(Click around to head to a different post in this OT)
Here we take a look at Vita's included software. From the user interface, to the video app. Please note, this is a heavily truncated summary of the features in the unit. I suggest checking out the previously mentioned UI/OS thread.
This is the home screen. Vita uses a new interface rather than XMB to adapt to Vita's touch screen. Games, and applications are stored in little bubbles. The entire skin can be customized with your own pictures and such.
This is Vita's secondary menu. This menu shows up when you have multiple applications running in the background. This bookshelf view allows you to easily cycle through software options.
Welcome Park is Vita's introductory software. It allows the user to get a feel of the Vita's capabilities through a variety of mini-games that force the user to use both touch panels, cameras, the gyro sensor, the microphone, and more. For all those trophy whores out there, yes, this includes trophies.
So what's Live Area? Live Area is the software that opens up once you click on a game in the home menu. Live Area will be your home to view the latest content applicable to this game available for purchase on the PlayStation Store, check out leader boards between your friends and the world, be notified of online tournaments, and even try out some augmented reality trophy modes. Live Area is only limited by the scope the developer wants to give it.
This might be shocking, but with this application you view images. Okay, at launch Vita's photo viewer supports JPEG (Exif 2.2.1), TIFF, BMP, GIF, and PNG. This means you'll be able to view any photo taken with your 2 built-in Vita cameras, screen shots from all your favourite games (as Vita has universal screenshot functionality built in the OS), and you can even shove your favourite cat images from the internet on this.
PS3 jelly and I know it. This is Vita's music player. It supports MP3 MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3, MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC), WAVE (Linear PCM) files at launch. Best of all? Vita's music player supports universal custom soundtracks that can be played in games, while surfing the web, and more.
Bow down to your glorious OLED leader. This video player supports MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC), H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High/Main/Baseline Profile (AAC) file types.
Transfer files from your Vita to your PC, and PS3 with this application. It's notable that almost all of the work with this will be done on the Vita, with minimal work being done on the PC or PS3. Please note, the software for computers at Japanese launch will not support Mac operating systems.
In this portion of the thread (which if you're still reading by now, thank you) we'll be discussing Vita's network functionality.
Basically, PS3 am cry. Party is Vita's innovative communication application that allows users to talk either via text, or voice not only during online gaming, but also when you are playing different games offline or using different applications such as the Internet browser. Users who are chatting together can also seamlessly join an online game to play together, while a bookmarking feature enables you to easily reconnect with your favourite groups. The official number is up to 8 people in a party.
This is the Vita's web browser. It browses the web. Given it has a touch screen, it should be the best one Sony's made so far. You're limited to 8 tabs running simultaneously on the browser. Please note; neither flash, nor in-game web-browsing will be supported at Japanese launch.
This is the PlayStation Store on PlayStation Vita. Access, and purchase (region-pending) Game Archive titles (Note: Not playable at Japanese launch
), PSP legacy titles, Minis, movies, every single Vita retail game and more! Grace Chen would be proud!
Near is a core PS Vita feature composed of location based services that utilize PlayStation Network. Developed specifically for PS Vita, Near will be pre-installed on the system to let you find out what other PS Vita users in the area are playing right now or what they were playing recently, as well as what titles are the most popular in the area. What's cool is that thanks to the PlayStation Store having every title available, you can hop into the store, purchase the local favourite (data plan pending), and join in on the fun! You can meet friends and new players virtually, regardless of what games they are playing, simply by sharing your game information across PlayStation Network.
Near also enables location based gaming features such as Gifting, where you can access virtual game-related items that others are sharing through checking in at geographic locations that others have also visited. The virtual items can include content unlocked from games, such as character costumes, weapons and treasures.
Unlike StreetPass, a Vita user does not necessarily have to pass by another fellow Vita owner to have a shot at getting a gift. The gift distributor goes about their daily routine in real life then syncs their Vita with a Near server to record where they have been. Should another Vita user pass through the same locations the distributor has visited, they can get gifts when their Vita syncs with a Near server. You'll receive a gift for every location the distributor passed through.
You can enjoy Near using Wi-Fi, but to get the most out of Near, a 3G connection is preferable. You will be able to obtain more information and encounter new players in real time by using a 3G connection + GPS.
In your profile you can share information about yourself. Choose an avatar that represents you best, add your friends and let the world see your gaming and trophy stats. Your Friends List will allow you to search for and add new friends, and accept requests sent to you. Click on a friend's profile to see what game they are playing on either PS Vita or PlayStation 3. You can join their game, take a look at what you've played together recently or compare your trophy collections.
Compare trophies with all your latest friends with this part of the Vita software. Check out what you've collected on the road, and at home.
Talk to up to 16 of your PSN friends, and even those who aren't your friends with this. Using this part of the Vita will allow you to share photos, and other things.