Gamescom 2011: Lumines announced for Vita

Something I mistakenly overlooked yesterday during the coverage of Ubisoft’s Vita support was that they’re bringing the PSP favourite Lumines as well. The puzzler from Q? Entertainment was originally a launch sensation on PSP, and was largely seen as being the platform’s answer for Tetris (a game that wouldn’t be released on the platform until 2009). Sadly, both Ubisoft, and Q? Entertainment have been dead silent regarding features for this game, or even any media.

Stay tuned for more information.

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Gamescom 2011: Gravity Daze Trailer

Sony Computer Entertainment have released a new trailer for their mystifying Gravity Daze (under the title “Gravity Rush” here). The game, which is from Team Siren of Sony Japan may be releasing as a PlayStation Network exclusive, with the European PlayStation website not listing the game for a physical release. Only time will tell if that’ll come to pass, but for now, take a look at the new trailer:

Gamescom 2011: F1 2011 Gameplay Video

Codemasters’ Formula 1 racing simulator will be heading to PlayStation Vita, let’s take a look:

Gamescom 2011: Asphalt Injection Gameplay and Screenshot

Ubisoft’s Gameloft division are coming up with a number of games for Vita, one of them is the arcade racer Asphalt Injection. Let’s take a look at it:

Gamescom 2011: Vita to get Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, and Nico Nico Douga apps

At Gamescom 2011 Sony announced that social network services such as Facebook, Twitter, Fourquare, and Skype will be supported by the PlayStation Vita in network specific applications. This means, rather than having to load up a website you can view Facebook, and Twitter with PlayStation Vita specific features, and design outlines. The addition of Facebook, and Twitter aren’t entirely surprising, as various Vita games, from Smart As, to Modnation Racers will be using these websites for content sharing.

Now, the addition of Skype (which was unintentionally revaled by a Brazilian Vita showcase months ago) will also allow users to call each other and converse in both video, and audio chat. Who needs a phone, huh?

But perhaps the most interesting is that Dwango is developing a Nico Nico Douga application for Vita. For those who don’t know, Nico Nico Douga is a popular Japanese video site equivalent to maybe our Youtube. The prevalence of video applications is great, and seemingly confirmed as Twitter, and Facebook’s Vita applications will support embedded audio, and video clips.

All of these social network applications are also behind Sony’s own local, and PSN feature called Near. Near challenges players to compete in local arenas to see who’s really the best.

Gamescom 2011: Vita Final Specs Released

Little Busters Converted Edition announced

Japanese publisher Prototype have announced a PlayStation Vita port of Key’s dating sim visual novel Little Busters. This new version of the game is so far into development that it’s already playable. However, a launch price, and date haven’t been announced. What is interesting though, is that the game will be updated to make use of the Vita’s touch inputs (for mini-games) and high resolution. A resolution so high, that it actually eclipses that of its PC counterpart. Previously the game had been ported to PSP, and PS2.

To see a bunch of Vita version screenshots, and character artwork for Little Busters Converted Edition click here

PlayStation Vita Devkits are really, really cheap

Speaking at GDC Europe, SCEE’s George Bain has confirmed the price studios will have to pay for a PlayStation Vita development kits are significantly lower than the average fee for previous Sony platforms. Vita devkits will run €1,900, which is insanely cheap compared to the €20,000 that PS2, and PS3 devkits go for, or the €15,000 normal PSP devkits run.

What does this mean to the average gamer? Simply put – more games. By making the development barrier of entry lower Sony’s opening the flood gates to games, and applications from any party interested. Which is obvious, as Sony’s pubfund – a fund used to help create exclusive games with indies are seeing at least 15 different pitches a week.

Falcom CEO talks Vita RPG

Earlier this year Nihon Falcom Corporation (makers of Ys, and the Trails in the Sky series) announced that they would be developing a PlayStation Vita launch window title. That was all they said, however, as AndriaSang reports in a Dengeki PlayStation article CEO Toshihiro Kondo let this slip:

The new game has reached a point where it can be played a considerable amount, Kondo told the magazine. Development will require a bit more time, though.

Kondo also expressed interest in some of the system’s special features, saying that pointing devices are a good fit for Falcom games. He added that Falcom would not simply use a feature just because it’s there, though. As an example, he mentioned the system’s front and rear touch capabilities. The new game uses both, but only where truly necessary.

It seems the game’s development is at a place to where a potential TGS announcement isn’t out of the picture.

Gamescom 2011: LittleBigPlanet Trailer

Here’s the latest trailer for xDev, and Double Eleven Studio’s take on LittleBigPlanet:

It’s looking great.