PS Vita Official Review

Well it is finally here! Every Sony fan has been waiting to get their hands on the Playstation Vita for a year and I finally got my hands on one for the launch. Surprisingly, a few places I went were actually sold out, which bodes well after the bad Japanese release last December. Since it is launch day I have only gotten a little bit of game time on the system, but I want to post my impressions of the system thus far. So far they are definitely positive and will only get better. First let's take a look at some of the features that the system boasts and what works well in that respect.

Also Read: BWP's Official Playstation Vita Preview



Features

The Vita brings a lot of the features we were promised with the PSP, but never saw them, things like connectivity to the PS3 and remote play (more on that in a bit). The Vita knows what it is first and foremost, a handheld GAMING system! This device is a power machine when it comes to handhelds, and the other stuff is extra. So the features aren't really what makes this system, but there are some good ones worth mentioning. The Vita can take pictures, play movies, play music, and of course games. One feature I love that was a big issue with the PSP was content management. The PSP always had trouble adding movies, games and pictures because of Sony's file system. The Vita fixes most of these problems. The content management app allows connection to a computer or your PS3 with ease. This allows transferring games, movies, and music in an instant for you to take with you.



As far as features go, it really is all about connectivity to your PS3. Remote play is the biggest use of this and boy is it awesome! Remote play allows you to access your PS3 through a wireless network and access almost everything that you have on your media bar. Most games don't work just yet, but there are work arounds, and soon it will have better support for all games coming out in the future. I was able to stream any of my movies in full HD and they looked great. One of the cooler features the system boasts.

Graphics and Games

Here is where the Vita truly shines, using the powerful specs that the Vita boasts it can get graphics equivalent to some of the first PS3 games that came out back in 2006-2007. For a handheld it is unbelievable that it is able to do this. We have truly gotten to a console experience in your pocket. Games look great on the OLED screen that is vibrant and bright. Sometimes you will find your self in shock that you are even playing a handheld.

Also Read: Playstation Vita Specs

As far as launch games go, The Vita is better than most launches of any system. Of course you have some of the first party titles like the juggernaut Uncharted: Golden Abyss, but you have some good third party titles as well. The first sports title is FIFA, but you also get puzzle games like Lumines, racing games like Wipeout 2048 and Ridge Racer, and fighting games in Marvel Versus Capcom 3. There's a little bit for everyone at launch to enjoy while other games are being developed. The future is looking good with a lot of big title releases over the next few months. It will be an exciting year for Vita owners, and will probably make next Christmas a Vita Christmas for most.

As far as the touch controls, some games use them as gimmicks and it is something to be expected at launch, as no one really knows what to do with something like this. However, some games use it pretty well. FIFA for example uses the back touch pad for shooting, and it works wonderfully. But the screen use for passing can be difficult. Uncharted makes you feel like an explorer sketching and putting puzzles together, but some of the gestures in the games such as fighting don't really work. It's really hit or miss right now, but I could see some great things in the future for it.

Negatives

Now the system isn't perfect, and some of the negatives aren't centered around the system itself but more around Sony as a company. First, the price points for the Vita are pretty steep, as it is priced the same as the consoles that are currently out. But honestly, once you take it out of the box, what you are getting is worth the price. Most people probably assume this is just a touch version of the PSP, but it's not. So the price is understandable, but a little cheaper and I think they knock it out of the park.

The biggest negative and complaint is memory. The Vita uses its own memory ala the pro duo. And guess what, it isn't cheap. Four gb of memory costs $20, all the way to a 32 gb for $100. And the worse part is that a memory card is required. Hopefully within a year memory gets cheaper and then the system could be seen as nearly flawless. We all remember how expensive PSP memory was at first, and now you can get a huge one for a few bucks. Let's hope this happens soon for the VIta.

The third is cost of games, which can make it tough to get a variety because it will break the bank. Seeing games like Uncharted priced at $50 is just too much, $30 seems like the perfect price, but there are not many games at that level. This will be another interesting aspect to look at in the future.

Final Thoughts

I have only scratched the surface of what the Vita can do, and have only had it for a few hours, so I will continue to get to experience what it is capable of. Is it perfect? No, but it is a very good handheld that any gaming fan should considering purchasing. But maybe that is a draw back to most, the Vita caters to the gamin populus that care about carrying a PS3 in their pocket. It will be interesting to see what the initial sales numbers look like for North America once released.

Comment 1
Matt Bradley's picture

How did you manage to give the plot and writing a grade?!