The PlayStation Vita has a functionality called ‘Near’ which lets you see what other Vita users near your location are playing. Apparently for one PS Vita owner in Japan, somebody near him has been playing Monster Hunter Portable 3G. Said PS Vita owner then recorded video proof of this and posted it online… anonymously… that’s not very credible, is it?
A blogger who saw the video on January 28 certainly thinks so. “The game title reads ‘Monster Hunter Portable 3G’, as opposed to ‘Monster Hunter Portable 3rd G’ (the naming convention of all PSP Monster Hunter games),” abura817 writes.
Eventually abura817 concludes that the video must be fake, reasoning that if Near lists a game that you haven’t personally played, then the bottom-left indicator (“how many people near you are currently playing this”) should read 1/106 or more, not 0/106 as shown in the video.
This turns out to be flawed reasoning.
To be sure, I picked up my own Vita, went to the game popularity rankings page in Near (the exact screen you saw in the video), and promptly found two entries of games I haven’t played on my unit – Dynasty Warriors and BlazBlue – that both had a 0/3 marking, with 3 being the grand total of identified PS Vita users near me (the Vita goes on sale here on February 22, remember?)
If this video is real, then Monster Hunter 3G is not a PSP game, but a full-fledged Vita title – PSP game entries listed in Near are marked with a generic “blue controller” icon right where you see a Felyne graphic in the screenshot above.
And if true, this video certainly corroborates reports that a Sony executive, PlayStation France CEO Philippe Cardon, had gone on record to say that “a particular game, Monster Hunter, [is] scheduled for the coming months” while commenting on the Vita’s slow sales in Japan.
That makes two very strong indications that a Monster Hunter 3G for PS Vita is coming, in the short span of a week… Could Capcom be ready to make an announcement soon?
Update: Hong Kong magazine GameWave also reported a similar rumour – Monster Hunter Portable 3G is coming to PSP in late 2012 – in their latest issue, according to The Magicbox. Am I supposed to believe that all this is some sort of crazy coincidence?