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Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly great handheld, March 14, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: PlayStation Vita - Wifi (Video Game)
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 ign.com 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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012 2:11:11 AM PDT
Or Efrima says:
Thank you for the great review! Very thorough and well written :)

I was wondering if you could please advise me or this matter...I'm currently contemplating getting a Vita or a 3ds, the choice is a very tough one ^^
I even made a list of game's i'd like to play on each console, but it just came out as a tie!
Games like Super Mario 3d Land, Pokemon, Zelda and the likes are what attracts me to the 3ds..as well as the nostalgic value it may hold..(ohhh the good ol' game boy days..)
While the Vita seems to be leading hardware wise and potential wise..I highly enjoyed some of the games on my PSP...I must say that LocoRoco is one of my favorite games on the system..Patapon was also pretty brilliant as well as some of the other games..
(I'm not sure if you even have a 3ds, but as you mentioned the GB SP, I assumed you would have at least had some insight about what made you choose between the two ^^)

It's a tough choice alright..especially with the price difference between the two!
Have you had any chance to try the multiplayer on one of them?

Anyway, thanks ahead for any reply, and have an awesome day!

Or

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 6:32:09 AM PDT
E. Greenham says:
Thank you for your kind comment! The choice between the Vita and a 3DS is tough one indeed. I for one never really felt compelled to buy a 3DS. The original Nintendo DS was a big let down for me (hence why the GBSP was on top) and 3D for me feels like one hell of a gimmick.
For someone who IS considering it though, I would say that it really depends on what kind of gaming experience you are looking for. Nintendo has always been the tried and true for portable gaming. Their libraries have been vibrant and varied and they are always child friendly. In addition to that, Nintendo has started taking a swing at the online gaming world with their latest handheld. Games such as SFIV and Mario Kart have taken the plunge and have seemed to have down quite well. So if you are looking for the new handheld from the kings of old (with some new tricks), that the 3DS is definitely the way to go.
The PS Vita, on the otherhand, is a much risker investment. Our last experience with a Sony handheld was not particularly pretty and so its all about hoping here. But the hardware is definitely there, leading me to believe that it will be supported for years to come (I've been proven wrong before though).
Personally, the library of games for the Vita is much more appealing than that of the 3DS, but for people that love Mario, SF, Kid Icarus, and Star Fox, it cannot be beat.
I hope this somewhat helped :D. Best wishes friends.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 6:56:54 AM PDT
Or Efrima says:
Thank you for replying :)

The days of the GBSP were pretty awesome alright! The 3ds sounds like a solid device, the 3d looks pretty neat, but I guess I wouldn't use it all too much..like you said, sounds like just one hell of a gimmick.
I do miss all the old games..the GB/A games as well as the other classics, I heard that you could play most of them on the 3ds (not officially I guess) and that gives the 3ds a few critical points.

The vita's current and upcoming library sounds more varied though...with a better share of "hardcore" games as well as lighter, more casual ones..like locoroco and LBP I guess...
Thinking about it surfaced the idea of just getting a ps3..I mean, for the price they're asking for the vita+mem card+game, I could buy a new ps3 plus a few games / accessories..
So, now the worm has turned xD The vita vs it's father...darn it! I always get myself into such dilemmas, haha..
That Ni No Kuni game on the ps3 sounds amazing!

It's my own decision, but I highly appreciate the opinions of others, and I apologize if I'm being a burden :)
I wouldn't mind getting either a handheld or a full blown console, despite being a pc gamer..but maybe it'll make more sense getting a handheld in that case..aaarrghh! You see who I have to deal with? ^^

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 7:08:32 AM PDT
E. Greenham says:
oh yikes quite the dilemma! Funnily enough Vita was designed to have a partnership with the PS3. Games like Killzone 3 can be "remotely played" on your Vita (a feature Sony has started to heavily push through their commercials). If you follow IGN's Podcast Beyond, you will have heard their predictions of the PS3 and Vita some day being bundled together. Obviously Sony has never commented on this but it seems like that would be the easiest solution for you. Hopefully that someday becomes a reality. Personally, if I had to choose between a PS3 and Vita, I would go PS3. Much larger library and much more established community. Once again though, the Vita is a new product and so there is the cool feeling of supporting something from the beginning and watching it grow.
And if you are a PC gamer, odds are your PC will be your main hub. If that is the case, the Vita makes much more sense than a PS3.

Happy gaming!
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