When Sony unveiled their successor to the PlayStation Portable in late January, the company did something that was somewhat radically different: they didn’t unveil a name for the handheld. In the over fifteen years Sony has been around in the hardware business they’ve established themselves to be a very straightforward company, some people would say it’s almost boring, when it comes to naming their consoles. With the PlayStation consoles following a numbered moniker, a lot of people assumed that the new PSP would simply be dubbed PSP2. But alas, Sony decided to go with the rather unassuming prototype name of NGP (Next Generation Portable).
Perhaps done in a move to distance themselves from the negative stigma the PSP gained in North America over its tenure, the NGP may have been a simple name but over the last few months it has caught on amongst gamers. Sure, the name itself isn’t catchy nor does it accurately describe the handheld nor does it create an immediate resonating feeling about the device. Sony has of course played their cards close to their chest as far as naming the successor to the PSP, but after some rumors broke last week, we now have a major confirmation as to what Sony’s next handheld will be called.
Late last week a story broke stating that the new PSP would be dubbed PlayStation Vita. The news certainly had a lot of gamers talking as the name is a bit unorthodox for a PlayStation product. Furthermore, it was assumed that this PS Vita news was merely a mistake of sorts as supposedly Sony’s new handheld had the test name of Vita when it was being shown to developers, much like how Kinect had the Natal moniker in its early stages of infancy. There was even a leaked photo of the NGP with the label PS Vita right on the face of the handheld which further ignited the flames as to what Sony’s new handheld would be dubbed.
Now thanks NeoGAF user Gofreak (he was the same chap who uncovered the PS Move logo prior to it being unveiled) we now have a very solid confirmation that Vita is indeed the name Sony has chosen for their handheld. After playing around with things on Sony’s official website, it was discovered by Gofreak that Vita is in the source code for the website. Now such a discovery may be brushed aside as a very minor thing, but this is pretty major stuff since we’re seeing Vita being used in place of NGP.
It may take a while to get used to the NGP being called PlayStation Vita, and us trying not to butcher the pronunciation of the word, but it is rather catchy. Sony has always been a high-brow company of sorts, and while Vita may not be a name that rings true with the previous PlayStation products, the PlayStation Vita should at least gain some interest for the name alone and perhaps help separate it from the PSP when casual consumers go to the store looking for it.
Getting an early confirmation of the name for the new PlayStation portable may be one less thing Sony has to shock us with at E3, but I’m sure they have a few other surprising things in the pipeline.