Sony announces Playstation Vita launch lineup and the real cost of memory cards [video]

Let's head into the big holiday weekend with some good news for gamers who're considering the purchase of a Playstation Vita when it comes out in February.

The Vita has been getting knocked around in the press lately, sometimes for valid reasons (you can only use a single PSN account on a Vita without resetting the entire device) and other times for reasons that may not be so valid (the 'widespread issues' with Japanese launch Vitas that seems to not be so widespread after all).

One of the big sources of outrage has been the price of the proprietary memory cards that your Vita will more or less require in order to work well. Online retailer Gamestop has had these listed for a while at very high prices: 4 GB for $30, 8 GB for $45, 16 GB for $70 and 32 GB for $120.

Well it turns out Gamestop had bad data, or knowing Gamestop maybe they just made up figures. The news isn't quite so bad (although these prices are still too high). According to the Playstation Blog the actual prices are $19.99, $29.99, $59.99 and $99.99. Now I'm not saying that a 32 GB memory card for $100 is something we should be thanking Sony for, but at least these prices are a little better than what Gamestop had us anticipating. If you plan to buy games on physical media the 4 GB card ought to be sufficient.

In addition to 'price cuts' on memory cards, Sony has announced that there'll be 25 games available at launch, and all told there are 100 games in development. Game pricing ranges from $9.99 to $49.99. I think they need to drop that low-end lower still. I want to see $5 downloadable games on the Playstation Store (they have them now for the original PSP).

Here's the list of launch day titles from Sony:

Escape Plan (PSN Only)

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational

Hustle Kings (PSN Only)

Little Deviants

ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Super StarDust Delta (PSN only)

UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss

wipEout 2048

Luckily I've been "nice" this year so I wasted no time working up my wish list for Vita Launch Day.

Escape Plan is looking like an interesting physics puzzler (check out the trailer below), and of course I have to have Uncharted. Little Deviants is a title that has been used to demo the 'back facing touch screen" quite often and it looks unusual enough that I may have to pick it up, too. Three games on launch day seems like enough to keep me busy for a while. The Vita comes with some ARG games, too.

A few more titles will follow in what Sony is calling "the launch window:"

Gravity Rush

MLB 12 The Show

Reality Fighters

Unit 13

Unit 13 is a military shooter being developed by Zipper Interactive (the guys that do a lot of the SOCOM games) and it has a unique twist of being heavily social even while playing alone. You get a score for each mission and there're incentives to beat your friends' high scores, or even unlock content for your friends if you do well enough. This social twist is enough to put Unit 13 on my list.

In addition to games from Sony, another 17 titles are due on launch day from third parties, and six more after that during the launch window. The Playstation Blog has full details.

There was a time when I hoped I'd be unwrapping a Vita this weekend (I love giving myself presents) but at least Sony has given us some idea of what to expect come launch day (and how much money we need to squirrel away in the next two months). It's looking like I won't even get into the third party stuff; Sony will be releasing more than enough games for launch week.

Anything on the list catch your fancy?

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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