Sunday, February 26, 2012

Playstation Vita review

Vita review

Okay, I’ve had my Playstation Vita for a few days now, and I thought that I’d take the opportunity to write down a few thoughts (similar to what I did for the 3DS last year). Anyway, how I thought I’d approach this is by noting down both the good points and also the slight negatives.

Good points:

- It’s a current gen console in your hands, it really is. Uncharted plays just like Uncharted on the PS3. As a portable console, it packs a lot of punch.

- The OLED screen is big and beautiful. Again, it puts any other handheld to shame. The resolution, while not HD and not up to iphone retina standard, is a big jump from the DS, PSP and even the 3DS.

- In all the games that I have played, there is a greater sense of social connectivity with other SEN users. Scoreboards update with friends and other SEN users, ghost data is automatically added as you play and it keeps you updated with your friends progress, achievements and whether they have beaten you on certain sections of the games.

- Two analogue sticks. Yep, it’s an important addition for some games. Whilst not all games require the use of a second analogue stick, anything like a first or third person shooter struggles without this.

- I only owned a PSP for a relatively short while and as such, I missed out on a great many of the later games. Now with a Vita, I can download this missed games and play to my heart’s content.


- Just like you have to put up with loading screens on home consoles, now you have to put up with them on the Vita. Unfortunately, when you are not used to this (GB and DS have never had much of an issue with this) this can initially be annoying.

- I find that the “X” button is a little too close the second analogue stick for my liking. This could be because I have fat thumbs, but a little more room in this area would have been appreciated.

- So black, so shiny, so many fingerprints.

- The battery power is similar to that of the 3DS, which is still not ideal for a portable, but probably unavoidable with current battery technology.

As for the games, I got Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048 on cart and have downloaded Motorstorm RC and Super Stardust Delta. Granted all of these are continuations of known franchises, but I will also likely be getting some original games (such as Escape Plan and Gravity Rush) in the near future. So far, I have been very impressed with both the selection and quality of the games.

I know that there are questions to be asked as to the relevance of a portable gaming console in light of the rise of smartphones and tablets, but signs seem to show that 3DS sales have picked up after initial concerns and I firmly believe that there is a place still for portable consoles. As an owner of an ipod touch, 3DS and now a Vita, I believe that for people with more than a passing interest in gaming, that solely a touch screen interface does not satisfy the gaming itch for me. It could also be argued that due to the size of the Vita, that it isn’t a true portable system, but for me, I tend to use it around the house whilst Roz or Elliot are using the TV, or during my lunch at work, or lazing in bed. In short, I believe that there is a place for portable consoles in my life and I’m sure that I cannot be alone.

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