PS3 owners are quite familiar with the PlayStation Home setup — it allows you to take a semi-realistic avatar through a virtual world, and gives you all of the fun of walking through a mall without annoying things like kids whining and crying. It also lacks the awesome food court smells though, so there’s a bit of a trade-off there. Now, at least you’ll have some arcade-style fun with your Vita thanks to the PS Home Arcade launching later today for the platform. It will allow you to play some previously Home-only games like Icebreaker and Scribble Shooter, and will feature some freebies as well. Icebreaker and WipEout 2D will be free, while Scribble Shooter will have a free demo and its full game will cost $1.49. That appears to be the standard for this service, which also has Frogger, Time Pilot, Asteroids, Centipede, Astrosmash Gen2, Shark! Shark! Gen 2, and Mad Blocker available for that price.
This app definitely has some potential going forward. The idea of PS Home has always been a solid one, but a lot of times, you just want to hop on and play some of the games, and have to navigate through a variety of areas to do so. Simplifying it for the Vita by giving you a small bit of the overall Home experience is smart –not only does it show Vita owners who lack the PS3 some of what they’re missing, but it allows them to go straight to the gaming stuff right away. Unlocking the games for both the Vita and PS3 with one purchase is a nice little thing, and something that Sony has really gotten right with the PS3/Vita crossover audience.