Sony held a launch event for the PlayStation Vita this week in Sydney, where what felt like the entire videogame industry was shuttled out into the middle of the Sydney Harbour and dropped onto a Vita themed boat (or barge, if you want to get technical).
Also invited were a bunch of Aussie developer friends that I haven’t caught up with in way too long, including Tony Reed (GDAA), Shainiel Deo (Halfbrick), and Ross Symons (Big Ant). A casual pre-drinks kicked off at the Opera Bar, and the mere presence of these guys brought out a bunch of people who weren’t even going to the Vita event, including the always elusive Souri (Tsumea), industry legal guru Josh Cavaleri (Tress Cox), and the development team from the newly established Halfbrick Sydney offices.
Continued ‘we should pace ourselves’ reminders were dutifully ignored, as the pre-party merged into the main event around the other side of the Opera House. There, the rest of the industry was gathered as water taxi’s started ferrying groups off the mainland. The event location consisted of two boat/barge thingys, one that accommodated all the guests with an open bar, comfy beds, a graffiti friendly wall, and PlayStation Vita booths with the new system playable. The other was an elaborate stage setup for the inevitable presentation.
As for the PlayStation Vita itself, I got my hands dirty with a few rounds of Reality Fighters by super imposing a captured photo of my face onto one of the characters and fighting a few rounds using the augmented reality features. A cool example of the device, but like almost everyone else – Uncharted Golden Abyss is what I’m hanging out for, and I didn’t want to spoil it while half cut on a boat!
I got me a PlayStation Vita now though, so I’ll post up some thoughts later this week – anyone else feel free to add me via PSN: YugSTAR.
As the sun melted over the waves, Sony Computer Entertainment AU Managing Director Michael Ephraim took to the stage to thank everyone for coming and go through the details of the system launch. Of particular interest to me was the announcement of local developers who are creating games for the platform including Nnooo, Tantalus, Big Ant, and Torus. Will they just be doing ports of their current titles, or do they have something new up their sleeves?
Slightly rough weather preceded a live (for the most part) performance by Empire of the Sun along with a pretty fireworks display, though by this point it was almost impossible to stand up straight due to the combination of boat rocking and complimentary drinks.
Overall it was a rad event, surrounded by friends and peers in a picturesque location and doing what I love doing most – playing games and drinking!
A final note should be given those strong willed individuals who kicked on with us once back upon dry land, where Shainiel and I felt it necessary to represent the Brisbane contingent and show the locals how to REALLY kick on … much to the detriment of everyone the next day.
More photos below, or check out the MCV Pacific facebook page for the full gallery!