E3 2011 News

E3 2011: PlayStation Vita, what’s in a name?

Okay, so we admit to having a little chuckle when Kaz Hirai announced that Sony’s next generation portable handheld, formerly known as NGP, was having a name change to PlayStation Vita.

‘Vita,’ as you may know, is more commonly known as an Italian word meaning "life," but what has that got to do with PlayStation? We can’t help think that Nintendo has missed a trick by not using that very same word and placing it at end of any title in its Super Mario series, which is renowned for having an Italian plumber as its main hero. ‘Super Mario Vita’ has quite a ring to it, don’t you think?

Our curiosity over why Sony chose the new name got the better of us, so we decided to have a quick look via Google at what other products use ‘Vita’ in their branding. Among many others, we found that the word ‘Vita’ tends to be used in conjunction with health-based products. There’s Vita Cycles, for example, Vita Healthcare, a Vita all-natural Coconut Water and even an Vita anti-ageing oil that apparently moisturises the skin beautifully.

We’re sure that Sony’s message with the name isn’t to make us think that PlayStation Vita is in someway going to make us fit and healthy, so there must be more to it. Like these health products, perhaps Sony wants to emphasise that PlayStation Vita can in some way enrich our lives and revitalise our handheld gaming experience.

Indeed, Sony’s latest handheld has had a real injection of life via its updated technology and features and won’t only be – what we hope – the best portable gaming experience to date, but will embrace all aspects of people’s lives with its social connectivity options.

One thing’s for sure; Sony was wise to choose a name that in no way suggests that it is just a PSP upgrade. Considering the lack of high quality games over the PSP’s dwindling life span that was definitely a smart move.

Whatever the name, PlayStation Vita looks like a serious piece of kit, and you only need to take a quick glance at E3’s Uncharted: Golden Abyss gameplay and screenshots to realise that it’s actually no laughing matter – Sony is deadly serious about making PlayStation Vita the world’s greatest handheld. So, what do you think of the name and Sony’s thinking behind PlayStation Vita? Do you even care what it’s called?