on May 7, 2014
I'm coming at this review from a person who bought an original Vita on day one, and who's been using it nearly every day since. I have over 100 Vita games on my download list and I own about twenty physical titles; it's the system I've used nearly more than any other, mainly thanks to daily public transportation.
The main reasons I wanted the new Vita was because I heard it was lighter and had better battery life, and I was interested in something new. I was also interested in Borderlands 2, which just sweetened the deal.
Overall it's a fantastic upgrade, way better in certain aspects than I was expecting, and the one downside isn't quite as bad as I feared.
* The Weight. Seriously, this can't be overstated enough, the new Vita is light. Like, almost alarmingly so when compared to the original. I picked up this Vita seconds after setting the older one down, and my first thought was I grabbed an empty shell.
* The Thinness. The slimmed down depth, along with the weight, makes the new Vita way more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
* The Materials. It's more plastic, but still feels high-end and solid with zero give if you try to bend it. There's also a great, slight matte coating around the back and sides, which helps the grip.
* The Buttons. The new start and select buttons are a godsend (you no longer have to dig the edge of your finger in to press them) and the updated PS, face and shoulder buttons are all refined with a better feel.
* The Little Things. Having the indicator lights on top of the system now makes them useful rather than annoying / distracting, a universal micro-USB input for power and data means it's easier to charge, and the smaller back touch pad means I've already have had way fewer accidental hits.
* The Screen (Initially). Going from OLED to LCD (and seeing comparison screen shots), I was ready for the worst. And, for a few seconds, it was horrible. I turned this new system on right after turning the old one off and was hit with a visual downgrade. Colors no longer popped, everything seemed more warm and mellow, and I had instant buyer's remorse.
* The Screen (An Hour Later). After letting Borderlands download I started the system back up and suddenly my opinion (and fears) started to waver. It looked good. No, wait, it looked great. Going back to a few older games still made it seem like it was slightly washed out, and there was still a lack of blinding colors here and there, but it didn't look bad. Just different. And the more I've played, the less it bothers me. Overall the screen isn't as good as the original, but it's more of a shift to the side, rather than a downgrade.
Overall I'm highly pleased with my purchase. The new weight and feel far outweigh the screen alteration, but be warned if you come from the original Vita it might be a huge hit at first.
If you're new to the platform, though, JUMP ON. There are dozens of great games, and it's a fantastic portable experience (and I've been using Remote Play quite a bit as well, which is FANTASTIC for bringing your PS4 gaming into any room in your house).
on May 10, 2014
There's plenty of great reviews on Amazon on this bundle, but I'll throw my 2 cents in.
Let me start by saying this is my first Vita, and I had not even played, touched, or seen one IRL till the bundle came in. I was inspired to buy the bundle when FPSE (Android PSX emulator) on my Nexus 5 overheated my phone, causing it to reboot frequently till it cooled down. I wanted to love Android gaming, but it's just not up to snuff yet, and quite frankly, I still need my phone to do phone stuff and can't afford to have it crap out because I want to do some gaming. Plus, lugging around the MOGA Pro controller is not all that fun.
Also, I've never played Borderlands on any console, neither 1 nor 2, so I've got a fresh perspective, which can be good or bad depending on your take.
Anyways, on to the review!
Vita-2000 (Vita Slim) -- for a first time Vita player, this thing is fantastic! Extremely light (I can barely tell the difference between picking up my Vita and my Nexus 5), battery life is EXTREMELY under-stated by Sony (battery has lasted me well over 7 hours and I still haven't seen a low battery warning yet), and the screen looks great! While I'm a fan of bright and snappy colors, I've never been huge on OLED screens because of the black spots that tend to pop up, so I was actually happy when I saw the Slim was coming with an LCD screen. For those who've never seen the OLED screen, you aren't missing anything as in my opinion, the screen looks phenomenal. The touchscreen is responsive, and even though I've never played a Vita before, I've had only one or two rear-touchpad accidental swipes. Those enlarged finger rests on the back are an excellent addition. Oh and Micro-USB is a GREAT addition. I can charge the Vita with any of the micro-USB cables I have lying around, and admittedly, the charger the Vita came with (with the power-brick, why is there a power-brick?!) is still in the box.
One big gripe that I hope will be alleviated soon is that all peripherals are targeted towards the original Vita (which is to be expected, of course). I was dying to get the Amazon Sony-approved Case, but I've read the Vita slim is a very tight fit in that case, and I'd rather wait for a revision than risk damaging it (what irony that would be, right?). Since Sony won't be developing the OG Vita anymore, I'd imagine 3rd party peripherals will follow suit and start developing cases, grips, and screen protectors for the Vita Slim. Here's hoping that's sooner rather than later!
Borderlands 2 (PS Vita) -- this game is FUN! The controls take some getting used to and you definitely have to jack the joystick sensitivity up in the options screen (8 was enough for me), but this game is great! While I normally hate cel-shaded graphics (case in point - X-Men Legends.... ARGH), they look phenomenal on the Vita screen and this game really pops. I haven't gotten far enough to notice any framerate issues, but I've seen in other reviews that they aren't show-stoppers, so I'm not concerned. I really enjoy the game's humor, and while it can be a bit tough to aim and fire with the small joysticks at first, you get used to it fast and start to have fun. I haven't tried out 2-player Co-Op but plan to as soon as I get comfortable with the game and won't embarrass myself too bad when playing with someone else :)
FYI - the download can take a while, everything including the DLC is almost 6 GB, which will eat up almost all available memory. As a result, I could only download smaller Vita indie games I picked up from PS+ (Velocity Ultra, Thomas Was Alone, etc) as opposed to bigger games like MGS HD and Persona 4. No big deal though, it'll force me to concentrate on Borderlands, and employ a "beat and delete" strategy. Then I can move onto other big titles I have waiting in my download queue.
Final Call - this bundle is awesome, and has made me fall in love with the Vita. I take it with me everywhere now, and it's re-invigorated my love for gaming. Having PS+ is amazing, and I don't plan on hitting up Gamestop anymore, just waiting till games either get heavily discounted or free on PSN. For those of you who currently have Vitas, I'd imagine this is a tough sell to buy another one, but for those who don't, this is a great way to get into Vita gaming.
Hope this helps!
on May 6, 2014
Bottom line: The Vita Slim/2000 is the best portable gaming device I've ever owned. It's everything the original Vita was, but better. Lighter, longer battery life, better controls, and an improved screen. I imported a Slim from Japan after my launch Vita mysteriously disappeared from a checked bag (thanks TSA!). I picked up the US bundle as well, and the US Slim is identical (aside from color) to the international versions.
- Much lighter and slimmer than the original Vita. It's less noticeable in a coat pocket, fits more snugly in a bag, and is generally a better commuter / travel device than the original. This may actually be a negative for adults with very large hands, as it'll be a bit harder for them to hold comfortably.
- The battery life is very good. The 4-6 hour advertised life is about right for games like Killzone. It lasts longer if you're plaything through PSOne Classics or simpler games (Spelunky, Guacamelee!, etc.) and longer still if you're playing with the screen at low brightness. My Slim makes it through flights (East -> West coast) that left the original model drained.
- The shoulder buttons are firmer and have a better action. The Select/Option buttons are larger. I get fewer erroneous inputs on the rear touch pad, although I'm not sure if that's because the pad is smaller or because my grip is better with the new form factor. These are small changes, but they're noticeable as you play and improve the feel of the device vs. the original.
- The Slim charges and syncs with a standard micro USB cable. This is a major pro! No need to lug the Vita's proprietary power brick and cable when I travel.
- The Slim has 1 GB of internal flash memory, which is infinitely better than the whopping 0GB built into the original model. The internal memory is disabled when you insert a memory card, but the bundled 8GB card is enough for Borderlands, another substantial game, and several small games. Heavy users will want a 32GB or 64GB card, but 8GB of space is a decent start if you don't want to pony up immediately or are content shuffling games around. This goes in the pro column since most earlier bundles included only a 4GB card (ACIII, CoD, etc) or no memory card at all (Madden 13).
- Fans of the original Vita's rich, over-saturated colors will probably be unhappy with the move to LCD. Me? I think the Slim's LCD screen is a HUGE improvement. My launch Vita's screen had some strange dark/dim spots. I shipped it to Sony, and they sent me a replacement. Its screen had spotting as well, but it was less pronounced (Google "vita OLED black spots" and you'll get a lot of pictures/discussion). This is apparently a normal byproduct of the OLED manufacturing process, but it always bothered me. The new LCD is crisp. It may not "pop" like the OLED, but the image quality is very good and the colors are accurate instead of over-saturated. The improved color accuracy is especially noticeable if you stream video with Netflix or Hulu.
- The Vita's library is a mix of classics, ports, indie games, and original titles. There's a lot to love. Gravity Rush, Persona 4 Golden, Y's, Soul Sacrifice, Metal Gear Solid HD, Rayman, PSP classics like FF Tactics: War of the Lions, tons of top-notch indies. The big Western-style AAA stuff's been competent but unspectacular (Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Killzone: Merc). Overall, it's a great value proposition and a fantastic library for someone like me. I'm not home a lot, and when I am I tend to spend my time playing AAA console action games/shooters. I love being able to plod through an RPG while on a plane or work on fast-playing indies like Spelunky and Hotline Miami during my commute. Claims that the Vita "has no games" are complete bunk, but the library isn't going to satisfy everyone. Sports titles are pretty much non-existent.
[Edit: A commenter correctly noted that Vita gets FIFA and MLB The Show each year, so the major omissions are football (nothing since Madden 13), basketball, and hockey.]
- PS4 Remote Play works surprisingly well at home. Twitchy games like Resogun play like a dream. Slower paced games, like Assassin's Creed IV, are playable away from the house so long as I'm on a fast wireless network. It's a mess on hotel and airport wireless networks. That's unsurprising, since they never have enough bandwidth to go around, but the places where it would be a killer feature are where it's the least usable. Remote Play is nice to have. Just don't buy a Vita thinking it'll be a perfect gateway to your PS4.
- While the unit feels solid and comfortable in hand, Sony abandoned the flat front of the original Vita in favor of a screen that looks joined/inset. I'm not describing it well, but it's easy to see in comparison pictures and more pronounced than Sony's press shots and box art suggest. It definitely makes the Slim look a bit lower end from the front on. It's less obvious on my black slim from the bundle than on my white import. The Slim does include some positive aesthetic changes -- it ditches the original's chintzy silver faux-metal band, brushed aluminum buttons, and vestigial accessory port -- but they're not things you LOOK at every time you use it.
- 8GB of storage isn't enough for heavy users. Do you have Playstation Plus? Are you going to use your Vita to play PSP games and PSOne classics? If your answer to either question was "Yes," prepare to shell out another $50-100 for a larger memory card.
- The screen is easy to scratch. The original Vita was also scratch prone, and Sony should have improved the build quality in this area for the Slim. Buy a screen protector or handle with great care.
- I haven't started Borderlands yet and can't speak to the quality of the port; however, Amazon's product description isn't right. Borderlands 2 for consoles has four player co-op, but Vita co-op is two player only.
on May 25, 2014
I have a long history with the "PlayStation Portable" systems. I had the original PSP, then got bored of it, then got the second gen, then the PSP with the slide up display and no UMD. What was I thinking!?
Enter the PS Vita. Well I got the 1st gen and played the heck out of Unit 13. Loved the great graphics, solid controls, and little bite sized missions. Played it sooooo much, but there were really no good games (for me) to play.... Again, I got bored of it and sold it.
When I saw they had come out with a slim version, the "Portable PlayStation" called to me again. I decided importing it to get the cool colors was not worth the expense. I was patient and waited. When it shoed up on Amazon I got the bundle with a $60 USD gift card and free overnight shipping. Came to $160 flat after tax. Woohoo!
WHen it finally arrives I was impressed. People himed and hawed about the lack of an AMOLED screen. It was a very nice screen, but I felt the colors popped a bit too much! The LCD has very nice colors, and very fast response times. No streaking at all and the colors feel great, but they don't "pop". Some people like that.
I love the ergonomics of the system, it really feels great in the hands. Soft and curved with the back touch pad pulled back a bit. I never hit it by accident, but I feel like someone with smaller hands may have trouble reaching it without repositioning their hands.
Battery life is also very good. Even playing Borderlands 2, a game that seems to really push the Vita to it's limit, I get 5 - 6 hours. Honestly I can't sit and play for more than 4 hours MAX anyway so this has been fine for me. On that note the micro USB charge port is AAAAMMMAAAZZZIIIING!!!!111!!!!!1111!!oneoneone Seems like such a small thing, but it makes the system truely portable. If I'm traveling and I have my call phone charger with me, it works.
Something about charging with a 3rd party charger. The charger it comes with is 1.5A I believe, so I assumed you would need a high power USB charger to juice it up. As a test I have this super cheapy crappy 500mw (half an amp) charger that's actually rather slim. It has a USB port in it and using a 3rd party USB cable, it did actually charge at only 500mw. This is really great for Sony to have made the charging circuit smart enough to deal with such a slow charge. It is VERY SLOW, but I works. I keep this super slim USB charger and a small USB cable in the OEM softcase that was made for the original vita. It has a zipper pocket on one side that the Vita slips into and another zipper on the other half with 2 vecro let pockets in it for carts. I keep the charger, USB cable, micro fiber cloth and a few "naked" game carts in there.
Also if you are reading this Sony, KEEP MAKING GAME CARTS!!! Please!!! Not everyone can spend over $100 for your special overpriced memory cards!
So what about Borderlands? Well I already played it with friend on the PC for well over 100 hours. Maybe 200 hours at LAN partys and over the Internet. It's a fantastic game. Normally I'm a mouse & keyboard guy with it comes to first person shooter games, so the controls took a lot of getting used to. But as such they are well layed out. After getting used to them about the only 2 things I still do are accidentally throw a grenade by touching the bottom left side of the screen, and pushing the wrong button to get out of the darn vehicles.
As mentioned in some major gaming sites the frame rate does lag from time to time. It's never a deal killer. There are also less enemies on the screen and when you kill a bad guy he explodes like a big blood and bone balloon. At first it was annoying, but it's also kind of satisfying. The game is very challenging and there are lots of side missions. A good thing too because you really need to complete as many side missions as you can to get your level up as high as possible by the time you reach the end. Don't worry, no spoilers!
3 annoying things about Borderlands. You can't skip any of the opening title logos. Yes, I know it's Borderlands, YEEES I know it's 2K Games and YEEEEES I freaking know it's Gearbox! Can we get on with it. Second problem is that the load times are a bit harsh. Some levels take well over 30 seconds to load, sometimes up to a minute. On a portable taking a long time to get back into a game and waiting for load times is rather annoying. Finally the game is a bit crash happy. There is a particularly long mission I was on just last night, I got all the way to the end, beat the boss of that stage, and the game froze. The Vita has this nice crash report system. I sent the crash report for what must have been the 3rd time, and when I got back into it. I had to go through it alllll over again. Oddly,, and thankfully, it remembered all the experience I had gained, but all the loot I had was gone, and all the bad guys had to be dealt with again. I was really annoyed by this to say the least. But I plowed through it again, and sprinted full speed to the level exit incase it happened again. Now when I'm done with a long play session, I quit the game, and then go back into it when I'm ready to play it again.
I gave this 5 starts because I DO LOVE IT! But there are some down sides. Or maybe just gripes. All of my gripes seems to fall in line with what Sony seems to have done to cut costs and keep a profit margin. Understandable, but still annoying...
Borderlands does not come on a cart, it comes in the form of a voucher. You go into the store, and redeem the voucher and put nearly 6GB of Borderlands on your 8GB memory card. OUCH! Add a few game and system updates, along with a couple more small games and you're done. Gee I would love to re-download Wipeout and play through that but I can't. Just not enough room. It took a long while to download and install.
My second gripe is that these memory cards are crazy expensive. over $100 USD for a 64gb card! That's just a slap in the face of the consumer. It's almost like Sony doesn't want me to sign up for a PlayStation Plus account. A high quality Sandisk 64GB "Ultra" Micro SD card is less than $40 USD.
Finally, lack of accessories at launch. Even 3rd party was lacking. But I would have liked to see a hard case specifically designed for the Vita Slim. I went with the soft case because it was all I could find before my long international trip, and it was like $9 USD used at the local major game retailer chain.
Bottom line, it's the Vita you have been waiting for! Wonderful screen, solid performance and battery life. If you like FPS games and especially if you can play it with a friend, Borderlands 2 is fun, with a great story, and at times hilarious, if a bit morbid. This review is way longer than I expected it to be so play forgive my spelling, grammer and typos. I'm not going to bother to proof it. I hope you find it useful. :)
on July 4, 2014
The PlayStation Vita tends to get a bad wrap but that is far from the true. PS Vita is a magnificent handheld game device with a lot of features and great flow of games.
First lets start off with the changes from the original: LCD screen, thinner, lighter, improved start/select buttons, micro usb charge port, 1GB internal memory, and extended battery life.
The Vita has a boat load of additional functions that will add on to your experience with the device both gaming and non gaming related:
Trophy Support, Messaging, Party Chat, Friends Listings, Remote with PS3/4, YouTube, Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Skype and more.
Now I know to some the Vita only has 3 games available since the device launched in 2012. However this is the best time to jump on the vita train there are a numerous games on the device and coming in the future.
You can play a huge number of indie games on the go like Fez, Limbo, Runner2, Guacamelee, Hotline Miami and many more that available now and much more to come. There are also select android games that have been optimized for Vita like Real Boxing and Total Recoil.
There are also console games that have been ported to the device such as Injustice Gods Among Us, Street Fighter X Tekken, Ninja Giaden Sigma, Rayman, Dragonball Z, The Walking Dead, Borderlands 2, Child of Light, and LittleBigPlanet. These are console games on the go that play like their PS3 counterparts. Some even support the cross save feature that let u save your data to the PSN Cloud then download it to the Vita and pick where you left off.
In addition to console ports as previously stated you also have the HD Collections/Remasters which are the best games of the previous console generation. Games like God of War Collection, Sly Cooper Collection, Metal Gear Solid Collection, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath HD, Ratchet and Clank Collection, Final Fantasy X/X2 Remastered and even the Jak and Daxter Collection.
Then we have the games that you can only play on the Vita. These are the ones that make the Vita stand on it own two legs. Games such as Freedom Wars, Soul Sacrifice/Delta, Toukiden: The Age of Demons, Gravity Rush, Uncharted Golden Abyss, Killzone Mercenaries, Tearaway, Lumines, Ys Memories of Celceta, Persona 4 Golden, Tales of Hearts R, Super Stardust Delta, Resistance Burning Skies, and more. There is a steady flow of Japanese games coming to the device if thats your thing. It's also the unofficial JRPG hub with a healthy number games on and coming to the device.
Lastly you will have access to PSone and PSP games via PSN. This means you can play Final Fantasy VII, MGS1, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, or Megaman. Maybe you'll have an itch for Crazy Taxi, GTA Vice City Stories, Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, Valkyria Chronicles 2, MGS Peace Walker, or Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7. All these games be played from the backlog of available games. (Note some PSone and PSP games are not available through Vita PSN and have to be Purchased and downloaded on the PS3 then transferred to the Vita using the Content Manager)
Hell even those PlayStation Mobile games can be played on the Vita.
Now its times to talk about the one thing that dampers the device. Those damn overpriced memory card. Sony wanted the maximize their profits with that tiny over priced essential necessities. But if your going to buy one get the thay best fits your gaming personality. Meaning if your a big time gamer go with the 64GB or 32Gb cards but, if your a moderate gamer go with the 16GB or 8GB cards.
The PlayStation Vita has alot of features and a healthy slew of games to be played on the device with a nice dose of indie, third party, first party titles coming in the future.
*Side note* if you have bigger hands I highly recommend one of those extender trigger grip clips for 10 or 15 dollars. This will stop your hands from cramping up one extended play throughs. This is from personal experience.
on January 31, 2015
I love the vita. Works great with third person games like assassin creed unity. Remote play is brilliant and works great. It looks very good too. You can connect via wifi or internet. Wifi connection works very fast. I suggest you buy the nyko grip or smart clip because it's a bit uncomfortable to hold the vita for extended periods of gaming. Battery life is great as we'll. overall, I happy with it. Note that I bought it used and received a defective unit. The right joystick kept moving the cursor by itself, rotating without me touching it. This made playing any game impossible. Contacted amazon and they helped out immensely. A+ customer service.
on January 5, 2015
As other reviewers have mentioned, the memory card that is included is not sufficient for more than the included Borderlands 2 game (with DLC) and another recent game (in my case, Metal Gear Peacewalker).
For those of you hoping to play Borderlands 2 out of the box, I'm afraid to inform you that you're in for nearly a day of downloading (Sony's servers are quite slow), if you want to play the game with all the DLC.
The Vita itself is a pretty thing to behold. I love the large screen and unlike my smartphone (iPhone 5s), I don't find myself constantly wishing my screen were slightly bigger. The touch controls on the back are not as consistent as I would like, but they get the job done 80% of the time.
You really need a recent-vintage router and little-to-no interference from other devices to play your Playstation 4 through the streaming application. Both in my condo in downtown Austin (with plenty of interference), and at home in suburban Maryland (very weak WiFi signal in the room I play my games in), I am unable to have a consistently smooth experience. Perhaps this is due to something on my side, as all the feedback I am reading online seems to suggest the majority of users are having a seamless experience. Note, that all my other devices have no problems streaming or doing other things in my households.
on December 30, 2014
I got one of these baby's for Christmas and I have to say the game is ok BUT the system is well worth it! The blue tooth system is much better then the last models, lighter weight, slim down shape for easier handling, self customizable themes (take a hint Nintendo!), Android phone charging port (Thank you sony), better Wifi system, and 8 gig memory stick unlike the last models 4 gig. My biggest complaint about the system is my speaker charging system doesn't work with this version of the PS Vita. BL2 on the other hand the controls where not ported over well, and it lag's out every once in a while BUT its still loads of fun. IF SONY KEEPS MAKING STUFF LIKE THIS I WILL BUY MORE OF THERE STUFF! We just need some good pokemon like games for this system now (Holds up a copy of smt)
on December 10, 2014
Arrive a week earlier took 37 hrs to get here with free shipping cost me $169 you can't beat that deal!!!
I own a the launch day ps vita 3G this is a great improvement and colors are way more realistic. Which for me is perfect and doesn't have the black areas the original OLED model had. Wifi seems improved.
The only thing I haven't like so far is the string hook area feels ready to crack but I haven't seen anyone saying about them. So I guess is just me being picky.
If anything happens I will update. But today gets a 5 out of 5
on December 19, 2015
When I got the system the coupon for the game was expired! I was pissed, I paid $200. For a system with game so my son could play it when he opened it for Christmas. I typed in the code and it went through. And my Husband love it too. He's planning on getting himself one.