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Suntan's Avatar Suntan 09:08 PM 12-30-2011
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

If the Vita doesn't hit, then Sony might be gone from handhelds. Which leaves only Nintendo.

Not necessarily. Sony is putting forth a respectable effort with android handsets. I don't see that diminishing whether the vita does well or not.

Phone games are not console quality yet, but they have come further since the PSP released than vita games have. Another three years from now and they should be that much better.

As for human interface, yes touchscreen control pads suck. But I hope in depth games move on from the control pad and use the touchscreen to better effect. (The simpleton phone games currently use the touchscreen to great effect - angry birds, cut the rope, Sprinkle, etc. - while the more in depth games still rely on the game pad.)

That said, other control schemes hopefully materialize and continue to be refined too. As it is, I can plug my phone into an HDMI port on the TV and sync my DSIII controller to it wirelessly to play some (compatible) games from across the room. It's an implementation that's far from perfect, but for games where it does work, it is a great add-er. It's a feature that is inexplicably missing and should be native in the Vita, imo.


confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 10:52 PM 12-30-2011
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Sony has a lot to prove with the Vita, and from kids that I've talked to, they just aren't interested in it.

My hope is that the shaky Japan launch leads to some fast thinking for Vita's launch here in the US. Lower price, better pack-ins (like memory cards!!), improved functionality and features, etc.

It's a beautiful piece of hardware with lots of promise. Sony needs to live up to their own lofty goals.
d3code's Avatar d3code 04:06 AM 01-01-2012
they should do it like this. release vita inc 2gb memcard for 279 dollars. that way at least people can save their games when they buy new ones.

as always the product is never at fault. it is more the stupidty of sony that always kills a sony product.

like single user mode, have to buy expensive memory cards etc.

in this day of age there are so many platforms to buy games from. people dont care.
give the people what they want and make a business around it. instead of having a big ego and force a market. it just wont fly anymore.

Apple did. Steam did. and all succesfull.
confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 12:14 PM 01-01-2012
Originally Posted by d3code View Post

as always the product is never at fault. it is more the stupidty of sony that always kills a sony product.

Well, you can't really separate the product from the company. The problem with Sony is that it's such a big company that it's heavily compartmentalized and everyone has an opinion at different points in the process of releasing a new piece of hardware (most recently, Sony divided yet again to create a Network division). The hardware people, the software people, the entertainment people, the electronics people, the network people, the online people, the marketing people, and so on, all have an opinion at different stages in the process--and often no one is really looking at the big picture.

In contrast, the other two major companies with portables have the advantage of releasing devices in a unified company with a unified vision using a unified message with unified support. Similarly, the other major company with an HD console took the route of leaving that division alone to do its own thing (of course, that's all changing now with some of that other company's new initiatives, mobile integration, and motion hardware). And being left alone meant they also have had a unified vision.

Sony's had this problem for a while now. In some ways, it became a victim of its own success with the PS2. Because the PS2 was such a success and became a major pillar of Sony's product line that every division in the company now has a stake (and a say) in its gaming hardware.
TornadoTJ's Avatar TornadoTJ 01:14 PM 01-03-2012
DaverJ's Avatar DaverJ 06:54 PM 01-09-2012
Hey! Vita is getting Netflix.

How many devices do I own that do Netflix? It would be easier to count the ones that don't!

Still - always welcome. Anyone know how many megs it is to stream an average Netflix movie? I'm wondering how streaming movies will suck up the 3G allotment.
IronMic's Avatar IronMic 04:20 PM 01-10-2012
Did you guys get to test the system at a demo or anything?
shadowlock's Avatar shadowlock 05:26 PM 01-10-2012
Kotaku has reported that Nyko is getting into the Vita space and releasing accessories for the Vita. Here are some of the highlights:


Nyko Parades PlayStation Vita Performance Enhancers at CES

Nyko never met a console or portable it couldn't make a ton of additional crap for, and the upcoming PlayStation Vita is no different. At CES 2012 in Las Vegas the peripheral maker debuts its launch lineup of Vita accessories.

Accessories like the Power Grip, a rechargeable battery pack that boasts three times the battery life of Sony's own Vita battery, adding an ergonomically designed elongated grip to the unit in the process. Doesn't sound like too bad a deal for $24.99, even if it does make the system look slightly ridiculous. Hell, for three times the battery life I'd mod it to look like a Virtual Boy.

Flip through the gallery to check out the rest of Nyko's PlayStation Vita lineup, from the $5 game case to the $30 speaker stand. They'll all be available when the Vita launches next month, so it won't have to be naked for long.

Game Case Pro for PS Vita
Slim protective case for PS Vita games and memory cards, it's half the size of standard cases so it's Ideal for travel and gaming on the go. The Game Case Pro holds 10 PS Vita games and 4 memory cards, in a translucent design which allows for easy viewing of game cards.
Available at Vita Launch $4.99

Power Armor Kit for PS Vita
It features 5 accessories to charge, protect and clean your new PS Vita. The Starter Kit features a hard armor case to keep your system safe, plus an AC charger, a car charger, a USB Cable to transfer files and a cleaning cloth. This bundle has everything you need for PS Vita, all in one place!
Available at Vita Launch - $29.99

Power Kit for PS Vita
Keep your Vita juiced up, recharge on the go, and never miss a moment of the action. The Power Kit features a 3-in-1 charging solution, letting you use AC, car or USB. No matter where you are, Power Kit for PS Vita will keep you in the game.
Available at Vita Launch - $19.99

Speaker Stand for PS Vita
The Power Stand for PS Vita is a powered speaker that doubles as a charging dock. The stereo sound makes it perfect for movies and music, while the line-in jack accommodates iPods and other devices. Its sleek aesthetic matches the Vita, which snaps securely onto the dock. This curvaceous stand is the perfect way to charge your handheld overnight.
Available at Vita Launch - $29.99

shadowlock's Avatar shadowlock 09:35 AM 01-13-2012
USA Today has more Vita coverage from hands-on at CES--here are their impressions:


CES 2012: look at PlayStation Vita

By Brett Molina, USA TODAY
Updated 15h 4m ago

One aspect of Sony's PlayStation Vita grows clearer the more time I spend in demos with the device: It is a powerhouse.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony gave attendees some hands-on time with a host of games either launching with the handheld Feb. 22 or soon after.

During my limited time with Vita, I checked out two games that seem to showcase how close the device comes to a console-like experience.

Unit 13. The shooter is developed by Zipper Interactive, best known for the tactical action games SOCOM and MAG. The game is tailored for the mobile crowd, which is why they skip any type of story. It's simply 36 missions, each of which lasts anywhere from five to 15 minutes. In total, the game features about 10 hours of gameplay.

Players choose between four game types: Direct Action, Covert, Elite and Deadline. Each missions is tied to a leaderboard, so players can track progress against friends, nearby players, regionally and globally using leaderboards available through Wi-Fi or 3G.

Overall, the shooter feels really good to control, especially now that there's a second thumbstick. The overall structure of Unit 13 is intriguing as well, created specifically for players who want to quickly hop in and out between missions.

The game launches March 6.

Resistance: Burning Skies. Nihilistic Studios takes over the development reins in this title set during the events of PlayStation 3 game Resistance 2.

Players work as firefighter Tom Riley as he fights off the invasion of the Chimera in the United States.

Along with traditional button controls, the first-person shooter will feature support for both front- and rear-touch on the Vita. Although the rear-touch capabilities weren't on display, front-touch was available for controlling secondary weapon abilities.

During one firefight, I pulled out the Auger, an assault rifle with ammo that pierces objects. Its secondary ability is dropping a shield to protect players from enemy fire. To deploy this, players tap the screen and drag left or right to determine where to place a shield.

Visually, Burning Skies looks impressive, almost on par with what a player would view on the console.

The game is slated for launch later this year.

A couple more tidbits:

-- The games are tiny. They look like a smaller version of a Nintendo DS cartridge. The memory cards users will have for storage are about the size of a micro-SD card.

-- Vita also becomes the latest device to add Netflix. However, Sony did not confirm whether the online movie rental service will be available by the Feb. 22 launch.

joeblow's Avatar joeblow 11:19 AM 01-13-2012
I finally picked up the new NBA Jam. I was waiting for a sale on this title.
Mikazaru's Avatar Mikazaru 01:41 PM 01-14-2012

Some free advertising for Sony.
confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 04:07 PM 01-14-2012
^^^ That's seriously messed up. Not even close to funny, cute, or sexy. I'm actually disturbed by that. If I were Sony, I'd do everything I could to distance myself far from that footage. That's a PR disaster waiting to happen. And if she's still at IGN, then IGN should really get a clue and realize what it is they're showing.
Mikazaru's Avatar Mikazaru 04:14 PM 01-14-2012
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

^^^ That's seriously messed up. Not even close to funny, cute, or sexy. I'm actually disturbed by that. If I were Sony, I'd do everything I could to distance myself far from that footage. That's a PR disaster waiting to happen. And if she's still at IGN, then IGN should really get a clue and realize what it is they're showing.

You're really disturbed by that??? She's just being teased -- it was her claim to fame when she licked the original PSP.

confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 04:30 PM 01-14-2012
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

You're really disturbed by that??? She's just being teased -- it was her claim to fame when she licked the original PSP.

I'm well aware of the reference (and I think the photo you linked to is has been rotated sideways for obvious reasons). The original photo is merely stupid, but that video is something else altogether. At the very least, it's sad and tasteless.
number1laing's Avatar number1laing 07:31 AM 01-19-2012
I think the video is funny. The look on her face says it all.
confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 03:32 PM 01-19-2012
Well, at least this thread isn't talking about the actual hardware anymore. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Sony does want this video out in the wild.
number1laing's Avatar number1laing 04:14 PM 01-19-2012
I am SO disappointed by the Vita. I guess this time I really bought into the Sony hype. What we have gotten is 30fps WipeOut and a bunch of sub-qHD games. Including Hot Shots Golf (?). There's pretty much no way in hell I'd buy the system at launch. I'm so glad it launched in Japan first and we could see what it actually is about now.
confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 06:21 PM 01-19-2012
Originally Posted by number1laing View Post

I am SO disappointed by the Vita. I guess this time I really bought into the Sony hype. What we have gotten is 30fps WipeOut and a bunch of sub-qHD games. Including Hot Shots Golf (?). There's pretty much no way in hell I'd buy the system at launch. I'm so glad it launched in Japan first and we could see what it actually is about now.

Sony needs to follow Nintendo's model and give consumers incentives right away (better pack ins, lower price, etc). Figure out exactly why people are saying they're going to wait and do everything they can to meet that reluctance head on. The launch is a month away. Why am I not seeing more and better ads? Why are there not more reviews of launch titles in the media? Where's SCEA stepping up and selling their product? What's their strategy to ensure that the NA launch isn't as disastrous as the Japanese one?

It seems like Sony is taking a weird "wait-and-see" approach. I mean, that should be consumers' jobs, not Sony. Sony should be stepping up and convincing us to run out and get one right away. Why aren't they? It's like they've said to themselves, "Well, it launched like ass in Japan, but maybe that won't happen in North America. Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see." What?! It doesn't make any sense.
THE_FORCE's Avatar THE_FORCE 05:45 AM 01-20-2012
Originally Posted by number1laing View Post

I am SO disappointed by the Vita. I guess this time I really bought into the Sony hype. What we have gotten is 30fps WipeOut and a bunch of sub-qHD games. Including Hot Shots Golf (?). There's pretty much no way in hell I'd buy the system at launch. I'm so glad it launched in Japan first and we could see what it actually is about now.

Have you played any of the games then ?

Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Sony needs to follow Nintendo's model

If they did that, then there'd be bugger all games to play at launch a la 3DS.
dragonyeuw's Avatar dragonyeuw 06:03 AM 01-20-2012
One has to wonder if people saw what happened with the 3ds ( $80 price drop within 6 months) and figure they can wait it out a bit. Frankly the PSvita isn't even a blip on my radar at present, playing 'close' to PS3 quality graphics on the go isn't much of a selling point for me personally, and I'm not really wowed by what the console offers to the point where I'm going to jump through hoops to get one. Combined with 'mandatory' and 'overpriced' memory cards, and I am more than content to wait it out till at least Black Friday.
number1laing's Avatar number1laing 09:09 AM 01-20-2012
From what I've seen so far, I strongly dispute the idea that this thing is "close to PS3." It looks like, maybe, a slightly more powerful iPhone 4S.

I'm no hater. I was super excited for this thing after E3. I had a preorder down up until a few weeks ago. But I cancelled it.

Originally Posted by THE_FORCE View Post

Have you played any of the games then ?

I don't need to.
-I don't like Uncharted
-Hot Shots is the same it's always been - I love those games (see earlier posts in this thread), but come on. Also upscaled.
-WipeOut - not the biggest fan, but 30fps eh.
-UMVC3 - don't care
-SFxT - I'll get it on PS3
-Rayman Origins - I'll get it on PS3
-Modnation Racers - ugh
-Super Stardust - I'll just play the PS3 game

Most of the other near launch stuff is the usual flotsam. There really is not a whole lot of compelling content here, I guess a lot of people are pinning their hopes on Gravity Rush (also upscaled).

Army Corps of Hell, Unit 13, etc., are more "games I'd get if I owned the system" not "games I need to get the system for."

I am sure I will own one eventually, but I have no need to get it now. Especially since I *did* get a 3DS early. At least that has some genuinely great games now.
dragonyeuw's Avatar dragonyeuw 11:05 AM 01-20-2012
Originally Posted by number1laing View Post

"games I'd get if I owned the system" not "games I need to get the system for."

Indeed, an important distinction. Right now, there are no games that would encourage me to buy the system, and I'm a big Uncharted fan. I'm still waiting for 2 games that would make me run out and buy one.
number1laing's Avatar number1laing 02:30 PM 01-20-2012
Yea. For me right now, Persona 4 The Golden is a lock - I'm playing P3 on PSP and it's awesome. Yea it's a PS2 port but I'm not about to play it on PS2.

So that's one. I need 2-3 more though.
Conspiracy*'s Avatar Conspiracy* 03:08 PM 01-20-2012
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

^^^ That's seriously messed up. Not even close to funny, cute, or sexy. I'm actually disturbed by that. If I were Sony, I'd do everything I could to distance myself far from that footage. That's a PR disaster waiting to happen. And if she's still at IGN, then IGN should really get a clue and realize what it is they're showing.

Im interested...what is it you think they're showing?
shadowlock's Avatar shadowlock 05:18 PM 01-20-2012
I have no idea what the "reputation" of Playstation Universe (PSU) is, but they've snagged a UK version of the Wi-Fi Vita. Here is a repost of their review:


PlayStation Vita Review
Posted January 18th, 2012 at 13:45 EDT by Steven Williamson
Lukewarm reviews, complaints of system crashes, and reports of unresponsive touchscreens from the Japanese launch hasn't instilled us with confidence for the U.S. and U.K. release of PlayStation Vita, but finally we get to judge Sony's new handheld for ourselves.

Though we still have no idea how Vita will perform when online services such as NEAR and the PlayStation Store are officially activated, we can tell you all about Vita's hardware, its operating system, its games, and how it performs right at this very minute, a little over one month prior to its February 22 release date.

Reviewed: Vita, U.K. Edition, Wi-Fi version

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of differences between Vita and a PlayStation Portable. Other than the dual-analog sticks sitting either side of the 5-inch OLED touchscreen, and the noticeably smaller action buttons, truth is (apart from sporting a similar chassis and the fact that they're both designed specifically for gaming) they couldn't be more different.

Drooling over hardware specifications

The PS Vita, for instance, is powered by an intensive quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, capable of clock speeds of 2GHz, but more likely to run between 800MHz and 1.4GHz, which probably explains why a fully-charged battery has lasted a disappointing three hours and 10 minutes with moderate use.

While playing the processor-intensive Uncharted: Golden Abyss, we clocked it at just two hours and 45 minutes before it shutdown. Charging times were much more impressive as it took approximately one hour and 15 minutes until the battery icon indicated it was fully-powered.

We've therefore spent most of our Vita experience plugged into a wall socket so that we don't need to worry about the battery icon draining in front of our very eyes. It's a bit disappointing that gaming on our Xperia PLAY smartphone outlasts our dedicated gaming device, but it's not an issue that's likely to ruin our experience, unless the games don't live up to expectations.

What it lacks in battery potency, PS Vita makes up for in power, with a quad-core GPU SGX543MP4+, the plus indicating that it's been modified specifically for Sony's device. It has some serious graphical and computing power behind it, and you only need to spend five minutes mesmerized by the quality and performance of Sony's flagship launch game, the lag-free Uncharted: Golden Abyss, on its 960 x 544 screen to witness this impressive new benchmark in handheld gaming.

It also comes equipped with 512MB of RAM, compared to the paltry 64MB of the PSPgo, and is backed up with 128MB of VRAM to ensure you can move between the features of the PS Vita quickly to multi-task, chat, game and watch videos.

Using some of PS Vita's power is the Sixaxis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer,) multi-touch display and a rear touchscreen pad that should, in theory at least, deliver a new kind of gaming experience.

Examining PSVita's sleek design

On the front of PS Vita, to the left of the screen, sits the d-pad, analog stick and PlayStation Home button. The multi-directional d-pad makes a slight clicking sound as you move it around with the tip of your thumb, while the analog stick rotates extremely smoothly and silently, though is smaller than we imagined it to be (being almost exactly the same size as the original PSP's awkward analog stick).

The Home button is sunk into the chassis of the Vita unit, which is a deliberate design decision that ensures you don't accidentally press it. The same applies to the Start and Select buttons situated on the right hand side of the unit, which are impossible to press when your finger-tips are flat on the unit but can be pushed with ease when you raise your digit at an angle.

On the right hand side of PS Vita's display sits the 1.3 megapixel camera, which is extremely tiny, as are the action buttons - about half the size of the circles that surround Vita's analog sticks. The four action buttons are also fairly close together and require a little bit of force to activate, which ensures you don't accidentally knock the wrong button by mistake.

While holding the Vita in two hands, our thumbs rest ... (continued on next page)

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(continued from previous page) ...our thumbs rest perfectly vertical across the length of the device on either side of the screen, ensuring that we can move the analog sticks with the area of our thumb (just above the crease), while pressing action buttons and moving the d-pad without having to make exaggerated actions. Design-wise, the lay-out couldn't be better or more comfortable.

The large rectangular screen of PS Vita compliments the rounded edges of the unit as do the two table tennis paddle-shaped panels that host the d-pad and analog stick on the left and the action button and analog stick on the right. The left and right bumpers on the top of the unit also blend into the design nicely with their curved shape. The fact that the bumpers hardly make any noise at all and feel soft to touch when you press them is a bonus.

On the base of the PS Vita sits the port for the AC adapter and a headphone jack. When you buy either the Wi-Fi or the 3G/Wi-Fi PS Vita model they come with an AC Adapter lead with a USB connection on the end, which you can use to either connect to your PS3 or PC, or plug directly into the AC Adapter unit to charge from the wall. There is one thing worth noting though, which may save you a phone call to Sony customers services complaining that your PS Vita has bricked when it hasn't.

Before you contact customer services...

The AC Adapter lead that plugs into the port on the bottom of your PS Vita can be slotted in the wrong way by mistake because the port is a simple oblong shape. If you do happen to insert it incorrectly it doesn't charge.

There's a tiny engraved PlayStation symbol on the connector to show you which way it plugs in, but if you don't notice this straight away--like we didn't for a whole day--you may end up thinking it's not charging at all and you've got a defunct unit on your hands.

Losing your memory

Back to the unit itself--on the base you'll find a very small slot with a flimsy plastic hinge which houses the proprietary flash memory card. We have a 16GB memory card, but they will also be available in sizes holding up to 32GB of data. As there is no internal storage on PS Vita, these cards host your game saves, personal data, patches and DLC, and are about the same size as a MicroSD card.

A word of warning though: memory cards are likely to get full quite quickly. After downloading six games directly onto the card, we only have 6GB of space left. Uncharted: Golden Abyss alone weighs in at 3384MB if you buy it direct from the PlayStation Store.

These cards aren't cheap either, with a 16GB version costing around £40 and coming as an additional purchase to your PS Vita unit. The good news is you can back up games to your PS3 and to your PC. So, providing you're not too bothered about the inconvenience of transferring data back and forth--a task which you can do simply and very efficiently with PS Vita--then you don't really have to buy new memory cards; an issue we were initially concerned about. Furthermore, PlayStation Plus subscribers can take advantage of Cloud Storage to submit game saves.

Digital downloads

You can, of course, buy physical versions of each of the games you want to play, but they're likely to cost more than if you download directly from the PlayStation Store. Six games took us 900 minutes to download, so it's certainly not a quick process, but the convenience of digital downloads should outweigh the cons.

On the top of the unit, aside from the aforementioned bumpers, you'll find the power button and volume controls. There's also a cartridge slot where you can insert game cartridges, as well as an accessory port, which looks like a custom-built mini-HDMI port. Both slots are tightly sealed, unnecessarily so, and we've had to use a flat-head screwdriver to prize them open, though sharp fingernails will probably do the trick too.

Flipping it over

On the back of the unit, in the top centre, sits another 1.3 mega pixel camera ... (continued on next page)

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(continued from previous page) ...mega pixel camera with the same specifications as the front-facing snapper. There are also two oval-shaped grip pads that are slightly indented and matte black in colour. They sit either side of the back multi-touch screen, which is made of a glossy plastic material and decked out with PlayStation symbols. This screen, along with the touchscreen on the front of Vita, is what looks set to deliver a new type of gaming experience should developers make full use of it.

We're not too sure why the two grips have been included on the back of the unit, because (unless you have the hands of a small child) your finger-tips naturally sit on the back centre of the unit across the touch screen, and you don't end up actually touching the grips at all.

Hardware summary

Overall, PS Vita looks slick and reassuringly expensive. The lack of a video out port and the fact we now need to grow Freddie Krueger-sized nails to open the top slots, plus the questionable inclusion of the grips on the back of the unit, don't end up distracting from the fact that it's a great-looking device with an impressive screen and well-designed layout. Despite it being bigger than PSP (182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm) PS Vita is surprisingly light to hold too, about the same weight as a mug of coffee.

Let's boot up this bad boy

Initially it's quite strange navigating a touchscreen on a device designed specifically for gaming. Our lives are run by our smartphones and iPads, and as a result it's easy to jump to the conclusion that PS Vita's interface should offer much more than it does, maybe some of the features and social connectivity options that we take for granted on Android and iOS systems.

If you think that way, you'll probably be a little disappointed at PSVita's lack of features on launch. This is a dedicated gaming device designed specifically to play games and interact with other PlayStation gamers. There's no Skype app, ability to post to Twitter or Facebook, or even an option to upload your photos to a variety of social-networking sites. However, it's worth noting these features have all been touted to make their way to PS Vita at some point down the line.

Bye, bye XMB, welcome to an Android-inspired interface

PS Vita's interface is a far cry from the XMB of the PS3, with bright colours and floating circular icons that represent the multitude of options available. It sports a customizable homescreen and, just like Android and iOS systems, you can hold a digit down on any icon and choose to delete it or move it around. You can prod icons with your fingertips to open them up, swipe down to access new pages and more features, and can swiftly move between applications with no stalling or signs of lag.

After opening an application, you can handily swipe to the right on the screen to access all your frequently viewed applications to save you a bit of time. The only real downside when you're flicking through the menu screens is the Wii-inspired music that loops in the background, which does grate on you after a while, but it can be swapped for your own tunes via PS Vita's music application.

Across the top of the screen, you'll see the 3G symbol (providing you bought the 3G, Wi-Fi model) and Wi-Fi signal bar that lets you know whether you're connected, as well as the Bluetooth icon, which is turned on by default.

The Battery icon sits on the right alongside the clock, and in the right-hand corner you'll see a notification icon, represented as a half circle. If you get a message or a friend request, a number pops up in this space and you can tap on it to retrieve it. It's a handy little feature which saves you digging around in others applications.

Welcome Park will be PS Vita owners first port of call

The first application that most PS Vita owners will undoubtedly dive into is Welcome Park, which introduces you in a fun way to the new features of Vita. Through a series of mini-games you get introduced to the touchscreen controls and tilting, as well as the rear multi-touch, the ... (continued on next page)

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shadowlock's Avatar shadowlock 05:25 PM 01-20-2012

(continued from previous page) ...rear multi-touch, the rear touchscreen and camera-inspired gameplay, which involves taking pictures of everyday objects which can then be brought to life with eyes and a mouth.

Welcome Park is a great showcase for PS Vita's gaming potential with our personal highlight being Digit Chase, which superbly showcases the multi-touch and rear touch functionality of PS Vita. Though it's unlikely you'll play with Welcome Park's offerings more than a couple of times, it's a nice introduction to PS Vita and certainly gets you excited by its potential.


PS Vita boasts a number of applications aimed at getting you chatting with other PlayStation gamers. Party is essentially a group chat application that works when you're connected to the PlayStation Network, allowing you to text and voice chat with up to eight friends.

The lack of video support is a little disappointing, but the keyboard that pops up on screen is responsive, easy to use and has a decent predictive text feature embedded. The ability to use touchscreen input, rather than fumbling along with your controller like on PS3, makes it feel instantly familiar like you're interacting with your smartphone.

Within Party you can send out game invites or get invited to join games, and if you don't own a particular game someone is playing you get a handy link directly to the PlayStation Store where you can read more about it and download it if you wish. Interacting with your buddies on PS3 leaves a lot to be desired, so it's good to see a Party feature that works extremely well and allows you to connect and interact with people instantly.

PlayStation Store

The PlayStation Store is currently closed in the U.K., so we've yet to be able to access it from our PS Vita. We presume the interface and the way we interact with the store will be optimized for the touchscreen, so it should be far smoother than it is on PS3. Based on the Japanese launch, it looks like games are going to be cheaper to download directly too; just be prepared for large files and long downloads. Hopefully though, the wait will be worth it.


Sadly, we haven't been able to test out NEAR as the Wi-Fi version of PS Vita doesn't have a GPS chip inside it, which it needs to search for your location. NEAR tracks your location via GPS and tells you which gamers are near to your location and what they're playing.

The idea is to get you connected with more people and make more local friends that you probably would never have met. It sports an uncluttered, simple interface and tracks your every movement and game-playing action for others to see. You can then interact with people, share items and receive and send game invites. It's also another clever Sony tool for cross-selling as it directs you to the PlayStation Store should you be interested in a game that someone is playing that you don't own.

We've been assured that NEAR is compatible with the Wi-Fi version, but without a GPS chip we're unsure just how well it will work. In city environments, NEAR is undoubtedly going to be a useful tool for bolstering your friends list, but those in rural locations may find it a feature they'll never use.


The friend's hub is, quite simply, your friends list, which includes those friends that you've gathered on PS3, as long as you've used the same PSN account on your PS Vita. It's pretty cool how you can tap on the chat icon and switch to the Group messaging app, where you can text in real-time. You can also click the small camera icon, snap a photo and send it immediately to a friend.

It seems an oversight by Sony that you can't also set up a Party from within the Friends app, instead having to quit out and open the party application. The transition could have been a little smoother, but overall the Friends list is well laid out, colourful and a pleasant way to compare stats with other players.


Rarely do we use the PS3 browser for ... (continued on next page)

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(continued from previous page) ...PS3 browser for surfing the net because it's so awkward to navigate, but PS Vita's browser is certainly more appealing thanks to the added functionality that the touch screen brings.

It offers a handful of features, including web security, history and the ability to create folders to bookmark sites, while the keyboard is intuitive to use to search for web sites. The first website we tried to access was YouTube, only to discover that PS Vita doesn't support Adobe Flash, which rules out watching some online videos. We understand Sony is still considering bringing Flash to its new handheld, but certainly don't expect to see it at launch.

It's also a bit disappointing that you can't switch between a game and the browser without quitting the game entirely and having to re-load the internet page. In truth, it's likely we'll only use the browser if we're desperate for a piece of information and don't have our smartphone handy, though the online PS Vita guide, which is optimised for the device, comes in extremely handy and is very well laid-out.


PS Vita doesn't pair to our smartphone, yet the manual says that it does support phones. We presume then that only certain phones will connect. Considering we have an Xperia PLAY, which was dubbed the "PlayStation Phone," it's a little disappointing we can't pair our device and share data across Bluetooth.

Bluetooth can be used, however, for headsets and specific devices, such as speakers, but it's probably worth checking a compatibility list to avoid disappointment.

PS3 connectivity and Content Manager

The latest firmware update ensures that the PS3 recognises the PS Vita instantly so it's simply a matter of scanning for a new device on your console. The PS3 picks up the PS Vita signal wirelessly and then gives you a code that you have to input into the Remote Play settings on your handheld. It's a simple and effective process that takes no more than a couple of minutes.

Connect the PS Vita via USB to your console and you can back-up and transfer data to and from the PS3 via the Content Manager app. Once again it's very easy to use, though large files can take quite a while to transfer. With the fairly small sizes available for PS Vita's memory card, it's likely we'll be transfering content quite regularly.

You can also back-up and transfer content between PS Vita and your PC, though you do have to download a piece of software onto your PC first. The transition of music, photos and video from your PC to the PS Vita is smooth, but once again it's worth checking a compatibility list as it restricts the playing of certain files, such as AVIs.

Remote Play

Remote Play has performed quite erratically since we've had our PS Vita unit, though we have been told that not all features will work properly until launch. Sometimes we've been able to turn on our PS3 remotely and navigate the XMB smoothly and other times we've had an error message and not been able to connect at all.

Most of the games we've tried, including Uncharted 3, Killzone 3 and Battlefield 3, aren't currently supported by Remote Play, so it would be helpful to see a list of what games are actually compatible. In fact the only games that we have been able to stream is PixelJunk Shooter and Bejeweled 2.

Nonetheless, we are assured that users will be able to stream all PS3 games at some point during PS Vita's life cycle, it's just a shame that it won't be at launch.

The games

It's the games, of course, that are going to make or break PS Vita, and so far we've been blown away by the launch offerings. We're bound by an embargo not to talk too much about the games until mid-February, but we can tell you that the likes of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, WipEout 2048 and Little Deviants have kept us wildly entertained and showcased PS Vita's variety of control schemes incredibly well.

The touchscreen has been extremely responsive in-game, with Little Deviants totally dispelling concerns about the rear touchscreen being just a gimmick. What really shows off how much handheld ... (continued on next page)

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(continued from previous page) much handheld gaming has evolved though is Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which is the most impressively produced adventure we've ever played on handheld. It will simply blow you away.

Indeed, PS Vita shows its strengths as a gaming device across the whole breadth of its launch titles from augmented reality offerings, such as Reality Fighters, to socially-focused titles such as Hustle Kings. The tilt controls and front and rear touchscreens work alongside the good old fashioned analog twiddling mechanics to offer an array of titles that caters for practically every taste. This is the best launch line-up we've seen, and if it's an indication of what's to come, the next couple of years are going to be very exciting.

Final thoughts

PS Vita isn't perfect at launch, particularly if you come at it thinking you're buying a hybrid gaming/smartphone device that's also going to run your life, allow you upload photos to Facebook, take videos on the tube, or check emails quickly. As it stands, PS Vita is more about connecting PlayStation gamers together and making it easy for like-minded people to meet up, chat and play games together.

It's about the games and the hardware that powers them to perform so incredibly well and look so vibrant on its screen, but it's also about providing gamers with a multitude of options via a range of intuitive control schemes that are lots of fun to use.

Though we've been critical of some of PS Vita's features and still get irritated when the battery drains so quickly, the more time we've spent with it the less we've wanted to put it down. That's really due to one thing and one thing only: the games. As a handheld gaming device PS Vita has the potential for great things. All we can hope for now is that third-party developers keep supporting it.

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shadowlock's Avatar shadowlock 05:36 PM 01-20-2012
I reposted this review because even though I've read other reviews of people who have Japanese units, this is the first western (albeit Europe) unit review that I've run across. This review also has a good mix of the bad as well as the good points for the Vita.

Don't like the review--take it up with author at Playstation Universe. I'm completely neutral in the "buying"/"not buying" discussion.
Mikazaru's Avatar Mikazaru 12:35 PM 01-21-2012
Well, there's no shortage of games for me. I can't wait to see how FPSs and TPSs play on the Vita. So even though, I've recently played Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3, I'll be getting Golden Abyss and Burning Skies. I've been disappointed with Zipper Interactive games so far, but Unit 13 looks pretty good. My most anticipated games are Persona 4 and Gravity Rush. I don't really play platformers, fighters or racing games anymore on my PS3, but for some reason, they interest me on the Vita (new hardware syndrome). So, I'll probably get LBP, Rayman, MK and MNR at some point. Other games I'm interested in are Dust 514, Sumioni, Sound Shapes, DJMax Technika, FF X, Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die (visual novel - successor to 999 on the DS), Lumines, and Virtua Tennis.

This works out well for me, because the only home console game I'm looking forward to early on this year is ME3.
confidenceman's Avatar confidenceman 02:39 PM 01-21-2012
Originally Posted by dragonyeuw View Post

One has to wonder if people saw what happened with the 3ds ( $80 price drop within 6 months) and figure they can wait it out a bit. Frankly the PSvita isn't even a blip on my radar at present, playing 'close' to PS3 quality graphics on the go isn't much of a selling point for me personally, and I'm not really wowed by what the console offers to the point where I'm going to jump through hoops to get one. Combined with 'mandatory' and 'overpriced' memory cards, and I am more than content to wait it out till at least Black Friday.

If presented in the right way--with the right features, the right games, and the right price--I would absolutely buy one. But at launch, it has none of those things. I wonder, though, how much Sony is counting on early adopters to float the device until they can make it more appealing to a wider audience? I just don't think the usual early adopter crowd is all that interested.

Originally Posted by Conspiracy* View Post

Im interested...what is it you think they're showing?

I'll leave it lie and simply say that she's doing everything she can to make sure women's rights are set back a few decades.
Paulo Teixeira's Avatar Paulo Teixeira 05:05 PM 01-21-2012
Creg Miller of IGN also licked the Vita.

I remember people saying that one of the reasons Betamax lost is because Sony din't want their units to have any association with adult entertainment but reading this article, you'll see how things have changed over the years.

I'm still hoping Sony becomes successful in getting Adobe to give Vita Flash support. If not than it'll be nice to have at the very least a YouTube and Vimeo app right away. Yes it's a game system first but theirs is no denying that being able to watch YouTube videos will help the Vita sell more.
Tags: Playstation Vita Wifi , Playstation Vita The Walking Dead Bundle
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