Most helpful critical review
75 of 93 people found the following review helpful
Not worth the money and Not recommendable
on March 12, 2012
I am a long time Sony product user, gamer, engineer, and product designer. I can say that under my first observation of this in the store I thought it might be worth it. Later after looking around I actually using the PS Vita I found that I was poorly mistaken. Let me talk about the short comings I found with this product.
1) Memory card: It is only 4GB. This is practically useless. I filled it with one downloadable demo just to try a game out. Then to do anything else I had to erase the demo I just downloaded. Then later I purchased a few games online and then could not install other demos because of space. I have since found that I have to go and buy a much larger memory card anyway. This alone shows that the kit was a waste of money. I could have bought a much more expensive memory card and a case and been better off. It would have also cost me less money. You would not have gotten the other items in the set, but the trade off is worth it, if you take care of your things.
The misconception that people have regarding the memory is: the memory is a proprietary Sony format and cannot currently be bought by 3rd party manufacturers. This means Sony can charge you 3-4x's the cost for the same memory. The other thing not understood is that there is data saved on these memory cards. So even using store bought games that come on their own cards, the save data is stored on this card. So is music, photos taken, videos, and other information. It may be possible for a user to have very limited internet use with the PS Vita but this card can still be filled easily just by using basic features of the device. In my opinion Sony under rated this. They should have provided 8 GB as a minimum.
2) The case: This case is practically useless. If a person is buying this product for a minor, or child then forget the protection value. This case is basically a dust guard. It is a neoprene case that has to be stretched over one end of the unit. I was actually afraid of damaging or scratching the Vita while trying to stretch it around the end. I am sure over time this will get worn out and then become almost useless for closure. At best this case will protect the outside from scratches, but not protect it from a fall. For that a much more sturdy case would be needed. For my PSP I had a great hard plastic case. It was bad because you could not carry accessories, and was bulky, but it protected the PSP and I never had a problem. I would have at least expected a harder case, slightly thicker, and something that had pockets for games, power cords, or at least the headphones.
3) Screen cloth: a standard microfiber cloth that can be purchased almost anywhere for just a few dollars. Wal-mart, Target, and other major stores carry them for glasses. Just as good. This one say Vita on it, if that makes a difference. It does not for me. With the great hidden expenses wrapped into the Vita it would have been nice to save a few bucks where possible.
4) Game Case: This is actually pretty practical. It is a sturdy looking case. I have not tried to insert any games to see how easily they are put in, or can be taken out. However, without a good place to put it, like in the case, the user is left carrying another item with them. I guess Sony could always stick it's customers for another $60 for a Case to hold the case and accessories. Maybe they could over ear bud covers as an incentive.
5) Ear buds: These are standard grade ear phones used with mobile audio MP3/4 players. There are no foam covers for them, so if they do not fit right in the users ear, there is no luck. I have always found the foam covers to make them ear buds a little more snug and provide less chance of falling out. Sony is terrible with making comfortable ear products. The first Blue-Tooth ear piece for the Sony PS3 was horrible. It could only be worn a short time before causing serious pain to the ear, not from the sound, but from the shape and fit. Several friends of mine all shared the same opinion. So much so that we bought other non-Sony products. One thing that I would be curious of, is how the Vita would sound with some Sony Noise Cancellation Ear buds. These, however, are a basic intro-level product. Which is what you would expect in a starter kit.
6) Screen protector: This is a standard screen protector. It should protect the touch screen from scratches. This is a highly recommended product. Even without the starter kit I cannot speak enough about protecting the screen. This is probably the most valuable item in the whole kit. Unfortunately, you can get 2 of these from Sony for only $10. Much less money then the kit costs. Actually, buying a bigger card, better case, and the screen protectors would have cost about the same as this kit, or about $5 more.
My review is not biased in any way. I am a long time user of Sony products and many other brands. Most users of games and audio devices would have a set of ear buds already that they like, and are comfortable enough.
Games bought through Play Station Network are around $5 cheaper and do not have tax. Even without a credit card for purchasing, they sell PSN gift cards in stores to make purchases with. This is great for kids and minors. This way they do not have unlimited spending capabilities.
With that being said the need for the game case is nice, just in case someone gets the user a game as a gift from the store, but I would recommend getting most of them through the PSN. That of course requires a much bigger memory card and would negate the need for this kit.
It would have been nice to find some article online that gave the Vita user model that Sony expected. A User Model is a tool that gives the common attributes of the average user. They would use this model in their design. I hate to think they used the survey they sent out to current PSN subscribers. It is hard to tell if they intended the device to be purely online and added a memory port as an after thought. What ever they were thinking, this kit does not fit this user's needs. It is unlikely it would fit any user's needs. Sure, some have commented on how great it is as a starter, but eventually it will become more clear the limitations that this kit offers. Some may say that is the point of a starter, but at the cost of Sony products and the memory cards, it does not seem practical. Start off with a bigger card, better case, and screen protectors. Then later, use the $40 you would have spent on this money pit, and buy two $20 PSN cards. Use them for games, or add-ons. That makes more sense to me.