Sony have announced a raft of updates and tweaks for the Playstation Vita in the form of a firmware update labelled 1.80. Due to launch this month, the update will most notably allow compatibility for PlayStation One titles to be made available for the handheld platform for the first time. The Vita will also be getting the “Cross controller” function, which allows you to use it to control compatible titles on the PlayStation 3 such as Little Big Planet 2.
Other, perhaps more minor changes, include: new video playback options, with fast forward and fast rewind options as well as repeat play on video, and playlists controlled through the music player which will have iTunes compatibility that allows you to import music directly from your PS3 or PC. Some control changes will also be implemented, with the update bringing the option of controlling the home screen, as well as some features of applications such as Videos and Music, through the buttons on the PS Vita.
The systems Web Browser will be enhanced with rear touchpad operations, which will keep messy fingers off of the main screen and out of the way whilst navigating web pages using scroll and zoom features. You will be able to view and transfer photos in MPO format, though this will be without 3D and multi-angle viewing support. Group messaging will also receive some enhancements, including the ability to attach messages when writing for groups, and the Wi-Fi and maps will also be tweaked.
With question marks still hanging over the Vita as a platform, will these changes be enough to convince new customers to sign up? It’s too early to say of course, but it does show that Sony have listened to their audience’s concerns which can only ever be a step in the right direction.
Next mission: Convince some third party developers to build some games for it…