Get to Know the Vita Launch Lineup

Here's your guide to part of the launch lineup for Sony's new handheld.

The PlayStation Vita launches in Japan this weekend, and with the North American launch right around the corner, there's no better time to get caught up on some of the biggest games coming to Sony's new handheld system. We've taken a look at a select number of launch games that will be accompanying the system on store shelves and have broken them down into helpful, handheld-friendly terms that everyone can understand. Be sure to check back early next week for more coverage on the Vita hardware and the Japanese launch.

Games for the Plane

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

With fully voiced cutscenes starring everyone's favorite treasure hunter, the first portable entry in the Uncharted series doesn't look like it will be skimping on the familiar style of cinematic storytelling. Some of the new Vita features include tapping on ledges and handholds to climb across environments, as well as moving the system around to aim your gun via the built-in gyroscope.

Resistance: Burning Skies

The Vita is the first major handheld to offer dual thumbsticks, so you should be able to play this sci-fi first-person shooter for hours on end without having to toss the system aside with that all-too-familiar sense of frustration we've all felt while playing a portable FPS. Touch-screen controls include the ability to tap exactly where you want your grenade to go before you throw it.

Little Big Planet

The original Little Big Planet won hearts with its charming arts-and-crafts visual design, as well as an extensive level editor that let players create their own stages. The Vita version also looks charming, but what really has us excited about this game is the way touch-screen controls should make level creation substantially more intuitive than fiddling with a PlayStation 3 controller.

FIFA Soccer

EA has had a spotty track record when it comes to releasing portable versions of its popular sports franchises. (We scored the first Madden entry 3DS game a whopping 4 out of 10.) But everything we've seen of FIFA on the Vita suggests that this game looks and plays like its console brethren--right down to full announcer commentary. Its Vita-specific features include passing by tapping on a player and aiming your shots with the rear touch panel.

Games for the Bus

Escape Plan

This 2D puzzle platformer has an interesting black-and-white art design that gives it the look of an old-timey art-house movie. Your job is to navigate through a series of elaborately constructed death traps using a variety of touch-screen and motion-sensing control schemes.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

The frenetic fighters come to Sony's handheld complete with all 50 fighters and touch-screen controls for over-the-top combos. Additionally, the Vita's Wi-Fi capabilities let you record and share replays, and its PlayStation 3 connectivity options turn the Vita into a controller while playing the PS3 version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Excelsior!

ModNation Racers: Road Trip

While Mario Kart's status as the greatest karting series of all time has been carved in stone seven times over, ModNation Racers is one of the best alternatives you can find. This signature track creation tools from the series are coming to the Vita, with the ability to design track layouts with the drag of a finger.

Unit 13

While this third-person shooter may look like a portable version of SOCOM (it is, after all, developed by the same studio that created that series), it's actually an arcade-inspired game where you try to rack up high scores and make it onto the leaderboards. It's that score attack system combined with its traditional shooter gameplay that should make this game work for medium-length play sessions.

Games for the "Office"

Little Deviants

It wouldn't be a new system launch without a minigame compilation of some kind, and that's exactly the space that this game occupies. It's got a thoroughly goofy sense of humor and more than enough eccentricity to spare. The minigame nature of Little Deviants means it will use pretty much every control scheme the system can offer, including some augmented-reality games that use the system's rear camera.

Lumines: Electronic Symphony

The first Lumines, a block-dropping puzzle game with a big focus on music, was one of the best titles available during the early days of the PSP. The series will arrive on Sony's latest handheld with Electronic Symphony, which lets you use touch inputs to move your blocks on the screen and fully synchronizes the dance music to all of your actions.

Sound Shapes

Like Lumines, Sound Shapes is a game where all of your actions and button presses affect the musical soundscape. It's a 2D platformer, so you can pick up and play individual levels for short gaming sessions, but there's also a deep level editor if you want to extend your gameplay longer.

Touch My Katamari

The Katamari series made a name for itself with an eccentric sense of humor and gameplay that involved rolling a ball around that picked up random items, people, cars, and, eventually, entire planets. The series returns with Touch My Katamari, which lets you morph the shape of your katamari ball using the Vita's touch-screen controls.

Want to see more? Keep an eye on GameSpot over the upcoming weeks to see coverage of other launch games we didn't get around to showing here, including Gravity Rush, Wipeout 2048, Hustle Kings, and Ridge Racer.

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Discussion

234 comments
InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

I would prefer God of war instead of Uncharted. MGS 4 instead of unit 13 Killzone instead of resistance. MK instead of marvel vs capcom and GT 5 instead of ridge racer. So i ll have to settle with Shinobido and FIFA for now and maybe NG sigma whrn it becomes cheaper...

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

uncharted, resistance ... you are only 100 $ away from 7-8 hours of gameplay fun, oh forgot, 300 $ for the vita. PSPs Lifeline is over and what can it offer - same will happen with the vita.

Big_Evil666
Big_Evil666

so many great lookin games! can't wait!

LAnoirFAN
LAnoirFAN

if only zelda was in psvita :/..., gonna buy it anyway =D

wowwow27
wowwow27

im prolly gonna get resistance, and uncharted, but im more excited about resistance.

rain_ishigawa
rain_ishigawa

will get it when the atlus games come out ... or the next kingdom hearts whichever ...

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@freeman_123 By the way,you never posted a link to your solid information on the next xbox's specs compared to the Vita.If you really do have it I really would like to see it. Otherwise,good day to you sir.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@freeman_123 My God you are truly a piece of work. My brother and I laughed as we read that. Suppose you are LAPD. You're bad at your job. I live literally THOUSANDS of miles from your home.I'd say I'm out of your imaginary jurisdiction. I just left my house and came back as you posted those comments,and your "boys" seem to be lacking in presence. You never cleaned up "my streets",because the ghetto part of this city is still running amok with scum,and the part I live in was clean ever since it was built in the 50s. I'm not married. You have no way of knowing what I look like or whether my body is weak or not.So you're obviously unable to come through on your threats,because you don't know a thing about me.You can't sit there and try to scare people with outrageous lies and expect to make a point.You literally sound like you've lost your mind.A law officer cannot send "boys" in to shoot up people's homes.If you've actually done what you say,you've admitted to breaking several laws.If you've convinced yourself of the things you told me,I stand in amazement.You've also said quite enough filthy language on a site younger people may be on. Your original point was that Sony has destroyed the competition. Well the competition is still there. That was my point. M$,Sony,and Nintendo are all still running strong and giving us games.Which ones you play are up to you,and same for me.You don't like it,tough.That's called freedom of choice.

freeman_123
freeman_123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

freeman_123
freeman_123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

freeman_123
freeman_123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@freeman_123 So much to say,so little space. Look.I don't come to this site to deal with people who can't go between five words without cussing someone out to make themselves feel better,and I don't come here to argue about consoles.They're toys for big kids,and arguing about them is no different than 5-year-olds fighting over HotWheels cars. I don't care about the console wars.I'll play any of them.360,Wii,PS3,NES, doesn't matter. I just play games. However,when you start saying crazy,illogical things,and start making threats against people and their families,all the while swearing up a storm,you've crossed the line. My advice,take up a peaceful hobby like bonsai,oragami,or pigeon feeding so you can dispense with all that anger you seem to have trouble controlling.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@freeman_123 Oh my God you seriously make me laugh!I know I said I'd waste no more time with you,but this is funny,and I have a few minutes to blow. 1. The 360,which came out a year before the PS3 and Wii,is a copy of the PS3?Sure.... 2. HAHAHA! Homicide detective? Squad car? No officer of the law behaves like a moronic 12 year old and threatens to beat someone they don't know. How the heck do you plan to come through on your threats?You don't know where I live. BY the way,you do realize that if you found a way to do those things,the law is on my side,right?You don't get to beat people up for having different opinions than yours.And,FYI,my house isn't run down.I live in the better part of town,not the ghetto.And I'm willing to bet I could take you in a fight. I've beaten several people larger than myself in both wrestling and arm wrestling,and my folks taught me self defense.If anyone tried anything like that with my family,I would put up a heck of a fight,I don't care how big the guy is,you do NOT threaten my family.So don't go making threats against people you don't know.One day you might pop off to the wrong guy and he turns out to be an insane 6 foot 8 body builder with a penchant for punching. 3. What info?You can type anything you want.Show me PROOF.Show me a link to video or an article from Microsoft detailing the specs of their as yet, officially unannounced home console,and let's compare it side by side to the Vita.

pojeck_333
pojeck_333

there should be 2k games like 2k13 to make it awesome!

freeman_123
freeman_123

@Wormkid_64 - hey a$$hole!. how about you take your head out of your fat a$$ and see the truth your xbox360 is crap get it its crap. now i want you to digest this fact and continue living your worthless average life. the xbox 360 is just a cheap copy of the ps3. the ps3 has dominated the market since the beginning the console and its games speak for themselves fool. and no d*ck head i never owned a xbox360 but have played it many times and have seen the terrible quality of the product. also i am a L.a.p.d homicide detective if you must know and if i ever hear this type of bull$hit! from you i am gonna come in my squad car suddenly to your beat down $hitty house and i will beat the living crap out of you in front of your family. when i am done with you , you wont even remember your name. so how about you shove that xbox 360 up your filthy a$$! and f^uck off. and yeah my info is solid on the new xbox being even more worse than this one. you wanted facts here they are. i am no fanboy. but what is the truth is the truth you ignorant fool.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@freeman_123 And just who the heck to you think you are?I wouldn't be surprised to find out you're just some kid who's mad cause his 360 burnt up,which is actually a good reason to be mad,but not to act like you. Where'd you get the specs showing that the Vita is more powerful than M$'s next home console,the specs of which are not yet announced?How do you know what my 360 is good for?What,you don't like the games available for it (in the end,quite a similar line-up to that of the PS3.)and that makes it trash?Didn't know you got to set the standard for what I do in MY house. And what's more,where do you get off,spouting that kind of garbage to people?I thought here in the U.S. and on the internet I could state my opinion and bring up a few facts about what I've done in recent months.Didn't know you could judge a person's entire worth on a few sentences.But if that's the case,you're in pretty bad shape.Ever stop and think how ridiculous and unrealistic you sound?You come off as an angry,senseless fanboy,and a person I need not waste any more of my time with.

freeman_123
freeman_123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

poopinpat
poopinpat

needs ace combat...! and the good stuff, not like the most recent release. I bought a PSP for skies of deception.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@shadowhunter0 I see.My mistake. But they still haven't completely ended their competition as the comment I was replying to said. Thanks for the info though.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@wowwow27 uncharted resistance lbp wipeout and others will help to sell the systems so actually really doesn't need a killer app also people would disagree with you there isn't a killer app at launch the problem is which one will they pick

wowwow27
wowwow27

i don't see that killer app yet.

BigAl519
BigAl519

@endorbr Some of us do our best work from there lol. Gotta say the Vita NA lineup is quite good! One of the best launch lineups I have seen in a long time. Should be a good sign for whats to come! All of these games look great and hopefully will play just as well!

endorbr
endorbr

Love that the office is equated with the toilet.

blamix99
blamix99

anyway when is final fantasy 10 HD coming out on vita??

blamix99
blamix99

@zaiwen how can i focus on pooping if i'm having a blast playing UMVC3? ---- LOL funniest comment ever

andrei_10
andrei_10

-__- where's Gravity Daze and the other great games?on the list there are great games,but more games have been announced by now...don't be fooled,guys O_o

zaiwen
zaiwen

how can i focus on pooping if i'm having a blast playing UMVC3?

noah364
noah364

Seems like the "office" games might be a little risky. I've never had to call Gamestop to ask for a replacement system because mine fell in the toilet.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Wormkid_64 actually the vita is out now in japan so has sold tens of thousands and people are still buying it and the vita isn't out anywhere else so of course it isn't selling since it is not out yet well expect for Japan also allot of places are sold out over in Japan

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@freeman_123 What!?! M$ and Nintendo are bankrupt?They're gone?!? I must've slept though it because I just bought 3 3DS games in the past month and a half,and my dad got a 3DS last week.And I was just on XBL the other day.Man I can't believe I missed such a monumental event in the gaming world!Sony accomplished all that by selling a grand total of 0 Vitas to date?!?

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

elbert_b_23
elbert_b_23

only katamari is worth getting on the launch

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

The rear touchpad is for touching women from behind. Pervy Japanese!

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

I'm keeping my eye on this one. A lot of potential here. Not enough great launch games to get me to bend yet though

gamerlano
gamerlano

can't wait to order! but in europe only in march why? it sucks...

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

The rear touch pad is pretty clever...

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

Pretty solid lauch line up... If the games are as cool as they seem and if sony and 3rd party developers keep lauching this kind of games, then nintendo should be very very worried. This thing have fixed all the mistakes on the PSP

sestraux
sestraux

it will be interesting to see if the Vita is going to be more than just a neat gadget to have like the psp go.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

too many dislikes, I sense 3DS fans on this page

IBEX333
IBEX333

So... when's the Jailbreak coming out? ; )

wahyudil
wahyudil

in the plane for 6 hours but you can play vita only for 3-5 hours ...

ajjjevans
ajjjevans

meh... ill pick up the next model. not to many games i would want, the only thing that looks good is the LBP and Resistance, and i hope they don't do too much touch controls on the games cause then i wouldn't even buy one.

HKfan
HKfan

Games for the "Office" on a touch screen system? Ewww I am never touching anybody else's

tahashaikh15
tahashaikh15

Just one word and one word only BORRING.I am sure the Vita will/is/going to be a flop.I will always stick to pc and consoles.For portability gaming....Well I really dont need it..Its useless.Meaning I have never needed it that is!!