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The PlayStation Vita is about to get a heck of a lot more useful for folks who like to gorge on various forms of media with three new streaming apps launching today and another three coming later this spring.

While the Vita certainly has its fair share of great games to enjoy, many forget that the device is actually a rather solid all-purpose bit of tech for staying connected and enjoying various forms of entertainment. There’s an internet, Facebook, Youtube, email and Twitter app, as well as streaming apps for Netflix and Niconico, among others. In truth, the Vita as replaced my laptop as my go-to device for quick fixes, as it’s ridiculously fast to boot up, see who said what on Facebook, post a tweet and check on movie times with a few quick taps and swipes. It’s also super nice to curl up before bed with an episode of Twilight Zone via Netflix before calling it a night.

And it’s that last bit of functionality there that’s about to get a healthy dose of extra options as six new streaming services have been announced for launch or release in the very near future.

Of the three apps releasing for the Vita today, I’m just going to jump straight to the one I’m most excited for, Crunchyroll. Think of Crunchyroll as Netflix for anime, Korean/Chinese/Japanese dramas and manga. You can get a full subscription for about 15 bucks that covers all three of those areas (the first two of which would be available through the app and the manga available on your PC), or you can just subscribe to the anime or dramas for $7.99 a month. The anime side of the equation alone offers hundreds of shows and movies for you to plow through, including simulcasts of shows airing (subtitled) just hours after their original showing in Japan to backlogs of shows new and old.

Also getting added to the app list this week is NHL GameCenter Live and Quello, both requiring their own subscription, too. NHL GameCenter LIVE offers up pretty much every out of market hockey game you could ask for and a bunch of backlogged and exclusive content, while Quello is all about music concerts from bands like Linkin Park, Beyonce and Nirvana.

Another three apps are due out later this spring, including Gaiam TV, Hulu Plus and Redbox Instant by Verizon. Gaiam TV is all about personal fitness, offering up yoga and exercise classes in the palm of your hand. The Vita might actually be the perfect way to enjoy this programming, since it can plop down in front of you wherever you happen to be contorting your body into horrific poses. Hulu Plus allows subscribers to bring their streaming account on the go, offering up its full library of movies, cataloged TV shows and new shows airing just 24 hours after their initial showing. Finally, there’s Redbox Instant, which works a lot like Hulu and Netflix in that it offers its own collection of movies and TV shows, ready to stream whenever you’re ready to watch. Both Redbox and Hulu Plus have a tentative launch date of March 25, so get ready for a content overdose when you’re not busy playing Tearaway or Killzone: Mercenary.
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