Sony has revealed that a bunch of new features will hit its handheld PS Vita console later this month, by means of a firmware update to version 1.80.
The first and undoubtedly most exciting feature will be the ability to use the Vita as a controller for the PlayStation 3. Sony touted this ability back when launching the console, and we’ve been wondering where it was ever since.
Unfortunately the feature, called ‘Cross-Controller’, will only be compatible with select games. Sony hasn’t revealed a full list just yet, but it does say that LittleBigPlanet 2 will be one of them. The reason behind the limitation is that Sony wants you to be able to make use of everything on the Vita, not just the classic PlayStation controls. This means that the front and back touchscreens will be interactive and usable, as well as the Sixaxis motion system – it seems they’re gunning to rival Nintendo’s Wii U and GamePad.
Additionally, the console’s homescreen will become controllable using the hardware buttons rather than relying on the touchscreen. Users will be able to scroll between icons using the analog sticks or D-pad, and select one using the familiar X button.
The rear touchpad will come into use more too, as Sony is introducing support for it within the native web browser. The Music Manager application will also now feature support for playlists, furthering its ability as a media player.
Sony also claims that as of this firmware update, gamers will be able to easily take screenshots within any game, whereas at present it’s a feature only supported in select titles. In addition, MPO files will be viewable within the Photos application, while the Maps, Near and Group Messaging apps have been finely tweaked with minor improvements.
Finally, firmware update v1.80 will bring the ability to play PSone classic games on your Vita, which is bound to bring back some memories. To learn more about the update hit the PlayStation Blog. The update is due to hit ‘late August’.