Sony's Chris Norden has confirmed that the company's forthcoming PlayStation Vita will support PlayStation Network releases right from the day it launches. Speaking at a GDC Online session to developers, Norden told them that any game released at retail will also be available online through the PlayStation Store. He added that this applies to all releases for the PS Vita.
"PSN is supported from day one, right out of the box at launch," he said. It has a similar user interface to the PlayStation Store on PS3 and shares the same account information. Norden confirmed that games do not need to be submitted in different file formats like for the PS3.
In addition, Sony will support free-to-play business models for release on the PS Vita: "You are free to explore whatever business model you want. You'll have to talk to your account manager, and say, 'Here's my idea, and here's what I wanna do,' but yes, you're allowed to do that."
Norden wouldn't go into detail about the device's clock speed, something that was of issue with the release of the PSP, but did discuss other aspects of the handheld's specifications. He stressed that the Vita's performance is "optimized for battery life and power consumption," criticizing the measurement boasted by other mobile devices that run at fast clock speeds. "We can tell you they don't run at that speed -- just for short times, like sub-second times. The reason is heat dissipation," Norden explained. "All modern processors change the clock speed continuously depending on what you're doing... This happens at sub-second intervals."
"There's some pretty impressive stuff that looks kinda like PS3 if you look at it," he added, using Uncharted: Golden Abyss as an example of what developers are capable of doing with the device.
He also confirmed the PSN Party functionality seen on the Vita features both cross-game voice and text chat, a feature that isn't even available on the PS3: "We know everybody wants it on PS3 so we're doing it on Vita."