PS Vita firmware update on day one

1.61 brings Maps, video capture, social features and performance improvements

22 Feb 2012
PS Vita

Launched at midnight last night, the Sony PlayStation Vita has only been out a handful of hours but has already received an upgrade for its on-board software to add new features.

Once known as the Next-Generation Portable, or NGP, the PlayStation Vita takes over from the PlayStation Portable with an impressive array of features from touch-sensitive interface front and rear to dual analogue sticks, GPS and even 3G data connectivity in the top-end model.

It's this connectivity that Sony has been pushing heavily, claiming users will be able to stay in touch with their gaming buddies on the go. Initial software versions left much to the imagination on this front, however, but the latest release - version 1.61 - finally starts delivering on the company's promises.

For those who have picked up a launch-day Vita, the upgrade will add a more detailed 'Discoveries' screen to the GPS-driven Near application which allows users to quickly see the details of the last 100 Vita players they encountered in the wild. A tap on any player's icon will take you straight to that player's profile screen.

The system now enjoys tighter Facebook integration, too, with players able to publish write-ups of downloadable content from the PlayStation Store directly to the social networking service.

The update isn't just about social networking, however: the Photo application has been upgraded to include video capture capabilities, while Maps application makes better use of the Vita's in-built GPS capabilities to turn it into a satellite navigation system.

Finally, Vita firmware 1.61 adds some performance improvements that will hopefully solve some of the load time issues and user interface lag of which early adopters have been complaining.

To update your Vita, connect it to the internet and choose 'Settings' followed by 'System Update.' As with all the company's firmware updates across all its consoles, the upgrade is free of charge.

Read our full review of the Sony PlayStation Vita for more details on this new handheld console.

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