If you follow me on twitter you will have noticed that I am currently enjoying a much needed vacation in Thailand. Taking a break in Thailand is always relaxing except for one thing… The flight. It took me nearly 30 hours of traveling just to get to Bangkok and another half day to make it to my current island. However, knowing this would be a long day(s) of travel I picked up a brand new Sony Playstation Vita to play while in transit. After a few days of intense game play I decided to write a an independent review of the Sony PlayStation Vita and share it with anyone who is interested.
Sony PlayStation Vita Review
Sony’s PlayStation Vita, codenamed “Next Generation Portable”, is Sony’s successor to the PSP (playstation portable). With the Vita you get the familiar hardware form of the PSP but dramatic improvements on virtually all other aspects. Unlike the PSP the PlayStation Vita has dual touchpads on the front and rear (weird… See below), two cameras, 5 inch screen, & WiFi just to name a few. Combine these all together and the Vita truly leads the way for future handheld gaming devices. Simply, The
What I like about the Vita: The Good
It fits in your pocket even though it’s bigger than iPhone and even bigger than the old TMobile Sidekick (which is my second all time favorite phone :/ ). With that being said, having a device bigger than the iPhone means your getting a bigger screen and the PlayStation Vita does not disappoint with its 960 x 554 display. Even though its not Retina quality it’s barely noticeable.
I also like its durability. I dropped it once while on the plane and once while walking through the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge in Hong Kong. Both times it didn’t break including the 2nd drop which was on a hard floor.
Super quick switching between the apps. The well built OS makes it effortless to switch between all the different functions of the PlayStation Vita.
Most importantly- the gaming experience you get on the PlayStation Vita is unlike anything every seen in a handheld. It’s leaps and bounds ahead of anything out there. There is NO competition.
What I don’t Like: The Bad
The front an back cameras are both pretty weak. After 10 pictures and a video or so using both sides, I abandoned the camera function all together. Definitely it’s weakest feature.
The Battery – on a full charge I get about 3 solid hours of game play before I get a low battery warning. A full charge takes about 2 hours which isn’t terrible but I expected more game play time. The battery life is by far it’s biggest drawback but I imagine Sony will release a secondary battery back soon.
Storage – no built in storage. All of the Vitas storage is held on removable drives that can get costly. The bundle I bought came with a extra 8GB card which was nice. Additional cards should run you about $100 for a 32GB, $50 for a 16GB and $20 for a 4GB
As of now there are only around two dozen games (some of which are absolutely outstanding). I know that’s going to change but it would have nice to see Sony launch the Vita with more game options.
What’s unique about the PlayStation Vita: The Weird
The most unique and definitely most innovative aspect of the PlayStation Vita is that it has touch capabilities on both the front AND back of the device. It was slightly awkward and cumbersome at first but after some active gameplay I found it to be the next step in gaming technology.
The Near Application- The Vita comes with a location based application that let’s you see other Vita users in your vicinity as well as the gaming trophies they have won. As I’m both an early adopter and on a remote island, this function has been worthless but I can see how this might be a neat function down the line.
The cover slot where the games go is kind of hard to open. Long nails or a small tool is almost required to pry that sucker open. Seems like a design flaw that should have been picked up early in the development stages.
PlayStation Vita: Non-gaming functions
- Web Browser: worse than your smartphone
- Google Maps: same as your phone or tablet
- Camera: Worse than your phone
- Music: Standard quality – nothing special
- Videos: see music.
- Complete integration with the PS3 and PlayStation Network
These features are nice to have but rather unnecessary. Most likely if you need to look something up, take a picture, or get directions your smart phone is going to be a better option. However, in the event you don’t have a smart phone or it’s not reachable the PlayStation Vita makes a tolerable substitute.
Honestly though nobody is going to buy the PlayStation Vita for those features alone and Sony knows this. The power is in the games and that’s where the Vita excels.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss – playing this game will make you a believe in the PlayStation Vita. It’s the game that I’ve been hooked on and the one that has made the Vita a worthwhile purchase for me
Welcome Park – Comes preloaded on the Vita
Hot Shots Golf
…and many more
There is also a built in store where you can buy games directly from the Vita. Just make sure you have enough storage!
PlayStation Vita Tech Specs:
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Dimensions: 3.3″ x 7.2″ x .7″
Sensors – Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass
ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor
Quad-core graphics processor
512 megabytes of RAM
For the non gadget heads, that’s twice as much memory as the PS3 and more power than the iPad 2. Not bad for something that fits in your pocket.
Absolutely incredible as a stand alone gaming device. I don’t recommend buying it however if you are looking for a smart phone or tablet experience. The PlayStation Vita shines best when it’s gaming but makes way for far superior products in its other functions.
As mentioned before the PlayStation Vita finally brought console level gaming to the hand held market. Bigger than an iPhone, not as cumbersome as an iPad, and definitely an upgrade from the PSP, it’s the ultimate solution to those looking to take their hand held gaming to the next level.
Also, save ourself a get the wifi only version for $50 less (plus the cost of a plan). You don’t really need 3G capabilities.
Where to buy the PlayStation Vita:
**Special offer through March 31st**: Use this link and order with a Discover Card on Amazon and enjoy free one day shipping using the code DSCVRSHP.
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