on February 22, 2012
Other people have written great reviews on what comes in the box, etc, etc so I don't need to add to that; however the following info has been left out so far.
I just got this bundle at the house for my son and overall we are VERY happy with the bundle and the extras...EXCEPT for the "free Data Plan". This is a little misleading but it is not Amazon's fault, it is Playstation's (or maybe AT&T). The plan is more of a "buy one get one free" instead of being a free plan overall. You FIRST need to pay for one full month's service of an ATT plan and you will THEN get a "coupon code" to be used for another months service, yet there is still a small catch the free service is only for the cheapest and smallest data plan, the 250MB plan. You also must use the coupon within 90 days of first activating the service. So this means you have to use it within the 2nd or 3rd month of service.
Also the "free downloadable game" is only if you sign up for an AT&T plan and even then you have to wait 30days AFTER signing up before you even get the code to use in the first place.
Much of this can be lost in the description. Orginially I was going to get my son the WiFi only model but I thought that this would be better with the 3g model and all the free stuff, man what a disappointment. HOWEVER, I was thinking of giving the data plans a try ANYWAY so this still turned out to be a good bundle.
It is also important to note that there IS a AC adaptor INSIDE the box, no need to order an addional one (unless of course you think you need it). I found this a nice little surprise since most PS items want you to use an USB connection to charge it against your PS3 or PC. The adaptor is a little bit of a pain given that you use a "USB type" cable (it is properitary) to the VITA which has a USB connection on the other end. You connect THAT end to a little "box like" convertor which then plugs into another cable that you plug into the wall. So three different pieces to plug your VITA into the wall.
With the 3G launch, get ready for overwhelming ATT website access issues! Here's the problems and their fixes:
1. When you first power up, the getting started screens will take you through the normal language, location, time etc. stuff. DO NOT sign up for ATT 3G in this initial setup! Decline and click "sign up later." If you don't, you'll go to the overwhelmed ATT website, and suddenly your input will start delaying, then, the screen will freeze with black or blue death.
Fix: The blue-glowing playstation button is a combined escape and control-alt-delete. If it doesn't clear the freeze, hold the power button for 5 seconds, wait a second or two, then hold it again for 5 seconds and you'll get the setup screen again. This time DON'T sign up for ATT OR the PS3 network. Finish the setup, DO NOT opt into the PS3 network at this stage (Sony has now changed the name of this network to SEN for smart TV's, but Vita still calls it both) until setup is complete. Once you complete setup, you can go back and opt into ATT (at 14 bucks a month for 250 m) AND sign up for SEN/ PS3 online.
2. Once you get ATT, beware of unplugging wifi.
Fix: Even if you acquired and activated wifi at setup, once you activate ATT, Vita will default to 3G even if you're hot on wifi, kicking your setup wifi off. You have to go back into settings and reacquire wifi. DO THIS right away or you'll be charged by ATT even for setting up PS3 SEN!
3. Missing handshake numbers (IMEI and ICCID).
Fix: If you blow the first attempt to activate on ATT's overwhelmed website, try it a 3am on a weekday, not 11 am on a Saturday! Also, if you blow the first attempt, on the second, the auto fill for your device sometimes won't work, and ATT won't recognize the device because the two long ID's will be missing. In the background, ATT actually checks your location and assigns you a ghost phone number. That's right, your Vita will get it's own number, but until Verizon gets into the act, I doubt that we'll be able to do any phone activities other than on Skype! ATT WILL email the heck out of you, including giving you the ghost number you can't use.
Did you save the box? Numbers not there! Don't despair! Go to settings, system, then system information. The last two numbers (IMEI and ICCID) are stored in your device. These are the two numbers you need to activate the service on ATTs website.
4. PS3 Net.
Just like Facebook, SEN won't accept email addresses that aren't common extensions. So, if your email is Contact@JaneDoe.com, they will first accept it, then kick you off at the end of the tedious number by number input on the little Vita screen. Too bad ATT/Sony didn't include a direct web signup for your PC, but because of device recognition, you have to do it initially through the Vita, unless you already have a PS3 account from another Sony device.
Fix: Just get JaneDoe@gmail.com (or Yahoo, your cable, etc.). Mac users: Sony WILL accept me.com addresses.
That's it for now. I don't have to tell you this is an incredible machine, I own them all to develop elearning products for every platform, and this smokes any other handheld, including the ipad and galaxy 10.1 in real arcade like action. BTW, are there any arcades left, or am I dating myself???
;=) Please vote this helpful if you liked, if not, let me know how we can improve. Also, ask a question and we'll post an answer if you have any other difficulties, and see the first launch bundle for other answers in our review and discussions there.
on February 23, 2012
The Vita itself is a great system but the 3g version is a ripoff. The reason to buy this bundle would to be get a memory stick, a free game, and the ability to access 3g when and if you ever wanted. The problem with the bundle is that to get your "free" game you have to sign up for a month of 3g. Well no problem you say, sony is generously giving me a free month of it so I can use that to download the game. Wrong, sony gives you your 2nd month free you have to pay at least 15.00 for the first month. Then at the end of the 30 days they will email you a voucher for Super Stardust Delta.( The game is a 208mb download so if youre going to download it with 3g save your data) you end up spending $15 for a $10 game. So make sure you and add $15 to that $50 value.
Well thats fine with me you might say I plan on getting 3g to play all the awesome online games. That's fine as long as youre playing turn based games. No online shooters or fighting for you. Sony and ATT are only alowing psn messaging, web browing, and asynchronous multiplayer (turn based) on 3g. Everything else wifi only. The system is great but do yourself a favor buy the wifi version and spend the extra 50 on an overpriced memory stick.
on March 11, 2012
This review will address the AT&T bonus bundle which includes one 8GB memory card ($30), a DD code for Super Stardust ($10 PSN game) and a 250MB 3G network data packet ($15), which should be available through the end of this month. The review on the actual PSV hardware itself will follow.
As many have already mentioned, the promo items (PSN game and data packet) are only redeemable AFTER paying for the initial data packet, so anyone who thinks they're getting their first month free and will be downloading Super Stardust shortly after charging up their PSV for the first time will probably be upset, and not unreasonably so as the conditions for redeeming the promo items are not mentioned on the box itself. It's also a little underhanded to make users wait a month after using their first month of 3G service before they receive their game download code, but free is free I suppose and it is only a $10 DD game to begin with.
On the flip side, if anyone is actually buying a 3G model with the intention of NEVER paying for even one month/data packet, one almost has to question the intelligence of buying this model when the WiFi model is $50 less. At any rate, $15 isn't much for a two month (limited given the 250MB data cap) trial run of the service.
As for the 3G service itself, after one week of using it, about the only function it currently serves is for Near updates (PSV social app that shows who's playing what on the PSV in your proximity) and web browsing on the PSV's browser when outside of a WiFi network. It is very limited as of this writing and subjectively not worth subscribing to with the assumption that the PSV owner already has a smartphone with a data plan. If the PSV is your only way of accessing a 3G network when cut off from WiFi, it still beats running around for a WiFi hotspot.
Lastly, the bundle comes with a 8GB memory card that currently retails for $30. It is easily the best added value component of the bundle and even if one were to ignore the data packet/PSN game, it's only $20 over the cost of a $250 WiFi PSV when purchased with a $30 memory card. Seeing as how very little information has been put out regarding future uses for 3G and the PSV, $20 is nothing to add that feature on the chance that the service becomes worth renewing down the road. There are no service contracts.
As for the PSV itself, after two weeks of initial impressions, it is easily the most enjoyable handheld gaming device I have used running all the back to the original Gameboy and before with Nintendo Game and Watch games and Mattel Electronic Sports games, etc. The last two handhelds I've used extensively have been the PSP and the 3DS for recent comparisons.
The 5" OLED display is the first noticeable feature, with its ink like blacks, high contrast, relatively tight pixel density and even light distribution due to the self illuminating OLED pixels.
Build, fit and finish feels balanced and substantial. Face buttons and D-pad have a very satisfying click feedback that feels precise and responsive. The D-pad in particular, as the first deviation from the familiar Playstation 4 arrow button cross design is the best feeling D-pad I can remember using. The face buttons are smaller than those of the PSP and slightly larger than those of the 3DS. The X button proximity to the right analog stick has been mentioned as a potential issue, presumably for those who press with the heel of the thumb ("rolling") rather than the tip of the thumb (precise).
Following the OLED display, the second most prominent feature is the twin analog sticks, a first for handhelds. Unlike the sliding disk design used by the PSP and again by the 3DS, the PSV uses actual mini analog sticks with the same single axis rocking action everyone who has used an analog stick controller is familiar with. The feedback is a bit tighter than that of the DS3 with less travel due to the short throw axis which basically means more precise input is both possible and required for games without aim assist or loose controls. The size will probably take some getting used to for most, but for anyone who managed to adapt to the barely usable slider disk of the PSP, the analog sticks should be a snap to use.
The size of the PSV is another oft noted design issue, which is partially to accomodate the 5" screen in addition to the real estate taken by the face buttons, analog sticks and D-pad. Yes, the bezel could be thinner, but the controls themselves really can't be spaced much closer without causing more issues than solving. "Not pocket-sized" is another oft made comment regarding the size although it will easily slip into the back jeans pocket of just about any pair of jeans with at least a 30" inseam that aren't cut or worn like jeggings. I just don't know who would actually want to carry something like the PSV in their back pocket without some sort of case, slip cover, etc. to prevent scratches or other damage.
On the plus side, the PSV should fit average to large size hands very comfortably compared to the DS/DSl/3DS, PSP/PSP Go, etc. It's the first handheld I've used that didn't give me "crab claw hand" after 30 minutes of use. The position of the analog sticks are a comfortable distance away from the trigger buttons on the top of the PSV and the rounded shape with shallow contours moulded into the rear make it the most comfortable handheld I've used to date.
Sound volume from the built in speakers is adequate for a device of its size. Louder than the PSP or 3DS at max volume. Sound quality should fall in line with expectations for a portable device of its size. Naturally, the best sound output will be from a pair of quality headphones or a line out jack to a stereo system.
Battery life is adequate compared to the 3DS and PSP and realistically provides about 3-4 hours of gaming (PSV games) with more for PSP games, video, music, etc. Without the swappable battery design used in the PSP, there is no option to buy extra batteries for long trips away from a charger socket. SCE will be selling a $50 portable charger pack in the near future which while far from ideal, is better than no solution at all.
Users of iOS devices will feel right at home with the front and rear touch panels. Multi-touch, capacitive type interface that is more sensitive than the iPad to the degree that it is possible to trigger touch input without actually touching the display (if a bioelectric source, ie. finger, is about 1mm away).
That about covers the hardware itself without delving into the PSV games or any of the software functionality built into the PSV OS, which can and will be updated via firmware updates as more features are added and refined.
Overall, couldn't be more impressed with the hardware, barring a few annoyances like the lack of any onboard memory (the 3DS has 2GB internal memory, in addition to a 2GB SD card shipped with every handheld), the overpriced proprietary memory cards (deja vu Memory Stick) which serve the twofold purpose of slowing the tide of software piracy as well as provide hardware revenue to recoup potential losses Sony is taking on every PSV sold and the essentially useless VGA resolution cameras that are only useful for in-game use including the free augmented reality games available in the PSN Store for download.
The hardware is solid, the only issue from here on out will be the steady release of diverse, quality titles that will either make or break the platform.
on January 7, 2014
Excellent gaming engine with the graphical capability to play pretty advanced games
High-quality OLED touchscreen
Dual analog sticks
Easy PSN functionality and download support
Backwards compatible with PSP and PS1 games
Region free games
Lack of good games
No internal memory and expensive proprietary memory cards
Backwards compatibility only applies on digital games purchased through the PSN
The PS Vita is an excellent system marred by only a few design flaws. The best part of the hardware for me is the dual analog sticks. These are a major bonus since fpss basically require them nowadays. Not only are there two of them, they are also of excellent quality. One of the things I always disliked about the PSP was the analog stick that was flat to the surface and rather difficult to use. The 3DS has copied this design, although they made it more ergonomically comfortable. The Vita however, has two that stick out from the system, just like on the PS3 remote, allowing much greater control and ease of movement. There are sensitivity issues since the sticks are smaller than their PS3 equivalents, but once you adapt to it the controls are almost as easy to use.
The second best thing about the Vita is the OLED touchscreen. This touchscreen is absolutely beautiful and has excellent resolution. I thought the touchscreen aspect was just a gimmick, but some of the games have made excellent use of it allowing them to compensate for not having back bumpers (L2/R2 buttons). Well, technically they do have those in the rear touchpad, but it is so touchy and difficult to use that it might as well not exist. The big plus of this touchscreen is that it is much more sensitive and reliable than the 3DS's. You can type with fair accuracy using only your finger, and responses on one section of the screen rarely result in unexpected reactions from another. It does tend to make the screen oily, but that's the price you pay for all touchscreens.
The graphics on the system are amazing, although all that talk of them being almost as good as the PS3 is garbage. They fit comfortably between the PS2 and PS3 level of graphics, with the result probably being a bit closer to the Wii than the PS3. With the smaller screen it is easier to hide bad texture maps and glitches. That doesn't take anything away from the system. On the small screen those graphics look amazing. I'm not sure where these graphics fit when compared to the 3DS, but they are definitely an improvement. It's hard to think of any 3DS games with high graphical requirements since they tend to aim for cartoony and exaggerated worlds, but I can't remember any that even come close to pulling off Uncharted: Golden Abyss. At a guess, I'd say that the 3DS reproduces approximately the same graphics as a PS2 (as can be seen by their virtually unchanged ports of PS2 games) while the Vita is a bit higher (as seen by their improved ports of PS2 games). The difference is more one of style than capability, with Sony focusing on realistic games that show off their graphics engine while Nintendo does what they usually do and try to create fun, cartoony games. The graphics leap between the 3DS and the Vita just isn't that high. Certainly not enough to recommend getting a Vita on that score alone. The biggest advantage they have graphically is that their screen is just better quality, and doesn't waste energy on 3D that nobody uses.
I've heard some complaints about battery life but I don't know what all the fuss is about. My Vita plays for about five hours without recharging, which is a good hour or two longer than my 3DS does. I appreciate that the older systems lasted longer but that was because they had less graphics-intensive games. You can still play those games so it isn't a problem. A DS game on the 3DS can last all day, and playing a PSP game on the Vita is likewise. The Vita also has an excellent sleep mode. I found that the system drains far less quickly when asleep than the 3DS does. Besides, it was really only the DS generation of games that worked like that. Previous systems often had terrible battery life (see the two-hour long Game Gear).
The layout of the Vita is basically that of a Playstation controller with a big screen in the middle. The two analog sticks are in the proper places and are reasonably sensitive. The PS button has been moved to the left corner and glows when the game is on. The start and select buttons have become a bit crummy since you have to push at quite a difficult angle to get them to go down. The two bumper bars are very responsive, and look quite stylish. The rear touchpad is useless. Comfort-wise the system is very nice, fitting neatly into your hand with some nice pads at the back to support your grip. The system is somewhat heavy, but that's never been a problem for me. The game does suffer dramatically in portability when compared to its competition. Not only is it larger than the 3DS-XL (or the PSP for that matter), it is also bumpier and less protected. With no DS clamshell front to protect it the Vita's screen is dangerously exposed to sharp knocks. I can also assure you that the two analog sticks, despite making gameplay amazing, mean that the Vita will never comfortably fit into anyone's pocket. There are cases for it that will alleviate the protection issue, but the best that you can do is carry it in your jacket. And for some people that just isn't enough. It all depends how you use it.
Software-wise the Vita comes preinstalled with some basic programs of varied utility. The main screen is an ugly series of icons accessed by the touchscreen. Sony is trying to make their system into a phone and I don't understand why. Still, it functions well enough. The browser still sucks and the maps app isn't particularly helpful. Due to the presence of a touchscreen the messages app has become functional. The PSN is extremely useful. In terms of new software the main addition is Near. It's trying to do what Streetpass does, but it does it badly. All you can do with it is see what people in your city are playing. It connects through 3G so it bases its records of local Vita users on the last location they signed in on. No, it doesn't continue to sync with other devices when you put it on sleep mode. That'd just be silly. It isn't like the 3DS which communicates with other consoles via wifi.
Hardware-wise the only major problem is the proprietary memory cards, which are so obviously money-grabbing as to be insulting. Especially given the Vita's emphasis on downloadable content this is just a kick in the teeth for gamers. After all, some of their games aren't even available in physical copies. And if you want to download any PS1 or PSP games (which look amazing on the new screen btw) then you're equally screwed. Worst of all, since there is no internal memory you need to buy one of these cards to play any game, whether or not you intend to download games. And a good card can cost half as much as the system itself. It's disgraceful.
Another silly feature is the 3G option. There's no point to having this since there aren't many online games for the Vita, and most of the other internet functions will require you to connect to a more reliable wifi hub anyway. 3G is expensive and difficult to arrange with your local provider. Maybe this isn't the case in Japan, but it is in the US. And of course, even if you get service it isn't going to be as good as wifi anyway. Besides, what's the point of playing online games outside anyway? When you're in public you can't exactly shout into your mic to inform your teammates that they're being morons. Not that you could do that anyway since the Vita only supports 3G for turn-based combat and Near. Any first-person shooters will have to find some wifi. 3G also drains your battery in a heartbeat. Unless you live in an area that has no broadband internet connection but still gets 3G I can't see the point of it.
To be perfectly honest, even this isn't enough to prevent people from buying the system. What might serve as more of a deterrent is the games catalog. The Vita has been out for two years but is still suffering from a lack of truly great games. The best new games to come out thus far are Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. They also gave Persona 4 an awesome port called Persona 4: Golden. All of these games came out in the first year, when enthusiasm for the new system was still fresh. There has been little since. The 3DS was suffering from this too until fairly recently, with the most popular games being ports from older systems like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,Tales of the Abyss, and Star Fox 64. Now the 3DS is picking up steam with Fire Emblem: Awakening,Pokémon X and Y,The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Shin Megami Tensei IV, but the Vita seems stalled.
One of the major pluses of the system though is its easy access to the PSN. A gigantic library of PS1 and PSP games are available for download. Yes, these were available before, but only for the PSP. Now you can access them on the Vita's high def screen and use dual analog sticks for control. This can be really helpful even on PSP games that have replaced the right analog stick with the top bumpers. There are also demos and free content that adds greatly to the experience. Much better than Nintendo's eShop. Or maybe that's just the opinion of someone used to the PSN. Like the PS3 games are region-free, though DLC is region locked. You can also have only one account connected to your Vita which means no more copying games from different accounts. You have to reformat the card every time you change.
To sum up: I really like the Vita. On a strictly hardware level the Vita is clearly superior to its closest competitor (the 3DS), even if that system has advantages when it comes to portability and convenience. Its biggest problem is the lack of good games, and that's hardly the fault of the hardware. Like the 3DS it's had a slow start, but hopefully it will pick up now that the price has gone down and a new and cheaper model has been released. PS4 functionality should also help them. If you're willing to bet on future successes then this system is well worth it and the backlog of PS1/PSP games should keep you occupied for quite a while. If you're waiting for that one brilliant game that makes the system worth buying... it hasn't come yet. But hopefully it will soon. If you are planning on buying this system though go for the wifi only version unless you can find this one cheaper. 3G support offers nothing.
on December 29, 2013
It's not a bundle it's just a 3g PS Vita, so it only gets 4 stars because I swear when I bought it I swear I saw a picture of a memory card and the whole "bundle" title kinda lead me to believe that there would be a memory card. So make sure you get a memory card if you order this PS Vita.
on April 7, 2014
Got this for my 9 yr old son as a Christmas gift and he loves it. It keeps him entertained and that's all I can ask for. I think the 3g option is a better buy honestly for the same price as just wifi... my daughter has a Nintendo 3ds and I won't even begin to compare the systems. To me, they are both stand alone systems with their own style. And to each his own. I personally am a Nintendo fan, but I appreciate PlayStation products. Graphics are nice. Accessories and games are plentiful and this will grow with my son and he can play for years. Right out of the box we had to wait until the system updated and that took some time. Not only that but it takes a while to download anything. That's a drawback but nothing major. Also, the whole networking thing on PS is just different to me. It's a little foreign and more technical, but I like it and it's all a part of the PS brand. So, I have set up my PS account for our family and customized the unit for my son. He plays all the free games and I plan on buying him a few games his friends recommend.
I gave this unit 4 stars for one major reason... the memory cards. I haven't had to buy one yet (thank God) but when I do I'm not going to be too happy. We have downloaded maybe 5 or 6 games (free) and the 8gigs seem to hold more than the packaging said it would. I don't see myself downloading many major games bit plan on buying the game cartridges so maybe that will prolong this expense. But, I think this was a terrible way for PS to keep making money on its customers by forcing these high priced memory cards.
The shipment arrived quickly before Christmas and in good condition. I bought this last minute and Amazon delivered as always. If you are considering this unit, definately go ahead and get it.
on April 27, 2012
The PS Vita is a great piece of technology for those of us who love our gadgets.
You really do get what you pay for with this newest handheld and the games are right there with it.
There's no point in reviewing the actual device but rather the value of this bundle. The WIFI only model, although cheaper, does lack both the 3G (obviously) and the GPS module. These are both items that are going to be taken advantage of by games more and more. On top of that, the fact that this bundle comes with a 4GB memory card saves you from having to worry "which memory card is right for me." The 4GB card is more than suitable for several cartridge games and a few downloads as well.
On top of that, this bundle also comes with 1 free month of 3G service (only after purchasing 1 months worth). You also receive a free copy of Super Stardust Delta (although this offer may have expired now).
I personally don't use the 3G as not many applications/games require or benefit from its use. However, keeping an eye on planned releases reveals that developers are taking the 3G connectivity into serious consideration and incorporating the "always on" aspect heavily into their games. Don't regret your purchase of a WIFI only model down the road and get this version.
on July 17, 2012
The PS-Vita is another of Sony's great gaming revolutions. The handheld console closes the gap between the psp and ps3. The graphic power is amazing ( I highly reccommend Uncharted: Golden AbyssThis game illustrates the PS Vita's technical power) The Sreen is beautiful, big and colorful. The Organic LED screen provides the HD in the palm of your hands. THe Best thing about the PS VIta are the two analog sticks. They are soft and smooth. They are nothing like the anolog stick of the PSP which is a relief. The PS Vita may lack some good games, but just wait it out. It' been on the market for about 5 months, however; if your a big Sony fan or Playstation fanatic, the PS Vita is a must buy. It really is marketed towards those who have PS3s. THe playstion store intergration is nice, as everything can be purchased from there. Even every released game as digital format usaully $5-$8 off from the game card copy. I havent set up the 3g function yet so i can comment, i liked the 3g bundle since it came with the 8g memory card and the option of using 3g for about $35 dollars more than the Wifi. It seemed wise to get the best one for a small addition. Thanks Amazon for your price cutting. Thr battery life is good to, no moving parts as everything is flash based, however the screen brightness, wifi and im sure 3g will decrease battery life. but you should get a solid 6-7 hours of game play. In all, the PS Vita is true gaming inovation bringing something new to handheld gaming. It does try to compete with smartphone apps, but at the heart it is a excellent gaming device.
on May 2, 2012
Vita is such a wonderful hardware, plus it already has most number of games for new launch console. Plus the movies and music via the Playstation Store, Netflix, etc. Other reviewers already talked about how great the Vita is, let me point out other aspects of the Vita.
-Memory : People complain that the memory cards are expense. Yes it is. But Apple charges $100 more if want to step up from 16GB to 32GB iPad. Besides, Vita bundles include 8GB memory cards(which is what most people need anyway), also the price of 32GB Vita memory card is coming down.
-Price : Some people say the Vita is a bit expensive. But think about all the cutting edge technology in the Vita with OLED screen and Quad Core processor just to mention a few. A similar smart phone or iPhone would be $500 to $700 if you got it without a contract from major wireless carriers. If you get a smartphone with service contract, you spend hundreds of dollars over a year.
-Real games : People say portable gaming consoles are dying because of smart phones and tablets. You can't really play games on these devices with touch screens and gyro sensors, you need controllers like the Vita to really play the games unless you want to play only Angry Birds.
-Fast web browser : By the way, did you know the Vita has a web browser? It is much better than the PSP's broswer which used to be slow and ran out of memory. The Vita's browser is faster(thanks to fast processor) and plenty of memory, it really is a usable web browser.
-Great selection of movies, music, content : Besides gaming, the Vita has old and latest movies and TV shows (to buy and rent) and any music you want to listen. Music Unlimited is surprising good, you can listen to any music, old and new, for $10 a month.
I really enjoy using the Vita, I highly recommend it.