[Update: Missed the press conference? Here's our handy wrap-up]
In what will come as no surprise to anyone, Sony has renamed the NGP to PlayStation Vita, or PS Vita for short.
The specs (which we've included after the jump) for the device seem to be the same, and the only thing that has really changed is the name on the shell. And with that name change comes a highly reasonable price tag of $249 for the WiFi model (the price of the 3DS!) and $299 for the model with both WiFi and 3G. Gamers in Europe will unfortunately be paying a hefty 249 and 299 euros, respectively. The superpowered handheld will release during the 2011 holiday season in all regions.
More interesting is the announcement of the Party system. It allows players to voice chat via headset or built-in microphone in party rooms across any game, similar to Xbox Live's party system. They also reaffirmed the Near system, which is also similar to Xbox Live's friend features.
Finally, those of us in America will have to suffer with AT&T's exclusive service for the new handheld. The telecom giant will have a complete monopoly when it comes to 3G connectivity.
There's some great news here -- an amazing pricetag for Americans that is highly competitive with Nintendo's 3DS and a party system that should have been on PS3 years ago. But Europe is getting the shaft, and there was an audible groan in the conference hall when AT&T's name came up. With 80 titles in development, will you be grabbing one of the models despite AT&T's spotty service, or are memories of the pre-Verizon iPhone too bad?
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