E3 2011: Sony Apologies for Hack, Announces Vita Handheld

At its E3 press conference yesterday, struggling electronics giant Sony apologized for recent blistering attacks against its online services and customer databases while launching a next-generation version of its popular PSP handheld video game system.

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) President and CEO Jack Tretton immediately addressed the "elephant in the room" at the start of his E3 address, apologizing to customers.

"You are the lifeblood of the company," he said, essentially addressing Sony's customer base. "Without you, there is no PlayStation. And I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety that we've caused you. I know we took you away from doing what you enjoy most, connecting and gaming with friends all over the world and enjoying the many entertainment options on PlayStation Network. And it is you that causes us to be both humble and amazed at the amount of dedication and support you continue to give to the PlayStation brand. Network activity is currently at over 90 percent of the original levels before the network outage. And that is something we absolutely do not take lightly. We are committed more than ever to making sure that the PlayStation Network experience is both entertaining and secure for everybody."

As you are no doubt aware, more than 77 million PlayStation Network and other Sony online services customer accounts were compromised in an electronic attack earlier this year, leading to several weeks of downtime for the services.

Sony, of course, was quick to move on to new product announcements. And though the company did announce many new games for its various video game products, the star of the show, perhaps, was the next-generation PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld, which will be called PlayStation Vita when it ships later this year. The Vita will start at $250, in line with Nintendo 3DS pricing, and will ship in a 3G wireless model for $300 as well.

ps-vita_0

Superficially, the Vita looks a lot like the PSP it replaces. But this new PSP features dual analog sticks, like a home console controller, which will make the handheld a much more suitable platform for first-person shooters. The Vita also features a large 5" OLED display, a quad-core ARM processor, hardware-accelerated graphics, front and rear facing cameras, and stereo speakers.
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