Despite getting off to a slow start, it looks like things are going to be heating up for the PlayStation Vita in the second half of 2012. Sony showed off a impressive lineup of new games for the handheld system at this year’s E3, headlined by well-known franchises from itself and its publishing partners.
In fact, two of this year’s biggest console releases, Assassin’s Creed III and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, will receive portable treatments featuring exclusive new content for the pocket-friendly console.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
By now, you’ve no doubt read that Assassin’s Creed III is coming to the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 this fall. (If you haven’t, there’s no better place to start than our preview!) Arriving on the same day (October 30) as the console version, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation is a PlayStation Vita tie-in, rather than a literal conversion. That means it features a new setting, a new lead character, and new missions.
It’s set during the same time period, the American Revolution, and it takes place in New Orleans starring the first female protagonist in the franchise’s history, a woman of French and African descent named Aveline de Grandpré. She’ll use stealth and weapons including dual pistols, a blowgun, and a machete to drive the French from an open-world New Orleans.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation uses the same game engine as the console release, which means its visuals — especially the animation of its main character — are incredibly impressive, and the gameplay itself is very similar. We’re extremely excited!
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
Not much is known about the PlayStation Vita’s first taste of Call of Duty, but publisher Activision has said that it will be a full-blown first-person shooter experience on par with the console versions, thanks largely to the handheld’s dual analog sticks.
Due out before the end of the year, the game will likely share the same near-future setting as the console game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, making weapons and vehicles more advanced than what are available to current-day soldiers.
Activision hasn’t released a trailer for the PlayStation Vita game yet, but check out this footage from the console release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for an idea of what to expect.
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita
The utterly charming puzzle-platformer LittleBigPlanet is making its way from the PS3 to the PS Vita later this year, bringing with it new content, challenges, and unique controls that put the handheld’s capabilities to use.
You’ll be able to build your own levels and even games using new tools that take advantage of the Vita’s front and rear touch inputs, as well as its tilt-sensing functionality. What’s more, the game will connect with LittleBigPlanet 2 on the PS3 to let you use your Vita as an advanced touchscreen controller to create things on the console. You’ll then be able to play through the levels on the console and handheld at the same time with a friend.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
One of the bigger announcements for Sony fans at this year’s E3 was the revelation that PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is coming to the PlayStation Vita. Originally planned exclusively for the PlayStation 3, it’s a four-player fighting game in the (very similar) style of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series.
The PS Vita version of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will feature the same content as the PS3 version, which means a bevy of classic Sony characters such as Nathan Drake, Sly Cooper, PaRappa the Rapper, Sweet Tooth, and Kratos. In fact, the portable version of the game will be so similar that you’ll be able to play it against owners of the console version over the internet. Like the PS3 version, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for the PlayStation Vita will be released this fall.
The final game on our list also has a PlayStation 3 counterpart. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the fourth game in the action-platformer series that originated on the PlayStation 2. It sees the thieving raccoon traveling through time along with his band of animal companions.
Like the PS3 version, the game will have you controlling Sly, his pals, and even his ancestors, all of whom will have unique abilities to draw upon. Also like the console release, it’ll be available in time for the holidays.
PlayStation in your pocket
Looking for a PlayStation Vita game that’s out now? Read Tecca’s review of Resistance: Burning Skies for the lowdown on the system’s debut first-person shooter.
Don’t have a Vita yet? Find out everything you need to know about Sony’s handheld in Tecca’s extensive PS Vita guide.
Randy Nelson writes for Tecca. Randy has spent most of his waking life since the age of five playing video games, and the last 14 years writing about them professionally. In the rare moment he’s not playing or writing about games, he can be found checking out the latest iOS apps, streaming inappropriate amounts of TV and movies, and obsessing over his home theater settings. Randy has written for IGN, Next Generation, Official Dreamcast Magazine, PSM, and Joystiq. He also loves cats. Tecca is a next-generation personal electronics information and shopping service. We bring together the web’s leading content, commerce, and community features to provide comprehensive solutions for consumers’ ever-growing technology needs. Think of us as that tech savvy friend who helps you when you have questions about what to buy, what to pay, how to make the most of you already have, and when it’s time to upgrade. Get to know us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.