Bring the world into play with PlayStation Vita and dramatically change the world around you using augmented reality...
Whether you're becoming a vengeful warrior in God of War, an expert racing driver in Gran Turismo or a creative level builder in LittleBigPlanet, video games offer you the chance to explore your imagination.
Augmented reality adds another wonderful path for you to travel down in these worlds of fantasy. It changes your surroundings into an incredible virtual playground using computer generated images and lets you interact with them - through a TV screen, a camera... and now, PlayStation Vita.
Bring the world into play
By merging the real world and the game world, augmented reality helps you discover a new way to play - and PS Vita is ready to take this augmented reality out of your home so you can take it wherever you want to go.
"Sony Computer Entertainment Europe always had an interest in augmented reality gaming," says Studio Liverpool producer John McLaughlin. "There were the EyeToy titles on PlayStation 2, then the Invizimals series on PSP, and Start the Party! and EyePet on PlayStation 3. With PS Vita we can take it that little bit further."
From its launch on 22 February 2012, PS Vita will be charging full steam ahead into the exciting realm of augmented reality - and you'll be taken along for a journey that will change the way you look at portable gaming.
Turn your home into a football stadium
When you buy a PlayStation Vita system, you're not just getting the cutting edge in handheld technology - you're also opening a window of augmented reality fun. Bundled with the system are six AR Play Cards and a PlayStation Store voucher code to download three AR games - Table Football, Cliff Diving and Fireworks - for free.
By placing several AR Play Cards on a flat surface and viewing them on-screen via the PS Vita system's rear camera, you can turn your desk into a buzzing sports stadium in Table Football. You can use more AR Play Cards to create floodlights and a scoreboard while you play the beautiful game.
The same AR Play Cards can be used to set up a diving board and water pool for Cliff Diving. The ultimate control over this exciting set up is yours, as you alter how far apart the pool and board are by moving the AR Play Cards.
The reality of WAAR
"This is all possible with the new technology we've developed, called Wide-Area Augmented Reality [WAAR]," explains McLaughlin. "In most augmented reality games, gameplay is typically centred around a single card. WAAR gives us the ability to play with six cards.
"So when you're playing a single marker augmented reality game, if you move away from the card, you move away from the action. WAAR gives us the chance to create a bigger augmented reality world by putting the markers in different places."
Other excellent AR Play Cards titles are in the works to offer you great augmented reality fun across a variety of entertaining and gripping genres. And the best part is you won't need to buy new AR Play Cards to enjoy these titles - you can just keep using the same ones to gain fresh new gameplay experiences. Don't worry if you lose them, as you'll be able to print out AR Play Cards for free from eu.playstation.com.
Fighting round the world
Not all augmented reality games on PS Vita need AR Play Cards. With Fireworks you can point the rear camera against any backdrop you want and project an incredible firework display on it, viewable via your PS Vita system's screen. If you don't have a city skyline handy, you can use an AR Play Card to create one - how many games let you produce an eye-popping landscape from your pocket?
Then there are applications such as t@g, the free graffiti creator that lets you leave your mark wherever you go. Other t@g users can use the PS Vita system's powers of augmented reality to discover new t@gs.
Reality Fighters is another augmented reality game that makes great use of the PS Vita system's unique features. You can take a snap of your face - or your nearest and dearest's - and plant it on the mug of your brawler. Give them your own voice by speaking into the built-in microphone, customise their look and fighting style, and then throw them into battle... with just about anywhere in the world as your arena.
It doesn't matter if it's the local park, an airport or even your kitchen table, by taking a picture of your environment using the PS Vita's rear camera, you can battle anyone, anywhere in Reality Fighters.
Future fantasy meets reality
This is only the beginning for augmented reality on PS Vita. The technology of the powerful portable system has developers looking to take advantage of the exciting new possibilities.
"I think you'll start to see a lot more examples of augmented reality in games," says McLaughlin. "For example, we could do a Heavy Rain investigation type of game where you can use both of the PS Vita cameras to pan around an environment to find clues.
"Or maybe you'll be taking pictures of some of the beautiful cars in Gran Turismo, placing them in your living room and driving them around like remote-controlled cars. You could create a racing track with hills and chicanes depending on where you place the AR Play Cards."
Augmented reality means you literally have your hands on the gameplay, merging fantasy and real life into a seamless whole. With PS Vita this innovative experience can be taken everywhere you go - can you afford to miss out?
Stay up to date on all the latest PlayStation Vita news by signing up to Inside PS Vita now at eu.playstation.com/psvita, and keep reading eu.playstation.com and blog.eu.playstation.com for more on the handheld gaming revolution.
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