With Gamecom only a week away, it looks like Sony is already breaking out the big guns when it comes to new games for the PlayStation Vita, pulling back the curtain on…PlayStation Vita Pets?

Okay, so, let’s go ahead and get the utterly obvious out of the way: PlayStation Vita Pets looks a heck of a lot like an already hugely popular game for another portable console, Nintendogs. So, if imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the folks over at Nintendo must feel pretty loved right now. And does anybody else find it weird that they chose to call the game Pets, yet the only critter you can interact with is a dog? Maybe more animals will come down the pipeline as DLC?

Okay, I’ve gotten way too far ahead of myself at this point. Let’s back up and take it from the top. Announced through the Euro PlayStation Blog, PlayStation Vita Pets is due out sometime in 2014, giving European gamers a chance to raise a puppy, dress it up in goofy outfits and even go on adventures. No word yet on whether or not this title will be coming to the US but, let’s face it, the folks at Spiral House and Sony would be throwing a lot of money in the trash if they don’t decide to bring it stateside. All earlier jabs aside, I have a feeling a large number of Vita owners could care less if a game for their portable console is a lot like an existing series from the Nintendo camp. Many of them don’t own a DS, and would probably love the chance to spend hours grooming an imaginary animal and making it wear a hippo suit. No, seriously, that hippo suit is adorable.

As creative director Kevin Oxland points out in the post, the word “game” was also a driving force behind the production of Pets. That, at least, should help set it apart from other similar titles.

“We set out to make something that was more than a pet sim,” Oxland said. “We wanted to make something that felt like a real game, with characters, fun and adventures, so that’s exactly what we did.”

Another thing that sets Pets apart from the pack (get it!?) is the fact that its collection of canine actually speak. And I’m not talking about “woof woof” here, but more along the lines of Homeward Bound.

“In the game you pick from four different puppies, each with their own personality, sense of humor and character traits,” Oxland continues. “Together, you and your new friend will be able to do all the things you would do with a real dog…”

Along with teaching your dog new tricks, bathing them, feeding them and dressing them up, you’ll eventually be able to take them out to Castlewood Island, where you’ll solve puzzles and explore a mysterious castle alongside your poochie pal.

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