Sunday, May 29, 2011
NGP gets a (possible) name: "Vita"
Take a look above, as it's the first (possible) picture of the NGP (from Joystiq.) that actually isn't a stock photo from what I've seen. Sure, it's more of a mock-up than anything, but my point stands. Anyways, that's not explicitly the point, so much as the latest addition to the overall look: What may possibly be a logo. When I started suggesting possibilities for alternate names (a whole one and a half of them, I guess) I never would have come up with the name "PS Vita", and when presented with it, I'm sure my reaction was the same as most everyone else: "W...what?"
Now, while it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue right away, nor does it lend itself to accurately giving you an idea on what it even is, I can kind of understand the thought behind naming it the Vita, if, of course, they do name it that. Or, at least, I can throw a couple reasons out there and suggest it was on their minds so it doesn't look like five guys sat around a table playing Scrabble until the letters just sort of fell into place.
Now, a quick googling will lead you to the quick revelation that "Vita" means "Life" in a couple of languages. Given the PSP's lackluster appearance (not actual performance), a good way of shedding that image would likely be to launch a campaign built around that point, claiming to "Breathe new 'life' into portable gaming" or something of the sort. Really, so long as they manage to keep away from psychic babies and (as much as I didn't personally mind him) Marcus, pretty much any ad campaign for this will be fine, not even necessarily pointing out the Vita part. Still, taking a cue from Nintendo and incorporating the console name into the message ("Wii would like to play~") would likely be a good idea.
A very slightly less quick googling will also bring up the fact that "Vita" is also a different form of the more common word "Beta", which we all know is the second letter of the Greek Alphabet and is pretty much usually synonymous with "second", with the common example being "Beta" being the second phase of a game's development. Given that this will be the second Playstation Handheld Device, well, that just sort of works nicely. Not very many people will know that right off, which is a bit unfortunate, and naming it the "PS Beta" would likely raise more than a few eyebrows, but for what it is, it's not exactly offensively bad or anything, so it'll work. We all got used to calling the Wii "The Wii", and it obviously hasn't distracted from its success.
For my own opinion, while I'm not exactly impressed right off with it, after looking into it, I think it's a fairly 'smart' name, even if it's a name that will allow all, and you'll have to excuse the meme, the haters to continue to hate. Which, hey, there will be detractors for everything, and no matter what this was going to be named, there was likely going to be a lot of vocalizations against it. While this makes it a bit easier, it's not starting something that wasn't going to happen anyway.
Of course, it could be an elaborate hoax, or we could have another "Move" situation, where we all sort of accepted that would be called "Arc" until a Microsoft patent forced "Move" to win by default. We'll just have to see how E3 goes. And, for what it's worth, I really hate ending E3 related articles with "We'll just have to wait" because it's such a crap thing to do, really, but, hey, it's not like I'm a psychic or anything, and I don't want to state rumors or unannounced things here as fact.
Update!: Evidence just keeps a-comin'. In there, there's some source code for a Playstation website where there is clearly a couple instances of the phrase "PS Vita". So either this thing is going to be called the PS Vita, or something is going to be named the Vita! (Or it's still just an internal codename.)