The first thing you notice is the 5-inch OLED touch screen of 960 × 544 resolution clocks at 220 pixels per inch (ppi). On paper, it may seem a fair way behind the levels of Apple Retina Display (326 dpi), but make no mistake – this is a big, bright, gorgeous – and counting pixels will be the last thing on your mind once you start playing.
If you have not been following the previews, the Vita is the mainstream first-hand to offer two analog sticks, a configuration control has been the standard console for over a decade, and was surprisingly absent from all models of first-generation PlayStation Portable (PSP).
The second control is essential for precise control of shooters on first and third person, and is ultimately responsible for a sub-genre of arcade games – the “dual stick shooter” Geometry Wars popularized by (which is not surprising to see Super Stardust as a launch title).
Both levers are an important starting point, welcome to the awkwardly placed, hard plastic “nub” of the PSP. They are placed near the middle of the Vita, and the inclination of the console as a stick, although less traveled than you might expect. There is also a much softer feel to the surface of the bar becomes more convenient.
The four face buttons are a bit small, and have a click, much like the PSP Go. They are placed as close to the joystick right to the particular skill may be able to operate both at once with some practice.
The joysticks are joined by perhaps the best directional pad on a controller yet. Each direction has a tactile click as diverse as the face buttons, while being quite easy to operate. It is well exhibited by the launch title Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (I think fans of fighting games in particular love it).
… but not everything is good. The shoulder buttons to move a little, and may fail to give a tactile click, depending on where you are pressing, and the beginning awkwardly placed and dials it more difficult to pause a game of it it should be, which is unfortunate for a portable device.
Surprisingly, the Vita is much more comfortable to hold and operate than any model of PSP and any controller DualShock / Sixaxis PlayStation console (albeit a bit on the heavy side). Not a Xbox 360 (the watermark to the ergonomics of the driver), but is a clear second – and that’s a powerful challenge to a portable device.
There is no storage on board Vita, and his growing collection of SD and microSD cards does not help – you have to buy a memory card in the new Sony’s proprietary format, which is designed specifically for Vita.
Cards are available for $ 20 for 4 GB, $ 30 for the 8 GB, $ 60 for the 16 GB and $ 100 for 32 GB. While some complain about the cost of memory cards, certainly could be a bad batch (control of what Apple charges for additional memory on iPhone unexpandable).
La Vita has one of the strongest lineups imaginable release. You should be able to find at least two games that I like, regardless of their gaming preferences. Stay tuned for my list of essentials Vita PS games, to be published in the coming days.
All the “long term” Vita titles will be available in hardware or as a download from the PlayStation Network, usually weighing between 1 GB and 4 GB. Like the PlayStation 3, there are download only titles available on the PlayStation Network.
I took two of the downloadable titles, Super Stardust RC Delta and Motorstorm, which are both bright-brainer priced ($ 9.99) and gameplay that is conducive to a quick session of five or ten minutes. Motorstorm RC, you can even play on your PS3, which is something we expect to see more of in the future.
If you already have digital versions of PSP games, many of them can be installed in the PS Vita (the figure rises to over 275 according to Sony) – and I’m finding it much more enjoyable Gran Turismo in the Vita thanks PSP Slim to improved controls.
When you take into account the wide range of PSP games to download and minis PSP, Sony has the start of something that could viably compete with Apple’s iPhone OS devices and the App Store. Aggressive discount catalog of PSP (as the current 50 percent of Grand Theft Auto games) continued courting of popular developers of IOS, and an initiative to build a library of downloadable games Vita in the range of less than $ 5 (including games supported by ads or shopping in the game), the Vita will be infinitely more attractive to those outside the core gamer group.
You can use a computer (PC or Mac) or a PS3 as a library teacher for all their games, and Vita, so it is easy to maintain what you are playing an active role in the memory card of the Vita.
I love this thing, and urge all those who play games to go and have a game with one in a store. Even if you decide to wait for a price drop, a larger library of games, or a hardware revision, playing Vita is like a little glimpse of the future worth experiencing.
I recommend that you get at least a 16 GB memory card, and consider the 32 GB if you’re a hog game. I filled an 8 GB card a few days, although I already had a couple of titles for PSP to install digital and was a little trigger happy on the PlayStation Store.
Battery life is definitely the Achilles heel of the Vita, but not as bad as many are doing so to be. Bluetooth off, I’m getting at least five hours of solid play from office.
I would like to be a little more scientific about this, but the Vita not give you a percentage reading of the battery, and you can tell when I put a button or joystick and finally put to sleep.
Battery packs are the first and third in the pipeline, but the battery packs compatible with the iPhone (as Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation) should do the trick in the meantime.
The quality of construction
After four revisions of the PSP (five if you count the PSP Go) expected that Sony is very good for laptops – and Vita does not disappoint. No plastic creaks or “give” in any place, and the controls all feel like they’re built to last.
Compete with the PS3
An interesting omission from the Vita is the lack of a TV output, which was in the original PSP. When you see the quality of games that run in the Vita can see why – Vita Sony knows that would be competing directly with the PS3, which unlike Vita, you can sell at a profit. Hopefully you have some serious discussion going on over the long run Sony’s PlayStation unification and Vita.