Adam Grant, Sony’s European Hardware Product Manager, has revealed the box art for the PS Vita, along with a list of apps that will be standard with the product. This is Europe, Australia, and New Zealand information only right now, so what you see might not be what you get in the States.
The box art is extremely straightforward, but there isn’t much more you can do beyond putting the name, info, and a fancy picture on the box and calling it a day. Where the PS3 Slim box has touches of red, this one is covered in blue swirls, like the background of the PS Vita!
When you pull it out of the box and turn it on for the first time, you’ll be greeted by a handful of apps already on the system. Some of these features are familiar to owners of the PSP or PS3, as they’re on the XMB in some form.
These include the PlayStation Store, Trophies, Music, and Friends, which need no explanation since they serve the exact same service as the XMB equivalent. The Friends app does let users see friends on the PS3 though, which is a nice feature.
One of the new features is called Welcome Park, in which users can “discover all of the brilliant features packed into PS Vita through a series of mini-games.” Does this mean a mini-game to help you set up your background? It is hard to tell.
Next, we have a feature called Party. Using this, you will be able to chat with other PS Vita owners, through text or chat. The nice thing about this is that you’ll be able to do this at any time, even if you’re playing a totally different game than your friend. You can even bring in multiple friends at a time, with up to eight total chatters at one time.
The Group Messaging feature is really similar to Party, except that you can send pictures, and no voice chat seems to be included. You can still chat with multiple people, but it just seems like a redundant feature.
One feature that has been updated for the PS Vita is the Photo app. The only real update is that you’ll be able to take pictures using the camera, then send them to friends. This could be a dangerous tool if you happen to make enemies online.
Similar to the 3DS’s StreetPass, the PS Vita has an app called Near. Using this feature, friends can swap in-game items, upgrades, and maps, then compare trophies and such. You’ll be able to play games with folks nearby, and swap all sorts of information, though I’m sure there will be limits.
Finally, we have the Internet Browser. This is just what it sounds like, an Internet browser. You can use the touch screen though!
The PS Vita launches in December in Japan, and sometime in 2012 everywhere else. Until then, you can sign up for Inside PS Vita to get the latest information, exclusive discounts, and themes.