At the Develop Conference 2011, Sony Europe manager of R&D, Phil Rogers, recently touched upon the PlayStation Vita’s online features, as reported by Eurogamer, explaining concepts such as “Near,” “Party” and “LiveArea”.
Similar to Xbox Live, the Vita’s Party feature will let you gather multiple friends to communicate online while playing games. The Party feature on PS Vita supports up to four users at once, and allows them to voice chat with each other across different games.
“You can have different Party groups for different games or genres," Rogers explained. “Maybe you’ve got a first-person shooter group that you can all chat and go into.” Party chat can also be overridden by chats within a single game. He added that, while the Party feature is integrated with friends lists, games can choose not to support it.