Sony Turns PlayStation Vita Into A Video Phone With Skype App

Sony Turns PlayStation Vita Into A Video Phone With Skype App



Although Sony’s PlayStation Vita was clearly designed as a next generation gaming device, a new app allows gamers to use the phone for Skype video calls starting today. Both the $300 Wi-Fi and 3G and $250 Wi-Fi models will support the new technology, which marks the first time video calling has been available on PlayStation.

“Our users appreciate being able to access Skype features wherever and whenever they choose,” said Manrique Brenes, senior director, consumer electronics group at Skype. “With the launch of Skype for PS Vita, we are taking another step towards our ultimate goal of making Skype video calling available on every platform, all over the world, and meeting the demands of existing PlayStation users to offer video on a gaming console.”

Skype on PS Vita runs in “background mode” for users while gaming or using other applications and users have the capability to “pause” a game, conduct a call and then return to their previous activity. Additionally, PS Vita features both front and rear facing cameras, which allows users to switch back and forth between the two during a Skype call.

“First and foremost this is a gaming device, so we’re concentrating many of our efforts, certainly on the marketing side, but also really in our publishing efforts, towards gaming,” said John Koller, director of hardware marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “The non-gaming functions of the device are very important, but I think another lesson we learned with PSP is you can’t be everything to everyone initially at launch. But when you look at what else is going to be available, we’ve already announced a number of the different apps that are going to be coming.  We’re never going to be an Android marketplace or an App Store like on iOS, but we will have a number of very key and critical non-gaming apps that tie in gaming in a very unique way. You’ll see that as we go add certain non-gaming apps.   ”

The PS Vita is also equipped with a 5” OLED touch screen, dual analog sticks, front touchscreen and rear touch pad, two cameras and a built in microphone.


“We have apps for Facebook, Twitter, Four Square, Flicker, Netflix, Hulu, and Skype, but we do have a lot of opportunity to expand,” said Koller. “The sky potentially is the limit with non-gaming apps, but we don’t want them to be.  We want them to be a smaller number that’s very relevant, rather than just opening us up to every single developer that can throw an app at us.  That’s not as interesting to us as making sure that they’re all very relevant to who our PS Vita consumer is.”

In addition to games, like the much-anticipated Mortal Kombat PS Vita game that’s coming soon (see video below), Sony also has movies and entertainment available for the device. Moving forward, Koller sees the streaming phenomenon going portable.


“We’re looking at something that has been very important on the PS3 and that is how do you bring along streaming media in a way that allows consumers to access that content on the go,” said Koller. “I think that’s another area that’s very interesting to us and could be something that we look at in the future, but everything is going to drive back towards the gamer and creating apps that really matter and are relevant to gaming.”









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Sony Turns PlayStation Vita Into A Video Phone With Skype App S.K Rating: 5 Saturday, December 22, 2012

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