vita version will capture some of this video's fidelity and nuance. Don't know if you saw the 600-frames-per-second clips from the weekend's race in Spain but that looked amazing.



Wonder if the tilt controls are responsive enough to use as the main weight and lean control of the rider? A demo has been confirmed, featuring Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez. in a quick three-lap race around the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

Soul Sacrifice getting free DLC in the west

Free up some more space on your memory card as we're getting the DLC treatment for Sony's scary new game. Each pack adds eight missions plus a pair of new bosses, along with new spells and the odd map. Here's some video from the Japanese release of one of the DLC packs, not sure which, plus they have even more stuff coming. Dates are the US PSN, hopefully just add a day for EU release.


May 28 - Headless Knights and Starving Ruin Dwellers, new bosses Dullahan and Behemoth, Goliath map, Berserker magic, eight new missions, plus AR mode.

June 11 - A Drunk and a Chef, which will add new bosses Dwarf and Ogre into the mix, along with eight additional missions.

June 25 - Wild Wheels and Apparition, new bosses Ouroboros and Wraith, another eight missions and Angelus magic.

Soul Sacrifice fails to scare the all-formats chart

Sony's big, blood-stained, hope proves that the U.K. Vita user base is still pretty minuscule as it fails to appear anywhere in the new Top 20. Sure, we could all have downloaded it for the DLC, but really? It should have at least outsold titles that have been in the charts for around a year like LEGO Batman.

Digging deeper, I see it arrived at No. 26 but there's no stats that far down apart from it being the sole new entry, so there wasn't exactly anything else to divert gamers' attention. Since most sites only show the top 20, it looks like the Vita will continue to fail to exist as far as most gamers are concerned, not surprising given Sony's continued feeble marketing efforts.

On the plus side, it did it No.1 in the Vita chart, but I'll bet it won't stat there for long.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Sony's E3 Show, June 10, how not to screw it up

Barring some almost inevitable leaks, Sony will be showing off the PS4 at E3 to the world in June. But how short is the company's memory going to be? Given it fluffed last year's show by focusing on Wonderbook (how's that going Sony?) and all but ignoring the Vita, doing a fair amount of PR and goodwill damage in the process.

Sony's 2013 event, how much would you cut out of it?

This year's show is going to be a tricky balancing act, getting all it has to say in two hours and doing a fair job to all. This year it has PS4, Diggs Whatshissface, PS4, PS Vita and some late-gen goodness on PS3 to get in, plus some more PS4. 

How do you do all that? Well, here's some tips: 

  • Don't talk about the market, market share or your corporate woes - this is a games event, focus on games. 
  • Don't do live gameplay demos - they are boring as hell to watch. 
  • Don't drag out endless partners to "talk" about their games. Just show the trailer, with a pre-recorded voice-over if needed, and move on. Limit it to two guests at most. 
  • Don't do skits, you're a gaming company not a late-night entertainment show, you're also no where near as funny as you think you are. 
  • Don't do endless clip-mixes during the show, you're allowed one at the start, that's it! Give each product its proper time and space, you can save 10 minutes by skipping these flashy but annoying breaks. 
  • Don't expect the audience to get excited about everything, hanging on for a couple of feeble whoops or polite applause is cringe-inducing at best. 
That's probably saved about 25 minutes in which you can show five to ten more titles. To be fair, its not just Sony that drags these events out way more than they should. But it is up to gamers and the games press to kick all the big names into evolving their corporate love-in shows to be more focussed and less sucky. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace trailered

Looking forward to some more Ragnarok Odyssey? From my brief play of the demo, it does look a more "fun" game that the rather intense SoulSac. Anyway, here's the trailer from Japan for the upcoming Ace version of Gung Ho's game that includes all the DLC and more new content.

New Stein's Gate PS3 title remote plays on the Vita

I love the sound of the Stein's Gate world and the games have done pretty well on the PSP and Vita, but haven't made it outside of Japan. If you're a fan, then the next game in the series came out on PS3 last week, but caused a bit of a fuss when it arrived claiming Remote Play support, that didn't actually work.

I guess there's a patch out now as here's a video of someone Remote Playing the game on a Vita. Come westward little series, come west! Until then, its back to God of War HD for my RP fun.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Call of Duty: Ghosts Busted for the Vita?

Everyone's getting mildly excited about the next high-octane ride in the world of Call of Duty, unveiled today to no great shock. Given last year brought us the unfortunate joke that was Declassified to go along with the proper BlOps2 title, perhaps this year we'll get a slightly better thought-out Ghosts spin-off.



There's supposed to be a team developing this year's Vita game (saw a name in a discussion last week, but can't remember who, anyone know?), and there's already been the odd hopeful store place-holder listing for a CoD 2013 title.

So, Ghosts Busted, Ghost Squad, Ghostly Goings-On, who knows, but hopefully Killzone Mercenary won't be the only awesome first-person shooter ever to grace the Vita.

Its May, its sunny out, lets stay in and play PS Vita games (PSN Update)

Yep, its gorgeous out but there are four new PS Vita games you could be trying instead. Apparently Soul Sacrifice downloads are working, but since I'm waiting on Amazon for mine, I can't give a definitive OK on that.

There's also the fun ZTII, Machinarium for those who want some more sedate adventuring, and out of the blue comes Farming Simulator. The PS+ update should also be live with some Zen Star Wars Pinball tables added to the roster for only £4.

Farming Simulator: £6.49/€7.99
Machinarium: £4.79/€5.99
Soul Sacrifice (available May 3 in UK): £29.99/€34.99
Zombie Tycoon II: Brainhov’s Revenge: £7.99/€9.99

Vita sales up to 21,000 this week in Japan on the arrival of PhotoKano Kiss

Only in Japan can a game like PhotoKano Kiss outsell Bioshock Infinite, and be only a bit behind Tomb Raider, but there you go. In the latest Media Create charts, it sold 30,000 copies to land at No. 7, (UPDATE: 37,000 and No.4 according to Famitsu's chart) along with fellow new entrant Meikyuu Cross Blood: Infinity  from CyberFront which sold 9,000 to land at No. 15. 

Those arrivals and the launch of the PS Vita best of budget range helped the Vita up about 6,000 sales in a week to 21,000 keeping it well ahead of the PS3, but still less than half of what the 3DS can sell on a really quiet week for Nintendo's baby. 

Just behind PhotoKano was Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Portable on the PSP which sold 26,000 copies. Here's a video of either a very bad camera-user or slightly drunk Japanese game opening and playing the limited edition version. 

Muramasa tops 100,000 in Japan

The remake of the Wii game seems to have found a spiritual home on the Vita with a combined total of downloads and physical copies over 100,000 sales, as announced by the game's Twitter account. As of last week Oboro Muramasa had sold 67,000 boxed copies, so assuming 70,000 by this week, that's 30,000 digital sales, which will make a handy comparison point for how much of the Vita's sales are online-over store-purchased.

And the game is headed west fairly soon, in June thanks to Aksys, so should continue to do the business with lots of good things being said about the lovingly crafted visuals.

Zombie Tycoon II out for those not into their Soul Sacrifice

There is another game out on the Vita today, and if you can't handle the seriousness of the doomed souls in SoulSac, then Zombie Tycoon II is probably more for you. A rare does of RTS action for the Vita, it offers cross play and cross buy with PS3 and endless zombie hordes for you to run amok with.