New play controls

Now that Nintendo has officially revealed the Wii U to the world, all three platform holders are jumping on board dual-screen technology. During its E3 press conference, Microsoft announced Smart Glass – a feature that will allow players to interact with the Xbox 360 using a tablet computer. Meanwhile, Sony has focused on the interaction between PS3 and Vita.

While this functionality didn’t exactly headline the company’s E3 line-up, the platform holder was running a rather interesting demo of LittleBigPlanet 2 being played with Vita controls in a shadowy corner of its booth.

In that demo, the game was able to take advantage of both the processing power of the PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation 3 – something Sony executive Scott Rohde believes is an advantage over the Wii U.

Speaking with GamesIndustry International, he said:

That Wii U tablet doesn't have a processor in it, so it's got to be fuelled by that box sitting under your TV.

We can do some pretty special things that you'll start to see on the [E3] floor this year and you'll see more over the upcoming months about what you can do when you actually have a processor in the thing that's in your hand as well.

Of course, the big caveat that Rohde’s not addressing is that – unlike the Wii U gamepad – the Vita is an expensive unit on its own. For significant resources to be put into Vita to PS3 cross-controller connectivity, developers will need to ensure that a substantial number of consumers own both devices, and that’s unlikely.