Sony on Vita: “it’s a PS4 in your pocket. Gamers will tell us how it’ll evolve by how they use it”

Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Fergal Gara has been explaining more about the relationship between PS4 and PS Vita. Specifically he’s detailed how the, “video coder chip inside PS4 is a low-overhead facility” that means he expects, “the vast majority of PS4 games [will be] quickly and easily enabled for PS Vita”.

Fergal Gara on PS Vita: “it’s a PS4 in your pocket”

We asked Gara if the decision to bind the two consoles together with the announcement of mandatory Remote Play was a decision that was best for PS4 or PS Vita? As far as he’s concerned, “It’s best for both”. His reasoning being the small amount of effort involved. “In short, there’s a video coder chip inside PS4 that enables a variety of features. It enables live broadcast of your gameplay without putting any overhead on the CPU and the GPU combo, so it’s not dragging down the game performance in any way, shape or form. But it also allows you – and it is Gaikai enabled technology – allows you to pick up the Vita and go away with a full suite of controls and play your PS4 game over WiFi”.

“Clearly Vita more seamlessly integrates
with PS4 than it does with PS3″

As Gara puts it, “it’s a low-overhead facility you can enable quickly and easily” and as a result is a function he thinks, “puts PlayStation Vita into a new light”. Because of this tech and the ease of use with which developers can leverage the power Gara says it, “helps to explain its design concept and why it was developed”. He partially hints at the idea that the PS4/Vita binding was the plan along, adding, “clearly it more seamlessly integrates with PS4 than it does with PS3″.

Fergal Gara Sony UK VP & MDFor Gara Remote Play, “changes the story”. With the PlayStation 3 the message was that, “PS Vita was a PS3 in your pocket”, and while he admits there was, “a certain amount of truth in that,” it was more down to, “the graphical resolution and the power of the experience,” of the Vita. Now, the idea that it’s a PS4 in your pocket Gara says is, “a far more literal and correct terminology because you can play what we expect to be the vast majority of PS4 games quickly and easily enabled for PS Vita”.

One potential issue that raises is what will happen to the Vita if it increasingly becomes seen as a remote terminal for the PS4, rather than a console in it’s own right? Gara admits that’s a “good question” but states, “Certainly for the foreseeable [future] we intend to continue developing – our publishing partners will continue to develop – Vita experiences that are standalone”. However, what could happen is by no means fixed. “How will that evolve? I don’t know”, says Gara. “I think gamers will tell us how that will evolve [by] how they use the device in the future”. That said, he does go on to raise one obvious point: “What I would say is one thing you will not be able to do with your PS4 games, clearly, is play offline. So, you know, if you’re on a train, offline, what are you going to play on? So there isn’t today a mechanic, other than a dedicated PS Vita game, to play games in that environment”.