The PlayStation Vita is not only a next-gen gaming console, it also features a number of Social and Online features. Now, the actual Social and Online modes have officially been detailed (most functions remain intact, while some has been tweaked). Find out what you can expect from the portable console when it is released in late 2011 / early 2012.
“Near” is actually a “gifting” system rather than a social discovery tool; it’s for leaving presents at certain locations, accessible to certain people or everyone and consisting of in-game items, challenges, and so on.
“LiveArea” is an all-purpose update system that will show things like notifications, new PlayStation Store content and updates for games, etc.
“Party” is a cross-game voice chat system, accessible throughout the system. It’s something the PS3 doesn’t actually have yet. For team-based games, the cross-game chat can be overwritten for team chat (i.e. communicating within your team only).