The build-up to the game has certainly been unusual. Prior to E3 the game didn't even exist, and it seemed likely that series was about to miss out on its first PlayStation platform launch.
Then a tech demonstration suddenly appeared at E3, which was followed by a full game reveal at Tokyo Game Show. The folks developing the game must be working around the clock to get it ready.
But in spite of the cramped development environment, Ridge Racer Vita is not skimping on features. Namco's blown the doors of the game's multiplayer component, which includes a variety of interesting ideas.
One such feature is the Planetary League, a kind of "house points" system which sees each player put into one of four teams. Missions will be released on a daily basis which players can compete in to earn points for their team. Neat.
Another mode, Ghost Battle, will work over the PlayStation Vita's 3G connection, allowing laps to be shared via the system's on-board Near application. Ghost Battle is the only mode that will support the PlayStation Vita's 3G functionality.
Finally, World Race mode will allow players to compete online against each other. Like Wipeout 2048, the game will record player reactions during the race — and presumably send those out to everybody participating in the game.
It all sounds surprisingly fully-fledged.