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Customer Review

422 of 473 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game Changer?, February 22, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: PlayStation Vita - Wifi (Video Game)
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.

HARDWARE AND FEATURES

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

THE GAMING EXPERIENCE

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.

EVERYTHING ELSE

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.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

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 :)

____________________________________________

NOTES OF CAUTION

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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Tracked by 13 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 47 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 22, 2012 11:15:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2012 11:16:59 AM PST
JNohr83 says:
SO after reading your review and such you seem pretty unbiased and since you're older (well old enough to have kids) youre not some hyped up teen who needs to buy every big gadget they can get their hands on...I have one question, is this worth buying if youre not into portable gaming? Kind of stupid since its a gaming machine right? Well I currently have a PS3 and a 3DS (got the 3DS to have a Nintendo machine in the house). Otherwise Im not really into portable gaming consindering most of my gaming is done in a house. I know of PSVitas additional features and has some exclusive games only to the system but for $249... I can get another PS3 for that price which has a blu-ray player. I dont know, what do you think? I might hold out til its cheaper, I had a PSP which I Loved at first, then it sat by the way side....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 11:42:23 AM PST
A. Dent says:
Okay, this is how I see it.

I bought this because I had a deal with one of my kids - it's a reward for him doing well in school. That being said, I am likely to use the PSV a lot more than the PSP because... well... sometimes the PS3 is booked and the PSV is so much like the PS3 and it seem to integrate with it very well. I am still exploring this part but it's going to take another day or two because I'm so hooked into Uncharted at the moment.

Is it expensive? At $300 (I am adding the cost of a memory card) it's where some of the lower-end tablets are. For your $300 you get a first class game machine that can do everything that a tablet does, sometimes better. Of course, there's no Android or Apple marketplace, only Sony's but what Sony's marketplace may lack in numbers is compensated by quality.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 11:47:29 AM PST
Gamer Dude says:
If you really think about it, $249 isn't expensive for a Vita. Let's compare the Vita's features to PS3's...

What Vita has that PS3 doesn't: OLED screen, 2 cameras, a mic, speakers, PSP support, the ability to play away from home(obviously), remote play, rear touch pad, front touch screen, and not to mention it's the first portable with dual analog sticks.

What PS3 has that Vita doesn't: Bluray player, USB slots, HDMI support, more memory.

Considering the Vita is brand new technology and the PS3 is pretty old, you're getting a lot for your money.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 12:08:22 PM PST
A. Dent says:
I am not comparing it to a PS3 because the PSV is a portable. A fair price comparison would be with the competing Nintendo product and with smart phones and tablets.

We paid $499.99 for our first PS3 some 5 years ago. I expect that, 5 years from now, the PSV will sell for less than $250. The PSP went down in price too after a few years.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 1:15:18 PM PST
JNohr83 says:
Yeah GamerDude the specs are nice, plus for $250 you get alot of hardware for very little. I guess since I dont take really even take my 3DS around outside the house, all the portable qualities mean very little to me. What I do like though, which any dude with a significant other will agree me is the ability to play games while my GF watches her Vampire Diaries and whatever else chicks watch these days. Ive been reading alot of reviews and people rave about the hardware, but for me...if I had one, I wouldn't buy say Marvel VS Capcom 3 for the vita, Id just buy it for the PS3. So it really comes down to the exclusive games for the Vita. Albeit the launch library is the best ive seen in a long while, just isnt enough for me to drop the $250 right now I dont think.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 1:43:41 PM PST
Gamer Dude says:
A. Dent, I was talking to The_Fallen. My bad. Anyway I think waiting is a good idea if none of the launch games interest you. I personally am impatient so I ordered the Vita and I'm going to wait a couple months for LBP and Gravity Rush to be released. I haven't bought a handheld since the Gameboy Advance, so it's been awhile lol.

I mean from the sounds of it, you don't have that strong urge to get it like I did. I say wait until some more great exclusives come out(Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Bioshock, etc) THEN get the system. Considering you have a 3DS, that should hold you over when you're GF wants to watch her shows.

Posted on Feb 23, 2012 3:58:50 PM PST
I got the system from amazon today. I really like it so far. I also got uncharted with it. I have two more games that will be here tomorrow. Hot Shots and Rayman. I can not try out uncharted because the memory card will be here tomorrow!!!! It is SO close. As far as the memory card caution thing goes, why not just get a memory card for game downloads, one for game saves and one for movies and music? That is what I do with my Wii. I have like two or three cards for it. There is no need to have everything all jumbled up. But, I do really like the system so far. I am very impressed. I hated my PSP. A lot of neat things you can do with the Vita even without being able to play games. I hope they really use everything that the Vita can do in future games.

Maybe now that there is some real competition, Nintendo will put out some quality games for the 3DS. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of good games for it. I just got resident evil and metal gear this week. But I want some Nintendo games for the thing. Instead of wishing for one system to fail. I am just happy being able to enjoy them all.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 5:26:40 PM PST
I hope more people start to think like you about videogames. That last paragraph is full of win. Congratulations.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 7:08:30 PM PST
M. Henzel says:
I am still not 100% sold on the Vita.
I am a long time Sony fan, but there are a couple things that made me cancel my pre-order...

1. I am still feeling burned by Sony's choice not to bring the PSP UMD Passport program to the US.

As an owner of over 100 UMDs I was looking forward to bringing some of those over to play on the Vita's beautiful OLED screen.

2. The price of Vita memory. There is no reason to introduce yet another memory card when the others are faster, smaller, cheaper. No reason other than to price gouge the consumer which is too bad. Even the most die hard Sony fan has agreed on this. $100 for a 32GB Vita card Vs. $28 for a 32GB SDHC.

They should have at least included a free 4GB card like Nintendo has done with the 3DS. Seeing how most of the new games are going to require this.

3. The price of Vita games. They all seem to be about $10-$15 more than you'd expect to pay for a portable game. I was pretty shocked when they announced Uncharted: Golden Abyss would be retailing for $50. Sure it may be good (not as good as any of the console Uncharted, compared to reviews I've read, but $50? When you can buy Uncharted 3 for less, this seems high. Same with Rayman Origins.. Vita version is $45, PS3 version (w/art book is only $29). Lumines at $40 is high for a puzzle game IMO. I know the PS3 versions of the comparisons are not brand new, but they aren't old either.

4. I thought they would allow those of us who owned a PS3 to play our PSN games on the Vita. Maybe I heard wrong, but I could have sworn this was announced at E3 2011. PSN integration with some type of cross compatibility (much like how PSP Minis play only both the PS3 and PSP with a single purchase.
I already bought games like Plants Vs. Zombies, Wipeout, Super Stardust, Modnation Racers, and now I'd have to buy these all a second time to play on a smaller screen. Very pricey when you add it all up.

I hate to sound too negative on this, but as someone who really liked the PSP back when that was released and who has invested a lot of money into the PS3/PSN - I'm trying to find more reasons to like the Vita.

I think Sony needs to adjust a few things to make it more appealing to consumers. More of the same isn't going to cut it on the Vita. If they keep releasing high priced rehashes of PS3 games they are not going to do well I'm afraid.

I'm enjoying the 3DS and iPod Touch 4, but I'm not quite seeing where the Vita fits in just yet. We'll see what Sony can do to step it up a bit though. Maybe offer more PSN games that work on both systems for a single price. Maybe lower the prices of the games and memory. Something along those lines.

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 9:01:52 PM PST
Mark Lahren says:
Very helpful review. Thanks! I'm an older guy who hasn't kept up on portable gaming since the Gameboy Advance SP, so all the new features are foreign to me.

I have what is probably a dumb question: Do the games that come on physical media require online activation?
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A. Dent "Aragorn"
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