The Playstation Vita is a dedicated handheld gaming device and the long awaited successor to the PSP. Presently, it comes in 2 flavors, the standard WiFi and a slightly more expensive 3G version. The 3G will incur an additional monthly cost if you decide to activate it with AT&T.
When announced, the PS Vita claimed to be as powerful as a PlayStation 3 and contain an OLED screen. This was enough to get gamers really excited. However unlike its predecessor, the PSP, the Vita is no longer competing with the 3DS. In fact, both the 3DS and the Vita are fighting an uphill battle against a hoard of iPads, iPhone, Android, and even Windows Phones which have XBOX Live integration.
There is a lot of speculation on whether or not a dedicated handheld gaming device will succeed in the current market. Smart phones and tablets are getting more powerful, and many people already carry one, or both. Arguably the software, price and portability that will decide the fate of the PS Vita.
A handheld console as powerful as a PS3? Is this true?
Yes, its true. However it is almost as powerful as a PS3, not exactly as powerful. This means that we can have current gen console games to go. Some would argue that this already exists in the iPad, especially with the release of the New iPad (aka iPad 3). Technically this may be true, but iPad’s are missing one major component, buttons.
Speaking of controls, how does it feel?
Because of the slightly larger size, it feels comfortable in my hands. And thanks to the OLED screen, it’s not as heavy as it looks. In comparison, the 3DS is much smaller and causes my hands to cramp after about an hour of Mario Kart 7.
The dual analog sticks aren't as comfortable as a PS3 controller, but it’s not as terrible as that nub on the PSP either. In addition to dual sticks you get 4 face buttons and 2 triggers. At first I thought, “This is terrible, I’m losing 4 buttons that I use on a standard controller!” But after a little while I realized that the front and back touch completely make up for it, and adds a new layer of depth.
Wait, back touch?
By this time you are already accustomed to front touch, but back touch is a whole new thing. Having tried out the Little Deviants demo and Escape Plan, it works out really well. Although the functionality is there, it's up to developers to utilize it in a creative way.
Does it come with a memory stick?
Nope, and you’re going to need one, so be sure to allocate funds for a memory stick.
And in true Sony fashion, the already proprietary Sony memory cards do not work. You will need to buy NEW proprietary memory cards, specifically designed for the Vita, and they aren't cheap.
This deters you from buying games on PSN, because it’s possible for a games to use up to 4gb of space. That won't get you far with an 8gb memory card.
Are there any other unique features?
Sony came up with a similar user connectivity feature that the 3DS uses, called Near. With Near, you can see and connect with other PS Vita users in your area.
If you’re into Augmented Reality games, then you’re in for a treat. There are a number of free games on PSN to showcase AR. I’m not really into the whole AR thing, but kids seems to love it.
What’s the bottom line?
I think the PS Vita is worth getting as a pure mobile gaming machine. No matter how great games are on smart phones and tablets, you can’t replace true buttons. The dual analog sticks, although not as good a real controller, are awesome.
If you know anything about Sony, you know there are going to be an abundance of JRPGs. If your into that, this system was made for you.
Removing all the gaming elements aside, the browser is functional, albeit a little slow. At the time of this review the PS Vita has Netflix, Facebook and Twitter apps. It has a front facing and rear camera, but these are purely used for gaming. The pictures look worse than my first digital camera in the 90’s. In comparison, the 3DS camera is better, and that’s not saying much.
I can say that I really like the PS Vita hardware, however just like the 3DS, it needs games. I don’t see any reason to jump out of your chair and get one now, but if you want true PS3 powered gaming on the go, get a PS Vita. It’s sleek, it’s powerful, and has all the features you always wanted since the original PSP.
Review is a segment about my opinion on things. I like things, and you like things too. Before you run off and buy something, you should check out my review. Chances are if I like it, it’s probably awesome.