Last week, Sony held a presentation for game developers in Tokyo to show off the facial recognition technology that will ship with the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita). Now, a user who goes by the name of ishaan has posted a video on YouTube that demonstrates the feature.
The video isn't of the best quality, but it does clearly show that the PS Vita's front facing camera can detect what you are doing with your face and animate an avatar on the screen at the same time. It's not full-body recognition like Microsoft's Kinect motion controller, but facial movements and head movements are detected quite well. You don't really need more on a portable gaming system.
Furthermore, the demonstration shows how two PS Vitas can be linked up so that two people can interact using their avatars. We've embedded the video below (via Neowin):
Sony is promising that the PS Vita will give a PS3-level experience with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a multi-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics chip four times faster than the PSP's. The device will come with a 5-inch OLED screen (950 x 544 resolution), two micro-analog sticks to simulate the Dual Shock experience, front and rear facing cameras, and two-finger multitouch pad on the back of the machine. Sony is hoping the front and rear touch screens will offer new three dimension-like motion gameplay experiences never before seen on any device through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions. A Sixaxis equivalent with a gyroscope and accelerometer is also available to let players control games by moving and tilting the system itself.
In terms of connectivity you can expect built-in 3G in addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, as well as GPS support. The PS Vita will come with a pre-installed app called Party, which lets you use voice chat or text chat when gaming, using other apps, or browsing the Internet. Another app, called Near, will let you share your game information with other users and add them as friends.
The Wi-Fi model will be available for 25,000 yen (including tax) in Japan, $250.00 in the US, and €250.00 in Europe, while the 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available for 30,000 yen (including tax) in Japan, $300.00 in the US and €300.00 in Europe. Exact release dates are still unknown, all Sony has said is that the PS Vita will launch globally at the end of this year.