Hardware Review – PS Vita

The long awaited PlayStation Vita has finally arrived. The wait was almost unbearable, but in the end, it was well worth it.

Read on for our full review.

Handheld gaming devices have come a long way since the early days of Caleco Football and Digimons. Gameboys, Ds’s, and PSP’s revolutionized the handheld gaming world and brought with them new games and new characters. Handhelds have evolved long way from their original pong- like interfaces, and the PS Vita takes a quantum leap on the evolutionary scale.

The Vita has a multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) for your viewing pleasure. This translates into the best- looking games possible on the handheld market. Not all games are created equal, so you’ll have to wait for our reviews to find out which ones look the best. The added touchpad on the back is excellent for keeping your fingers out of the way and, when used properly, can be ingenious.

The Vita is blessed with two analog sticks. This is a first for any hand held device, and gamers have been screaming for that right stick for some time. This opens up quite a few control schemes, and gives the handheld more of a full console experience. The Vita also has a three-axis gyroscope and an accelerometer. It is basically a Sixaxis controller in itself.

The Vita comes pre-loaded with several useful apps. You can access your PS3 friends list and even send and receive messages across platforms. Group messaging allows you to start a chat room amongst a group of friends across platforms as well. Currently all of these messages are sent to both your PS Vita and your PS3, so don’t be surprised to find a whole bunch of unread messages on your PS3.

Pre-loaded Apps

Another pre-loaded app is Near. It is a location based app that utilizes the Vita’s ability to know exactly where you are, and who is gaming around you. Finding new friends close by has never been easier. By updating your location, you can let anyone nearby know what game you are currently playing, and can even share gifts with others. Games like ModNationRacers: Road Trip will award you parts for your cars, mods, or tracks.

Near is a Great Friend Finding Application

Another item that PlayStation gamers have been begging for is cross game chat. The ability to talk to others, on your console, even if they are playing a different game. The Vita has bluetooth capabilities, so grab your headset and sync it up. Start a party and you’ll be able to talk to other Vita owners regardless of what they are playing. Cross game chat works great and we can only hope that Sony is working on bringing it to the PS3 sometime soon.

Cross Game Chat FTW

Other apps that have been announced include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Skype and Netflix. They aren’t available just yet, but should be available soon. The Vita’s web browser can be used for some of these functions for now, but the latest version of Flash isn’t supported.


One of the downfalls of the Vita is that it has no internal storage memory. Game saves and downloadable games require a memory card and the Vita uses a brand new format. These can be currently had in sizes ranging from 4GB ($19.99) and all the way up to 32GB ($99.99). You won’t be able to save games without one, so be sure to pick one up if you aren’t grabbing one of the current bundles that come with one.

Our First Edition Bundle

Sony has always been known for putting as much technology into their consoles as possible, and the PS Vita continues that trend. The Vita not only plays PSP games, Minis and PSone Classics, but it also plays music and video. MP3s can be sorted as you would expect from other great music devices. Videos can be downloaded onto your Vita and watched at your convenience. With access to the PlayStation Network Store you’ll have access to all of the videos located there. Eventually you’ll also have access to the PSN comic book store.

Welcome to the PlayStation Family

For the fully featured 3G model, which really gives the best bang for your buck, you’ll be looking at $299.99. The just as capable, but lacking 3G and true GPS, wifi only model will cost $249.99.For what all this console offers, you can’t beat the price.

Hand held gaming has now made it to the next generation.


Louis Edwards

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