Sony said Wednesday it will release software for its PlayStation Vita gaming handheld allowing it to be used as a controller for PS3 consoles, in a gaming setup similar to that of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U.
The new feature will be included in a software update for the Vita to be released Aug. 28. Sony said it will only work if gamers buy two copies of a game, one for the Vita and one for the PS3, making it a pricey feature.
Nintendo has promoted a similar feature for its upcoming Wii U home console, the successor to the Wii, which is due to launch in time for this year’s holiday season in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The company has made the Wii U’s advanced controller, which includes a touchscreen, motion detection and a camera, a major focus of the new console, highlighting its ability to supplement games played on a TV or replace the larger screen all together.
Sony Computer Entertainment, the company’s gaming division, said its upcoming software update will also add more features to the Vita’s video playback feature and allow users to import playlists from their PS3 or iTunes accounts.
Vita users will also be able to join the PlayStation Plus service, currently available on the PS3. The service, which costs about US$50 per year, provides access to a library of games, rebates and 150MB of online storage for game data.
The company will also expand the number of games that allow Vita users to collaborate with or go head-to-head with their PS3 brethren, including a new version of Capcom’s Street Fighter. It will also add more titles allowing games to be saved and continued on either device.
Sony also said games from a number of popular franchises will be released for the Vita in time for the holiday season, including a title from Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed and Sony’s own Little Big Planet.