Whenever a full retail franchise gets a downloadable spinoff, the traditional approach is to keep the core gameplay intact and just make everything else a bit smaller. Evolution Studios, the team behind the Motorstorm franchise, appears to have taken that advice literally.
The developer has just announced that Motorstorm RC, a remote-controlled spin-off of their popular offroad racing franchise, will be coming to the PS3 and Vita next year, with hundreds of mini cars to collect and 16 tracks that mimic the themes of the four previous games, desert, tropical, arctic, and urban post-apocalyptic.
The most exciting thing about Motorstorm RC is its cross-platform support. Buying a copy on either the Vita or the PS3 will give you access to the other at no additional charge. Thanks to cloud save support, you'll be able to seamlessly move between your handheld and home console without losing any progress. The feature, termed "Continuation Play" by Sony, was announced at the company's E3 press conference early this year, pegged to a Diablo-clone called Ruin.
There's no word yet on head-to-head, cross-platform online play (or any online play at all for that matter), but it's intriguing that Sony has taken steps to unify the PSN across both devices. If they keep pushing in this direction — downloadable games that you can play on the go, cross-platform social features — they'll have something that neither Microsoft nor Nintendo can match with their current-gen hardware lineups.
Currently, Motorstorm RC is pegged for a US release sometime next spring, presumably somewhere close to the Vita's late February launch window.