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January 14, 2012 • Events, Gaming

A Quick Hands-On with the PlayStation Vita

 

I simply could not leave CES without getting some hands-on with the new Sony PlayStation Vita. Having abandoned Sony’s PSP after the original device, I was hoping to get a feel of what the Vita had to offer. Gaming on a mobile device is coming along quite well, but I still feel the need to have a dedicated portable gaming device rather than a smartphone with gaming capabilities. We found a representative to give us a short demo of the device which highlights some of the features of the Vita and the new OS Sony put together.

Sony Rep Demo

 

 

 

 

Resistance: Burning Skies Gameplay

The device was using had Resistance: Burning Skies loaded, so I fired it up and got a few minutes of gameplay. After 10 minutes of playing around with the PlayStation Vita, I pretty much decided that I would be buying this device as soon as it hits the US market in February. The 5″ OLED screen is probably the most stunning display I’ve ever seen on any mobile device. The colors were crisp and clear, and the touchscreen was very fast and responsive. I found the controls to be comfortable and easy to use. All the buttons are easy to reach and anything utilizing the rear capacitive touchpanel will be easy to navigate with also. Overall a much better feel over the past versions of the PSP. If you can get over the proprietary memory and other minor issues, I think the Vita will easily become the top portable gaming system in the US. All the included features, hardware specs, and an absolutely killer display make the $300 price point a gamer’s dream.

3 Responses to " A Quick Hands-On with the PlayStation Vita "

  1. I’m glad you liked it – I have documented my love/hate relationship with Sony and the PSP quite a bit here, and I have to admit that the Vita has me intrigued.  As a gamer I am thrilled by the possibilities of the hardware and as someone who loves gaming on the go more and more … this just looks great.

    But two things concern me: money and Sony.  The Vita is obscenely expensive – it is launching as pretty much the most expensive console available when you factor in low-and-high end versions.  The memory is typical proprietary over-price, and they aren’t cutting 3rd parties in on it, meaning price fixing and over-charging.  Then you have the games costing $40-50, with the big releases at $50.  

    Suddenly for a system, 32GB memory, and a half-dozen games you have paid $750.  For the 3DS the same basic thing would cost you $475 … and of course both of those end up well above the cost of an iPod Touch.

    Finally there is … well, Sony.  Back in late 2004 everyone talked about how Sony had the potential to really threaten the DS crown, and through 2005 they seemed well positioned, outselling the original DS over the first year.  But Sony provided poor support, the UMD was dreadful, developers released unoptimized games that didn’t even seem to be made for a handheld, and so by the time of the DS Lite the PSP was already doomed.  

    I have yet to see how Sony has fundamentally changed their attitude and approach, so I can’t help think that the Vita will suffer the same unfocused ‘how can we strong-arm upsell customers to a PS3’ approach as the PSP.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t have one in February … 😉

  2. I’m glad you liked it – I have documented my love/hate relationship with Sony and the PSP quite a bit here, and I have to admit that the Vita has me intrigued.  As a gamer I am thrilled by the possibilities of the hardware and as someone who loves gaming on the go more and more … this just looks great.

    But two things concern me: money and Sony.  The Vita is obscenely expensive – it is launching as pretty much the most expensive console available when you factor in low-and-high end versions.  The memory is typical proprietary over-price, and they aren’t cutting 3rd parties in on it, meaning price fixing and over-charging.  Then you have the games costing $40-50, with the big releases at $50.  

    Suddenly for a system, 32GB memory, and a half-dozen games you have paid $750.  For the 3DS the same basic thing would cost you $475 … and of course both of those end up well above the cost of an iPod Touch.

    Finally there is … well, Sony.  Back in late 2004 everyone talked about how Sony had the potential to really threaten the DS crown, and through 2005 they seemed well positioned, outselling the original DS over the first year.  But Sony provided poor support, the UMD was dreadful, developers released unoptimized games that didn’t even seem to be made for a handheld, and so by the time of the DS Lite the PSP was already doomed.  

    I have yet to see how Sony has fundamentally changed their attitude and approach, so I can’t help think that the Vita will suffer the same unfocused ‘how can we strong-arm upsell customers to a PS3’ approach as the PSP.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t have one in February … 😉

    • Francis Scardino says:

      Your concerns are valid and price is probably my highest concern as well. Not sure how the memory card fiasco will go over once February finally gets here, but I am guessing people that are ready to shell out the $$$ for the Vita are already prepared to spend quite a bit anyways. I tried to put all that aside when I was playing with the device and really see from a hardware perspective if it would fit into my collection. I cannot stress enough how amazing the screen is. The viewing angles are fantastic, the touchscreen super responsive, and the colors remarkably vibrant. I would consider this the first real “high-def” portable gaming device that I’ve gotten a chance to play with. Knowing that the hardware is what I expected it to be, it’s up to Sony to make sure the rest of the Vita experience follows suit. As long as the titles keep flowing and the market accepts the issues with the memory, the Vita could become what Sony always thought the past PSP devices should have been. 

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