Customer Reviews: PlayStation Vita - Wifi
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on February 22, 2012
**I wrote a pretty big review on the 3DS, and as I mentioned in that review, I definitely was going to write one for the vita. I usually support my reviews for a while, so I will be reading all comments and will keep updating the review over the next few weeks as I learn more and more. Please do comment with any info you have and I'll edit the review**

In short, the Playstation Vita is an amazing multimedia device packed with tons of cool features. We all know it's an amazing system and I won't be talking specifically about every single feature -- I'll leave that to Sony and the Amazon description. Instead, I'll look at in comparison to the 3DS and how it functions as a multimedia device overall (in comparison to mobile phones, iPods, etc). I also will give you a run down on what makes the Vita a great system and what limitations it has.

1) Ridiculous hardware. Very powerful GPU and processor for a handheld system. This thing blows the 3DS graphics out of the water and don't even try comparing it to mobile app games graphic-wise. I wouldn't say the graphics are quite PS3 level from my time with Uncharted, but they're pretty close. The analog sticks protrude from the system a tad more than the original PSP's did and are a bit on the small side, but they still feel solid and having two analog sticks is a huge plus for most games.

2) Beautiful Screen. The screen is very high resolution and is very large. The screen is a 5 inch OLED and is actually very bright. On max brightness, this shuts out lots of glare that usually plague mobile devices, so you could definitely use this in bright environments.

3) Strong Launch Line-up. There are a few solid launch titles and many more in the near future.

4) Cross Game chat and Trophy support for games. The Vita finally brings cross game voice chat (something which PS3 users have been wanting for ages).

5) Huge multimedia potential. You can transfer over music or videos (you may have to convert them into the few formats that the Vita recognizes though), stream things through Netflix or a media center PC, or get content off of the PSN (Playstation Network). Combined with the gorgeous screen, multimedia on the go will be awesome.

1) Memory cards. What you need to know: for major games, YOU HAVE TO BUY A MEMORY CARD to save your game data (Uncharted is one of these games). The memory cards are in a new Sony format that are a bit pricy ($20 for 4GB, $30 for 8GB, $60 for 16GB , $100 for 32GB). I wish Sony would have used SD cards like the 3DS or even micro-SD cards if they wanted something smaller. Maybe they did it to combat piracy (which was hugely rampant on the PSP), maybe to make a bit extra money instead of losing money to the SD card manufacturers. In any case, it's annoying to us consumers. It's also kind of ridiculous that after paying $250 that the system comes with no storage space. If the device had a built in 8GB of storage, it would be much more competitive. Remember, the memory card is where you'll be saving game data for big games, music, movies, and whatever you download from the Playstation Network. Without a memory card, you're missing out on the full multimedia potential of the Vita.

2) Mediocre / Poor Battery Life. As much as I hate to admit it, it seems like bad battery life is a trend in all of our electronics now. Sony officially claims about 3-5 hours for gameplay, which is just about as much as you'll get with the 3DS. From personal usage, I've been through two charge cycles already - I timed the second one ( and from 100% to 10% while playing Uncharted in just a tad over 3 hours.

3) Not so pocket-able. This device is actually kind of big for a portable gaming device. It doesn't fit in my jeans, but does nicely fit in my basketball and cargo shorts. For a mobile device, it's on the large end. It will definitely be bigger than your phone. It's kind of in an awkward zone - it's way smaller than a tablet, but noticeably bigger than phones. Also the protruding analog sticks don't help the portability case any.

4) Limited Backwards Compatibility. There is no UMD slot on the Vita, so you can't play physical PSP games. There's a big list of digital PSP games that you can play on the Vita, but not all of them. Sony claims to be expanding the list and hopefully we'll one day see all PSP titles on the Playstation Store. Also, currently the PS-One classics from the Playstation Store can't be played on the Vita. Sony also said they're going to work on this, but until then, there's no chance for me to catch up and finally beat some of those PS1 Final Fantasy titles while on the go. Also, the PS2 Games on the PSN aren't playable on the Vita and Sony hasn't said anything about that yet. Other than that, the Vita can play all other PSN games and minis.

3DS ($170 / formerly $250) vs VITA ($250 / $300)

1) Games: It's a bit unfair to compare at the moment because the 3DS has been out much longer than the Vita. At the moment, I'd have to say the 3DS has the better library with games like Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, StarFox, etc. Sony has some solid games already on launch though, which the 3DS lacked. If you look back, you'll quickly find out that people used to complain about the 3DS to no end because there was such a lack of games. The Vita has started strong and has a timeline of great games to come.

2) Hardware: Graphics-wise, there's really no comparison. The Vita completely blows away the 3DS. The screen on the Vita is a higher resolution and far greater quality. The touch screen on the vita uses different technology so the screen doesn't respond to stylus or pressure - it uses newer capacitive technology that only detects your finger. Both systems have pretty bad cameras, but the Vita's are noticeably better. Button wise, the Vita has the upperhand with two analog sticks, but I'll have to admit that personally I like the analog stick on the 3DS much more than the ones on the Vita. Two analog sticks will make most games, especially shooters, have better controls on the Vita.

3) Multimedia Potential: I'm going to have to give this one to the Vita. It has better speakers, a far better screen, and has a massive online network to get movies from. The 3DS does use SD cards which are better cost-wise for storing large amounts of music and videos, but the presentation on the Vita is just better.

4) Online: Nintendo really dropped the ball on creating an online network and online multiplayer. Although I do like Xbox Live's online interface the best, the PSN is still miles and miles ahead of Nintendo with cross game chat and a network that is ridiculous better in almost every way.Even adding friends is a pain on the 3DS. The Vita on the other hand has a real network and is much more professional and easy to use.

5) Other Features and Gimmicks: The 3DS obviously has 3D which is what makes it stand out compared to the Vita. The 3D is a huge selling point to a lot of people, and I will say it is pretty cool, especially in games that use it well such as Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 3D Land. Personally, after the "oooh aahhh" period in each game, I just turned off the 3D on my 3DS. 3D isn't a big concern to me, but to a lot of people it probably makes the 3DS much more appealing. Both have accelerometers and gyroscopes for tilting and doing random things in games. Both have the augmented reality cards which lets games create battles and games right in front of your eyes in "real life".

6) Portability: Both have the same 3-5 hours of battery life for games and last around 8-10 hours for music. The poor battery life limits both systems forcing you to bring the charger on any long trip. The 3DS is much more pocket-able since the clamshell design lets you fold it and just stick it in your pocket. The Vita is bigger and will most likely jut out of jeans pockets. Actually, the more I think of it, the Vita's size is really awkward - it's too big for pocketing but way too small to be compared to a tablet.

7) Price. This is always a concern and indeed the Vita (WiFi) is $80 more than the 3DS. That's basically the price of two games. The Vita is bringing more to the table hardware-wise which explains the higher price. Sony systems usually do cost more than Nintendo, but it'll be to you when deciding which one to buy.

3DS vs Vita Conclusion:

They're both pretty different systems and in an ideal world, you should own both. But when we come back to reality and have money limitations, you'll have to make your pick. The 3DS is already established and has a dozen solid titles on the market, the Vita is just coming out but still has many good games planned. The Vita definitely outclasses the 3DS in terms of hardware, multimedia support, and game If you're a parent, you may sway toward Nintendo giving their reputation of making more family friendly and imaginative game, whereas Sony has a reputation of building solid hardware for a more "core" group of gamers. We'll see what happens this time around.


Is the Vita worth $250 - in my opinion, yes! You get a system packed with the potential for great gameplay and multimedia.
Is the Vita better than the 3DS? - well, that's a bit more complicated and I'll have to say that depends on what you want from your system.
Should I buy the 3G Vita for $300 or the WiFi for $250? I honestly was never going to pay a monthly subscription ($15 for 250mb of $30 for 3GB with AT&T) for 3G, so buying a 3G vita would have been a waste. That's why I went with the WiFi version to save money. The 3G version can do WiFi too - it just has the potential to be used in a 3G data plan. So, if you think 3G is a thing that you would pay for and find internet on the go useful, go ahead and buy the 3G. Otherwise, save your money and get the WiFi.

I'll add more to this review as I find out more. Feel free to comment if I missed anything, if you have something to add, or if you just want to rage at me. I'll definitely be updating this as I play around with the system more.
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A few hours since delivery... I'm impressed. Just about everything about the PSV: display, controls, features, the games - top of the line. This is a gaming machine that shouts "quality" and, after the first few hours of playing Uncharted and a couple of small games off the PSN, I can say that I've had the best portable gaming experience ever - we currently have a PSP and a DSi in the house plus a couple of tablets and smart phones.

Briefly - and I will update my review as I experience more of the PSV - these are my findings so far.


I'm not going to get into details because Amazon's page has it all. Yes, it's quad-core this, and super-high-rez display that but what counts is that it translates into a super-smooth gaming experience with a bunch of non-gaming capabilities on top. I'm surprised how immersive playing a game on such a small screen with such tiny speakers can be. And it is so for a couple of reasons.

- the sharpest, best looking display I've seen on a portable
- the dual analog sticks make all the difference - Sony learned from past mistakes
- the back touch panel are something that it's better to experience because it's the one clear innovation on this machine and it won't give you headaches (sorry Nintendo :) )
- games can be either downloaded or purchased and shared on physical media - like I said, Sony is learning from past mistakes (sorry PSP Go)
- seamless integration with the PS3 and the Playstation Network
- a bunch of great multimedia apps including Netflix - I'll have more to say about these after I stop playing Uncharted :)
- cameras - more later but I heard that some games allow you to build characters that look just like you


Anyone who has a PS3 or a PSP should feel very familiar with the PSV. All the PS3 controls are there although some of the buttons are smaller. Add to that the 'touch' capabilities on both front and back with support for gestures and the gaming possibilities are almost endless. Because of its high resolution, there can be a lot happening at the same time on the PSV's screen and, don't forget, you can also feel the action while playing.

I don't feel like doing comparisons at this time but anyone who claims that the PSV is no big deal because we can play games on our phones should experience the PSV and then consider revising their statements. Vita can easily play any one-dollar game that a phone can play and I'm sure we'll get a couple of those and Vita can do just about everything a smart phone or tablet can do and most of the time do it better, but no phone or tablet can play Uncharted and no 'next generation' phone or tablet is likely to be able to play Uncharted or Little Big Planet. And, let's not forget that the Vita costs a less than most smart phones.


I haven't had time to explore all of Vita's features yet but, they're all in there. Multimedia, wireless connectivity, music playback... it's all in there. Add to that one of the best laid out, intuitive and responsive user interfaces and even non gamers should be happy to have a Vita around.


A couple of things. The most annoying is, of course, the hyper-overpriced memory card. You can't play 'big games' without one and Sony decided to make lots of money on this proprietary 'must have' add-on which is anything but optional. Then there's of course Sony not making the Passport program available in the US. We have a PSP and lots of games on UMDs. Not being able to play them on the Vita is very frustrating.

Other than that... perhaps I should have titled my review 'gamer changer' because the Vita is likely to change me into a more active portable player. I used to prefer the PS3 over the PSP but I'm not sure this will always be the case in the future. I know that I won't put the Vita down until I'm done with Uncharted and once I complete that there are at least half a dozen games available on lunch date that I'd like to play.

Oh and... I don't really like sharing our Vita with the kids at this time but I have to :)



Before deciding whether you want to buy a Vita and as you are budgeting for one, keep the following in mind:

* SINGLE-USER SYSTEM - or so it is meant to be at this time. Like the PSP, the Vita will recognize only ONE account. Unlike the PS3, you can't have other members of your family or friends log with a sub-account. If you are planning to share the PSV, Sony suggests that individual users keep their game saves on separate memory cards but you will still be logged on the Vita as the one user who 'owns' it.

* TROPHIES - A Sony representative confirmed to me that only the 'owner' will get credit for the trophies, no matter who may be earning them during gameplay because the PSV only recognized one user.

* DOWNLOADS - If you buy a 'download' you will have to download that game on each of your family members memory cards who wish to play that game individually.

* MEMORY CARDS SIZE - see above for the multiple users scenario. In addition, get the biggest memory card you can possibly afford. The size of downloaded games tends to be enormous. Uncharted alone is 3.2 GB which is just about all that a 4 GB card can hold. Most games I care about seem to be 2 GB or larger.

* DON'T PLAN ON BUYING MANY DOWNLOADABLE GAMES - see above. Half a dozen downloaded games would fill up your 16 GB memory card with little room for anything else. I would buy games on physical media whenever possible.

>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
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on March 7, 2012
I have had this for 17 days, and so far I love it! I was worried whether it would be worth it, mainly because of the pricing, memory cards, and amount of games. I have a ps3 and buying games for two systems doesn't seem likely for a college student! Priced at only 20 bucks less than a ps3 game and depending on the title, it could set you back a lot. Even with all this, these are my reasons for why you should get it (and why not):

Feels nice in your hands, perfect size, not too heavy, but not light in a way where it feels cheap
Amazing OLED screen, that is much bigger than the PSP's, Touch screen is great, and is being used nicely in some games
Back touch screen is also pretty interesting, and I can see where games can make real use of it (they did in Uncharted)
Dual analog sticks
Sensors are perfect
Buttons feel nice
The quad core processor is wicked fast and smooth
Sound is pretty good
Games play great, amazing upcoming line up

Ok to talk a little about my experiences with the ps vita, I absolutely love it. It just feels nice, and the OLED touch screen feels right at home with my normal touch screen electronics. Kind of funny that it comes with a tutorial. Loving the analog sticks, work great and are very responsive. To touch on that quad core processor, its so fast! I can literally press the home button in the middle of an intense action filled game (uncharted) which is probably memory intensive, do something on the home screen, go right back, and the game feels like it never left. There was no lag, unlike when this is done on the ps3, though to be fair, you can surf the net while on a game on the ps3, and not on the ps vita. Just feels nice to be able to play games on the go which so much power, especially when I never have time to just play for hours. Not much else to say except I cannot wait to see what the game developers can do when they make more games for the ps vita.

Battery life is a worry, 3 hours it had like 25% life left
Directional button is too close to the left analog stick
You cannot play ps one classics!
The psp games you can download, scale horribly on the ps vita, probably due to the difference in screen resolution.
As cool as the back touchpad is, it gets in the way of games that use it sometimes like uncharted.
Memory cards are expensive

So let me start with the battery life. It is pretty bad, which saddens me. Such great hardware, it is a shame the battery couldn't be 6 hours of hardcore gameplay. Sony could have added a bigger battery, I assume of course. After about 2 hours you better have that charger handy to not get too low. For on the go casual gaming, its probably enough, but for the players that are on it for hours playing an intense (graphically) game, its not enough. The charger isn't compact, so its just annoying. I plan on getting around that by buying an external charger to charge on the go. Its very inconvenient and costly to have to dish out more money to have a great gaming experience for longer that 4 hours, especially if you aren't near a charger for a 6 hour or longer trip. But again, if you are a casual gamer, its perfect, playing for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, a few times a day, not bad. I will assume when connected to wifi for online gameplay, my experience with the battery will be much worse. One thing that I am very disappointed in is the lack of prone classic playable games! With such small, almost nonexistent library of rpg/fps games, being able to bring classics to such an amazing machine is a must. Yet this is missing, and knowing this, I can honestly say, don't rush buying this until there is better support, since you'll find the number of games are lacking (though there are a decent amount as compared to the 3DS). The last thing I want to point out is the memory card. I won't reiterate what everyone else is saying. They are ridiculously expensive. I get that it is suppose to keep the hacking to a minimum... but for god sakes, 50 dollars for a 16GB memory card?? Sony is literally sucking it for all its worth. Its a shame seeing as its an amazing products. The little things count.
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on February 27, 2012
Overall rating is 3.5 stars, but since that's not an option I had to go with 3 stars.

4 stars - Hardware
4 stars - Games
3 stars - Operating System and Web Browser
3 stars - Playstation Store online


The Good:

The Vita is a beautiful design, and it feels very solid in your hands. It's nice to finally have dual analog sticks, and the touch screen is very smooth and responsive. The rear touch pad has added an interesting new dimension to several games, such as Escape Plan and Mutant Blobs Attack.

The Vita's 5" screen is sharp and vibrant, vastly improved over the PSP. Look up 'mBVi3KbHPgY' on Youtube for a comparison of Hot Shots Golf on the Vita vs PSP. The Vita blows away the PSP!

The speakers are a definite improvement over my PSP, the sounds during Escape Plan were just amazing.

Speaker volume controls are under your right index finger, the perfect position!

Attaching the Vita to a PS3: I have a wireless keyboard receiver and USB mini-B cable coming off my PS3, so there are no open USB ports up front. I use the mini-B cable to charge my PS3 controller, and to attach my PSP. The PS Vita uses a new proprietary USB cable, so I found this adapter on Amazon that allows me to attach the Vita to the USB mini-B cable:

Your Cable Store USB Female A To USB Mini Female B 5 Pin Adapter

The Not-So-Good:

No video-out capability, which given the Vita's high resolution graphics is unfortunate.

The battery life has been decent for me so far, but a friend tells me that during an intense Uncharted gaming session, a full battery is empty in less than 3 hours.


Cross-Platform Play & Remote Play: Most games are not compatible. Sony should change their webpage to say "Planned for Summer or Fall 2012 release", because right now this just doesn't work for most games.

Video file playback: The PS Vita is limited to specific MP4 and H.264 file types. Forget about avi, wmv, mkv, DVD files, etc. without doing a lengthy file conversion first. Android phone and tablet owners can download the free 'MX Player' application that will play back just about any video format, but Sony Vita owners don't have that option. I can copy a TV show from my home theater PC and watch it on my 5-inch Android tablet, but on the Vita the file will not play.

The Web Browser -- This is just not up to par for a handheld released in 2012. I expect to rotate the Vita in my hand and have the browser change from portrait to landscape mode, but this DOES NOT WORK. I went to Youtube to check the latest FPS Russia video, and look for a video review of Hot Shots Golf, but this DOES NOT WORK. The Vita does not support Youtube, PERIOD. Then I went to Amazon's home page to check the daily Lightning Deals, and this DOES NOT WORK. Lastly, I was on movietickets(dot)com to buy some tickets to the show, and the Vita's browser DOES NOT WORK. Maybe there will be a browser update, or maybe we can buy the Dolphin HD or Opera browser in the Playstation Store in the near future, but as of right now, the Vita browser is limited.


The first decision to make is how to buy the games, either Digital Download from the Playstation Store or order the physical game cartridge from Amazon.

We should support Amazon and buy the game cartridges here, for several reasons:

+game carts can be traded with friends, traded-in for store credit, or re-sold for cash. Digital downloads from the Sony PlayStation Store are locked to your online account and have zero resale or trade-in value.

+when I insert the Uncharted game cart into my Vita, in just a few seconds I have transferred 3.2 gigabytes of gaming goodness into my Vita. In comparison, the digital download might take several hours, then it has to be transferred from the PC or PS3 to the Vita using the slow USB cable. Then 3.2 gigabytes of memory card space is needed to hold the Uncharted game, memory space which is worth about 10 d0llars.

+physical game cards will naturally go down in price over time, due to normal supply & demand. For example, Pilotwings and Nintendogs were both launch titles for the 3DS, and they are now selling for HALF the price of launch day. Digital downloads may never see those kind of normal, market price adjustments. For examples of this, just look at PSP game prices on the Playstation Store, then compare to the better Amazon pricing.

Of course there are some games exclusively on the Playstation Store, but they are usually priced lower and with smaller file sizes. For example, Mutant Blobs Attack and Escape Plan are two excellent games that don't take long to download and are a great value.


I started out with Hotshots Golf, Lumines, and Rayman Origins.

I've played Hotshots Golf ever since the PS1 days, but this new Vita edition is still a blast to play, and looks great. Lumines is fun too, I was a big fan of Lumines 1 & 2 on the PSP.

Rayman Origins looks amazing and is fun, but I think it's the exact same game that is already on the PS3 and XBox360.

In the PS Store, I bought Escape Plan and Mutant Blobs attack, both highly recommended! My next purchase will be Super Stardust Delta, another great title.

Next I tried some PSP games on the Vita: Pinball Fantasies and Pinball Dreams are Mini's that work great on the Vita, they look better here than on the PSP. Also, Capcom Classics Collection works fine on the Vita.


The Playstation Store is part of the PS Vita experience. Even if we buy all our games here on Amazon, there are still a few online exclusives that must be purchased and downloaded from Sony.

I was browsing the store on my PS3, and found 27 Vita games were available for purchase. 18 of these games included a Preview, showing either screen shots or video clips. The other 9 showed nothing, expecting us to buy these games sight unseen, or go do our own research.

I can't believe that Sony still doesn't get it. EVERY game in the store should have a Preview. Sony should require it of the publishers. That's the way Microsoft runs their online store. Microsoft wants to be up-front and honest and lay the cards on the table, so there's no buyers remorse. Almost every game in the Microsoft store also has a free trial download. Sony could take a lesson from them.

Ok so then I went to the Playstation Store from my Vita, and was surprised to see that NONE of the games for sale had Preview screen shots or videos. Unbelievable!


The PS Vita is a beauty to behold, a BIG step-up from the PSP, with some truly good launch games.

Now Sony needs to bring their A-game and fix some of Vita's shortcomings. Make the PS Store more user friendly, get Remote Play and Cross Platform Play working, as advertised, and fix the browser. How can ANY handheld not support Youtube in 2012? Lastly, how about a better app for video playback?

UPDATE May-30-2012

There is now a javascript webpage available that allows Sony Vita owners to watch Youtube videos! The downside is that you have to download the entire video to your memory card before you can watch it, there is no video streaming or previewing available. Just lookup 'vita youtube' on Youtube.

The Vita has been out for 6 months now, why can't Sony give us a proper Youtube application? Samsung and Apple (and others) support Youtube just fine, they get the job done for their customers.
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on March 14, 2012
When the original PSP was released, I immediately put it on my Christmas list and eagerly waited its arrival. The display was quite impressive and the hardware was unmatched by any handheld at the time, but the game library was lacking. Early on, the only game I felt was worthwhile was Wipeout: Pure, but I did not really feel inclined to purchase beyond (BEYOND!) that. A few years down the road, I bought a few more choice titles for it but I still could not shake the feeling that the PSP was some what abandoned. Titles such as GoW, Daxter, Lumines, and Persona were impressive, but outside that, the PSP library did not impress me (I'm sure many of you will disagree and I am more than willing to hear your opinions!). All in all, I felt burned by the original PSP.

Then we hear of the NGP, which would later be known as the PS Vita. It had a beautiful screen, dual analog sticks, and a processor that could wipe the floor with any iDevice at the time. My hopes for redemption were elevated, but I remained wry. Would Sony flirt with my hopes for a truly great handheld once again? Only to leave me burned at the end? I wanted my GB SP to finally be topped, but I kept my hopes in check.

Having bought a PS Vita this past Monday, I cannot say how this device will hold up in the long run, but I can say without a doubt that this is one heck of a machine. The OLED display is stunning. Letting colors and animations pop off the screen with grace. And the opening library is stronger than any one could have predicted (before last year's E3 that is), with titles such as Rayman: Origins, Super Stardust Delta, Lumines and Uncharted.

What they have done with the PS Vita's main menu is quite interesting. Instead of going with the XMB, Sony has elected to use an iOS style bubble system, clearly laying the Vita's tools before you. To open an application, one must simply touch a bubble (the menu uses touch only navigation), and a "page" is opened for it. I found this addition slightly unnecessary, but it makes multitasking on the device quite easy. You can have a page open for a game, your friends list, Near, and trophies all at the same. Making it easy to simply switch from a game to your friends list and back again, picking up exactly where you left off.

Like most systems made by Sony, the PS Vita is made with the hardcore gamer in mind. Its trophy support, dual analog sticks, and game library prove this very fact. Sony knows that the less gaming gamer will be very content with the games found in the app store, which give much more of a pick up and play casual experience. The Vita, on the other hand, is designed for the trophy hunters amongst us, who play games for the long haul and expect a strong (albeit free) internet suite. Apps such as near are designed with this concept in mind. You can find players in your neighborhood who play the same games as you. And even see which games their recommend to their comrades.

One of the downfalls for the Vita, however, is Sony itself. The proprietary memory card system is atrocious. A 32 GB memory card for 100 dollars is simply appalling considering the standards for memory pricing today. Having spoken to many about this, I know that the memory card schtick is alienating many, keeping the Vita from being the crazy success it deserves to be. Considering how rampant piracy was on the PSP, it makes sense for Sony to go the proprietary route, but it was by no means necessary for them to make them cost this much.

The next feature of the Vita I will discuss is its backwards compatibility. Keep in mind, Sony has ditched the UMD formate, which is a massive relief. That system just added moving parts, making more opportunities for unit failure and shorter battery life (which is a whopping 5 hours now). The way backwards compatibility is handled through what is available on the PSN Store. Now, Sony released a list of PSP games (about 200 or so) that can be directly downloaded to your Vita, but this is not an absolute list. There are ways to get more games onto your PSP, using your PS3 as an intermediate. If you want to know more details, look up the video on or on youtube (search "how to get PSP games on my VITA IGN, and it should bring you right to it!). I cannot attest to how well this works, as I haven't tested it yet, but feel free to comment about it below!

Next, the battery life. The batteries on your Vita should last anywhere between 3 to 5 hours. This number may seem minuscule, but when you consider the hardware it is running, it is quite impressive. Personally, I would have preferred they ditched the touch panels and added in maybe 2 hours of life to the Vita, but what are you gonna do? Rumor has it that Sony will release an extended battery pack to add a few extra hours, but I have not heard anything as of yet about that. (Sound off below if you have heard otherwise!)

The Playstation Vita is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Its revolutionary power, dual sticks, and game library certainly make it a contender for one of the best hardcore portable platforms out there. Its price, as well as the memory card situation hold it back from true greatness, making me take away 1 star from my overall review. If I could, I would have given it 3 and a half stars, but alas, technology has not gone that far (catch up Amazon ;)). If you are looking for a powerful up and coming machine that you can carry with you, than look no further than the PS Vita. That is if you do not mind making a large investment. I hope this system continues to receive the support from Sony it has today, and solidifies the dominance it so rightly deserves.
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on February 22, 2012
The answer to that question is both a yes and no. To be quite honest, if you are a casual smartphone user who plays games in their iOS or Android device and aren't concerned with games, the Vita is not for you. However, if you are a smartphone user and yearn to be able to plays higher quality games with controls that makes sense on a screen that won't hurt your eyes, the PS Vita is right up your alley. So let's get into it:

The Playstation Vita itself a beautiful piece of hardware itself with:

- 5in. OLED touchscreen that puts out ridiculous resolutions.
- back touchpad like what you would use on your laptop
- two analog sticks like your PS3 or 360 controller
- and feels light but having the weight of something premium
- A front facing and rear facing camera just like an iPhone

The OLED screen is gorgeous and you will never have a problem being able to read or touch anything on your screen. Also the power button has been placed on top of the unit to prevent accidental pushes while the headphone jack is underneath to prevent pulling anything out. The analog sticks themselves, while on the small side, are just as responsive and intuitive as their larger cousins on the PS3 Dualshock. Overall the unit is sleek, sexy, and pretty darn cool to hold and look at.

However there are some cons:

- The right analog stick is a few centimeters away from the X button on the Vita. For people with smaller hand sizes this won't be a problem but as I have larger hands, I noticed my thumb will accidentally hit the stick while I press buttons. Not a big factor but slightly annoying.

- The analog sticks themselves are fine but as I said before, people with large hands will have to learn how to adapt to using them. Hey, if we can text paragraphs at the speed of sound on an iPhone, a small joystick is a piece of cake.

Onto the actual software of the Vita, from the get go, Sony walks you through every step of the way while setting up your Vita. From accessing your Playstation Network account to applying for the AT&T Data plan (if you bought the 3G/WiFi model) to even adjusting the time, it's all done in an easy way. I was very impressed. Moving onward you have "apps" such as:

- Welcome Park: A mini-game filled app that helps you learn all the features of your Vita and does it in an easy to understand manner. Even a child could understand this app.

- Near: AN app that allows you to "see" other users in a few mile radius who also have Vitas. From here you can send friend requests, rate games, and even leave gifts for other users to find. Very neat.

- Party: The biggest app you should pay attention too. It's basically Xbox Live on the Vita. You can add people to your party from different games, and talk to them (Yes I said talk!) on your Vita while doing other things. This is the killer app of Vita in my opinion.

- Netflix: Looks amazing on the OLED screen.

- Freetweet: Lets you post tweets on Twitter while playing games

I could go on and on but the interface on the Vita is very easy to navigate as all of your apps are cute bubbles you can move around just like on an iPhone. Also, you can press the Playstation button on your Vita and it will 'suspend' your current game or app (just like an iPhone) and let you "tear" the page away to delete it. Very cool.

CONCLUSION: This is where I have to draw the line. As a smartphone user who plays games on my phone, I see the value in the Vita as it provides social and gaming experiences that you truly cannot find anywhere else. The only thing a Vita doesn't do is make phone calls and even then the Vita is getting a Skype app soon to allow you to make calls. However, I know there will be people who don't need to have a Vita when their iPhone gets the job done and that is perfectly fine. However, if you want to take that next step and buy quite possibly the greatest gaming handheld ever made (Yes I can say that with a straight face), then get a Vita. It really is a gamechanger. :)
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on October 8, 2012
Fist of all I have to say that the Vita has great potential, and already has some decent games. That being said, I think Sony is missing the mark on a few things when it comes to the Vita.

First off why wasn't it fully capable of running everything the PSP can run out of the box? After a few updates I still have a few PSP, minis, & PSone games that it wont play. Their installation bubbles are still sitting on my PS3 waiting for updates to come along that will make them work. I'm not holding my breath. Not that I could put them on my Vita anyway...

Which brings me to my second issue. Why on earth would they limit how many "apps" you can have on this thing at one time? 100 is the limit. I'm sure it's not a major problem yet, but it will be once more people build up sizable game collections on the Vita. I ran into the problem once the update for PSone support was released, as I have quite a few PSone downloads. I reached the 100 "bubble" mark on my Vita (that's 10 full homescreens), and now I can't put any more games or apps on my Vita, despite the fact that I have over 6GB of storage left on my 32GB card. Come on Sony! Why limit how many games someone can buy and have on the system? Now I have to inconveniently play swap-in/swap-out with my games instead of having all of my Vita compatible games conveniently ON THE VITA! I absolutely hate the whole bubble set-up anyway, give me a simple folder set-up like on the PS3. You know a folder for Vita games, a folder for PSP games, ect. That works for me, 100 bubbles that I have to manually organized doesn't work for me. Sony, ever hear the phrase, "If it isn't broke don't fix it"?

Now that I have gotten my major gripes out of the way, I'll say what I absolutely love about the system. The graphics are amazing for a handheld, heck they are amazing period! Uncharted looks almost as good as the PS3 Uncharted games. The cross-play games I have look virtually identical to their PS3 counterparts. PSP & PSone games look better than ever. Minis look just as good if not better than on PS3. This little thing is a powerhouse!

I've come to realize that downloadable games are they way to go with handhelds. While the Vita's data cards are much more portable and durable than the PSP's UMDs, downloadable games take up zero actual space. The trade off is needing disc storage space, but to me it's worth it in the long run. It's a real luxury to be able to grab just my Vita on the way out the door, and know I have 75+ games at my disposal. It makes me wish that the Vita had at least 128GB of built in storage. I wouldn't own any physical versions of Vita games if it had enough storage. 32GB isn't nearly enough to go all download, considering I've almost filled my 32GB card in less than a year. Also realizing that my second big gripe above makes storage size a moot point anyway.

Cross-play is an awesome feature, and I would like to see more games that exist on both PS3 & Vita make use of it. I'm looking at you Mortal Kombat and Ultimate Marvel v. Capcom. I think it's a serious system selling feature, yet it seems to be being mostly ignored by 3rd party developers, a real shame.

Cross-buy is another wonderful thing. Buy PS3 game, get Vita downloadable version of same game free! How can you beat that? On games I was already going to buy like Sly 4 it's an awesome bonus, but it has also made me take a second look at games I wasn't necessarily interested in like Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. I will no doubt be buying both of those games when they launch in case it's a limited time offer. I have already bought almost all of the cross-buy download only games, mostly to send a message to Sony, that this is the way to go with customers who own both a PS3 and Vita.

A few little minor things that I would like to see in future updates:

Downloaded PS2 games support. The system is more than capable. So why not?

Cloud saving for PSone classics & Minis. It's inconvenient to have to copy save data manually to PS3 to play at home then manually copy the new save data back to the Vita when I'm going to be away. Cloud saving would eliminate all of that.

I wish that when you turn the Vita sideways in the music player that it would go into a long view like most music players on smart phones do. It would just be easier to operate with one hand that way.

I would also like to see more video formats supported, but I doubt that will happen as H.264 seems to be the new standard. A real pain for me since I have all my videos formatted in the old MP4 format.

Game series I would like to see make their way to Vita:

Grand Theft Auto. Something along the same lines as the PSP games. Not Chinatown Wars though. While it may have been a good game after GTAIII I can't go back to "helicopter" view.

The Elder Scrolls. I'm not looking for Skyrim, but a port of Oblivion or an HD remake of Morrowind would be awesome! I would also like to see a completely new Elder Scrolls game made specifically for the Vita, that would be EPIC!

Gran Turismo. How a Vita version of this hasn't been at least announced is beyond me.

Batman Arkham series, hands down the best Batman games period on the go! Who wouldn't want that?

More HD collections. They did Metal Gear Solid HD collection on Vita, and I know Final Fantasy X HD is coming to Vita, but why not Sly, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, God of War, ect.? All of those games would be amazing on the go in HD!

All in all I'm mostly satisfied with the Vita, and it will get better as time goes on and it gets a bigger library, and further updates. Worth the money now, but just barely. If you're on the fence, you might want to wait until a price cut or until that "must have" game comes out.
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on February 24, 2012
After playing around with my PS Vita for a couple days, I've been able to test out most of the features and game demos to give it the best possible review. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with my Vita. It's definitely worth the money I spent. I think it has potential to be a very successful system. I'm excited to see what developers create for it. A PS Vita version of Monster Hunter would make it sell out the roof, especially in Japan. Here's some features and components I thought stood out to me when I played it, good/bad.

-The Design: One can quickly identify the Vita as a jumbo-sized PSP 1000, except the Vita is quite different. It is extremely light for it's size, and very sleek.

-The Screen: The first thing that stands out to anybody who picks up the device. The 5" OLED display is beautiful to the say the least. Along with the vivid display, is the touch component. The screen is extremely responsive, as responsive or better than my own iPhone's. No lag, whatsoever. A truly beautiful thing, especially for a gaming device where a majority of the controls rely on the screen's sensitivity.

-The Controls(Buttons, Sticks): One thing that Sony hyped up that supposed to revolutionize handheld gaming was the addition quasi analog sticks. The initial feeling is a very grippy one, which is good for a gamer. Although very small in comparison to its Dualshock brother, the two control sticks do a great job when handling games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss. The X[]'O buttons are smaller compared to its predecessors' but once in gameplay their size does not pose an issue.

-The OS/UI: After reading some earlier reviews before release, I found that many people disliked the UI that Sony had implemented with the PS Vita. I on the other hand, disagree. It is very user-friendly, as I had no problems using it. They made closing apps really easy by just a drag of the finger. Although it's not as simple looking as it's ancestor's XMB, it is still really easy to use and find things.

-Party App: FINALLY. Something every Sony gamer has been calling for since the minute they played their systems online. The ability to do cross-game chat is huge for the Vita. It has the ability to chat with up to 8 people. The voice quality is very good, almost phone call quality. Very impressed with this feature.

-Near: Near is an app that shows near by Vita players in your current location. It shows displays your PSN ID to others on a radar and shows the closest players and what games they're playing. I was surprised to see about 20 Vita players in a 2 mile radius around ASU campus. A good addition to the Vita.


-Remote Play: I was very eager to try out Remote Play, to see if Sony had made any improvements on it since the PSP days. I was disappointed to find that it was EXACTLY the same as it was on my PSP. I tried to play many of my PSN games but to no avail, the same message over again, "This feature is not available." I thought maybe with the increased computing power of the Vita, it would have the ability to do more with this feature. I was wrong. Hopefully Sony addresses this issue in an a feature update.

-The Ability to play PS1 Games(Or Lack there of): It seems like a regression of sorts to not include a feature the PSP had. With the PS Store's large collection(and continually growing one), why not include the functionality to play PS1 games. I know Sony says they're working on the issue, but I really would have liked to see them have it on day 1. It would give owners something to play if they didn't buy any games at launch.

-Camera: You'd think with Sony making the Vita, they would include a high quality camera. Nope. It's average at best. It's very grainy and doesn't focus well. But it's not such a big deal, you buy a playstation to game right?
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on February 23, 2012
The PSVITA in a nutshell

The Vita overall is an exceptional piece of gaming hardware.

-OLED is clear, vivid, and best of all pretty resistant to finger prints.
-PSN is responsive and easy to use.
-Dual analog stick 100% functional (unlike the nub).
-Rear touch pad is innovative and very responsive.
-Front touch works as well as any apple device I've ever owned.

-Battery life (5-6 hours with brightness down).
-No PS1 classic support as of 02-23-2012(there are plans to add support down the road per SONY).

I believe that the Vita is where Sony finally got it right, this is the first handheld from them that I love almost as much as I did my GBA.
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on March 10, 2012
I bought a Vita for the sole fact that I am a big Sony fan, not always the case, but it happen when I was converted in the 8th Grade when the Sega Saturn sucked a big one. Ever since then I have been a fan. But even as a fan I will always admit that the Playstation brand launches have ALWAYS! been lackluster. But that all changed with the Vita. At launch Sony already had most of the online infrastructure for the Vita functional (in North America anyways). Games? Hot Shots Golf, Uncharted, Mod Nation Racer, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ninja Gaiden, Escape Plan, just to name a few. The hardware itself is amazing, its basically a portable PS3 with a front touch-screen, a rear touch-pad, dual analog sticks and only missing two shoulder buttons but in some of the games out there the touch-pad and touch-screen make up for it, Trophy support, I can really go on and on about what I like about this system, but that would make this review too long.

But like anything else there are some slight drawbacks, first off the battery life is lacking when gaming, which is a bummer considering this is a gaming platform, some games out right now are really pushing the new tech like Touch-screen, Touch-pad and even the "Three-Axis" controls (motion controls) to the point where it starts to feel real gimmicky. The internet browser is terrible, but if you're really that desperate for a mobile browser buy a start phone or a tablet, this is for gaming.

But all in all this system is great, the few flaws that it has really don't hinder the power, performance and fun that can already be had with the system, unlike when the PS3 launch, where there was like 1 game for the first 6-months. And up until the Launch of the Vita that has been the case for just about every system launch in the last 20 years. PS3 - Resistance, X360 - Call of Duty 2, Wii - ??????? Wii Sports???, PS2 - SSX, Xbox - Halo, Dreamcast - Soul Caliber, Gamecube - Luigi's Mansion,
Really the last system I can think off that really took off is the Super Nintendo since it launched with Super Mario World. Everything after that up until the Vita was Meh.

So in the end if you really want a Vita I would say get one, there are games in just about every genre, so your bound to find something you like, Minus a shooter. But if you're on the fence about I would say hold off until the next revision comes out with a better battery life and possible slight improvements.

But for me, I am super happy I bought this at launch as it has rarely seen a day off since I got it and the only reason I haven't played it at times, is because life has gotten in the way. Stupid life and all its rules. 5 star product.
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