Gaming Review Spotlight: PlayStation Vita
Sony's new long-awaited handheld video game console, the PSVita is a evolutionary marvel when compared to its predecessor, the PSP. Although it still looks similar in design to the PSP, the Vita has been jammed-packed with every available feature you can think of. When it comes to hand-held devices, the Vita stands alone. For those of you that have to have the next top-of-the-line device or your kids have been squirming in anticipation of its release on February 22, this one is for you as I give you the breakdown...
PlayStation Vita 101
The five-inch screen touchscreen on the Vita is huge. With a 960x544 resolution OLED screen displaying a colorful and bright gaming experience, it is a welcomed improvement over the PSP console's display. It even comes close to matching the PlayStation 3 in visual quality and video playback. However, its most impressive display feature is the iPhone-esque touchscreen and a touch-pad on the back of the system. Unless you are playing games, you will use the touchscreen to navigate through the entire systems settings. The Vita touchscreen is just as responsive if not more, than any of Apple's touchscreen/ tilt-motion devices, providing lightning fast-speed and performance.
2. Design & Camera
Like the perfect blend of a PS3 controller and a modified PSP, the Vita has a sleek and firm design that feels snug in your hands. Although it is larger than any of its competing consoles or any of its handheld gaming predecessors, the Vita seems just the right size. Its most important feature is the built-in dual control sticks, which takes the Vita another step ahead of the PSP. Although they are not button-active like those on basic PlayStation 3 controllers, the pair prove to be absolutely essential and provide Vita owners the ultimate handheld gaming experience. Also, like most mobile devices these days, the Vita comes equipped with a front and back camera. The Vita has a 1.3 mega-pixel camera that is adequate at best. Most of us have better cameras on our cell phones. However, I am sure a few of you will find a use for it.
3. Multimedia & User Interface.
Of course you can download apps like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Netflix as well. The user interface was developed to support a ton of apps. Especially Sony's own free-to-download content manager which allows the user to move music, pictures, and video files on and off of the system via PC. Go to http://cma.dl.playstation.net/cma/ to download the content manager for the Vita. Sony also included the Welcome Park app, which is a series of mini-games designed to familiarize gamers with the systems capabilities like the camera and tilt controls. Players can earn trophies playing these games as well. The Vita has a menu screen that looks reminiscent to a T-Mobile Fav 5 bubble menu. The software applications are easy to access and navigate. Logging into your PlayStation Network account on the Vita is easy. You just can not use multiple accounts on one Vita console.
4. The Bad & The Ugly.
My biggest complaint with the Vita is its lack of at least one megabyte of internal memory storage. This will require you to buy at least the minimum 4GB card which sells for about $19.99, plus at least one game which goes for about $40 bucks. The 3G version offers a monthly data plan for on-the-go web access that for $30.00/month, should have offered unlimited access.
5. Overall Review.
- Resolution: 5 inch, 960x544 OLED screen.
- Touchscreen/Rear Touch-Pad
- Tilt Motion
- $249.99 Wi-Fi version.
- $299.99 3G version.
- $29.99 to $49.99 for Games.
- 4GB - $19.99
- 8GB - $29.99
- 16GB - $59.99
- 32GB - $99.99
- 250MB Data Plan: $14.99/mo
- 3GB - Data Plan: $30.00/mo
The Vita is as close as you can get to having a PlayStation 3 you can carry around in your back pocket. The Vita has superior graphics and overall gaming playability that make it the top-of-the line handheld gaming system. Although it carries a hefty price tag after you buy games and its necessary accessories, its sleek design and quality performance make it well worth the price of admission.