It's been a while since the heyday of the DS "Nintendogs" franchise, but Sony appears to be making the bet that Vita owners are still into virtual, chatty critters with the upcoming "PlayStation Vita Pets."
The game features a cast of talking dogs which you can befriend/pet/dress up like princesses, apparently from Liverpool-based Spiral House Games (the studio behind one of the ports for "Alone in the Dark: A New Nightmare" back in 2001).
"Vita Pets" offers a twist on the "Nintendogs" model, though, with exploration away from your virtual backyard. Based on the trailer, there appears to be a story mode woven into the game, in the same way that EA/Maxis began weaving stories and objectives into their handheld "Sims" games a few years back. It's an interesting direction for this type of game which is typically all about the management aspect of your virtual pet--extending it out with time-consuming quests is a curious choice.
Four puppies will be available (at launch, at least), and when you're not grooming them or dressing them up, they can be dropped into real-world environments using the game's AR features.
In a PlayStation Blog post, the game's director Kevin Oxland didn't have a firm release date, but said European gamers could expect "Vita Pets" sometime in 2014.
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