Monday, January 9, 2012
CES Vita News
The Consumer Electronics Show or CES as it's abbreviated to, is going on currently and I wouldn't know it if internet sites didn't exist to specifically tell me this while also dispensing the news gleaned from it. Still, while there's nothing really 'big' about the show and the news that's come from it so far, there have been at least a few note-worthy things of mention and I'll take anything I can to prolong trying to create a Game of the Year list for this year because it's finally, physically actually upon us now to do so (at PA which was my guideline for it at least) and I'm simply not ready. I don't know how it's caught me unawares after anticipating it for like a month, yet here I am, frozen with the responsibility of quantifying the unquantifiable and placing the games of this year that I've played in a list from best to less-best which I'm actually not sure is possible this year. Regardless, on that happy note, now is the time to dispense some Vita news as per the title of the post.
First up is the news that sales of the Vita has apparently surpassed 500,000 units which is certainly a number. Considering that it's only been out for a few weeks in Japan, it's a fairly impressive number at that and though some will bring up the 'Sold vs. Shipped' numbers, I'm not sure there's ever a really big margin between the two. I mean, I'm definitely not very learned there, but of those 500k if they are indeed Shipped numbers, a lot of them have been sold which indicates a high level of interest which is basically all the data that dispensing sales numbers is supposed to dispense. A high-selling system indicates high interest indicates why others should be excited/interested in the system itself, therefore that's, well, what you get from the numbers and that's about it. Regardless, people will take sales figures and use that as ammo in any sort of pissing contest you could imagine, so that's out there now for that reason as well as the reason we reasonable folks distribute it.
The second bit in the above-linked article is by far the more interesting, if a bit expected, piece of news, since it states that Netflix will be available on the Vita near-day one for NA/PAL launch if not on day one. It's fairly expected, I'd say since to my knowledge the 3DS can claim similar functionality now or soon (haven't really looked up on it) and Portability hasn't exactly been new territory for Netflix itself, nor would it be new for a Sony product at all of course. Still, the prospect of being able to take full advantage of that shiny OLED screen the Vita sports to watch some of your favorite TV shows or movie is a tantalizing one for many and while I can't claim to having any intereaction with Netflix whatsoever, I must admit I'm intrigued at what could technically be my first dip into the service.
If there's a trial period of the service or something (which I suggest isn't entirely unlikely) I would love to give it a shot even though my internet is shit because I honestly -want- to give it a shot, to be a more movie-watching person and the like, but I honestly don't enjoy spending time on the PC some nights because of the ever-looming fear of something going wrong with it again inexplicably and more or less the same with my PS3 which I have (and this is well-documented in this blog at least) constantly suspected of being near-death. I'm not sure -what- I would try and watch, if given the full wealth of options, but be assured it would be something I don't have access to already. While I worry that my internet simply will not allow the experience to be enjoyable, that remains to be seen and will be seen when and if the opportunity arises.
Joining Netflix will be Music Unlimited which is apparently no longer being called Qriocity or something? Regardless, it's the same service, it seems, as it's just a cloud-based Music Streaming application that I certainly hope doesn't replace the basic Internet Radio Player because we all know I have a fondness for it with it's quirky little stations. The fact that it's entirely, wholly free even though the phrase "you get what you pay for" could easily be attached to it, given the level of quality you sometimes stumble across helps as well, since there was oftentimes a lot of waiting and tuning to find just anything and then finding that what I finally fell onto was something I just did not want to listen to at all. No matter what happens, I certainly don't expect Music Unlimited to be the only music streaming application for the Vita, so I'll likely be able to find something I'm happy with in that area. Even though I don't spend a lot of time listening to music that isn't on my PSP directly, having the option is always nice and that's all I want, really, is the option.
Really, all this is doing is showing off the fact that there's entirely more than just the games to be excited about for the Vita. All these things we want from our media-centric devices are slowly being confirmed for this one and while it won't be the first nor the last, this is more or less just what I was going on about with the music streaming; so long as the option is there, everyone's happy. There are plenty of folks out there like me (for reasons that are not mine) that could look forward to the Vita being this sort of media center simply because they have no other viable outlet, or one that will be less viable with the inclusion of the Vita itself. With over a month left before the Vita is launched in the US, there could even be more announcements of this sort, which I can look forward to readily even if I don't plan on partaking in any.