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Submitted by Kiran Earwaker on December 2 2011 - 13:10

Kiran Earwaker finds out whether Sony's next handheld will be worth your Christmas money...

Despite being twice the size of your average smartphone, the PlayStation Vita somehow manages to feel much, much lighter than you’d expect. It’s an astounding achievement considering that Sony has crammed in two cameras, two touch surfaces, two analogue sticks, two motion sensors, two location sensors, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree alongside a full set of buttons and that lovely five-inch OLED screen. And although it’s unbelievably light, it doesn’t feel in the least bit flimsy; the hard black plastic case fits snugly in hand, the buttons are solid and well placed, and the analogue sticks are precise and comfortable to use.

Boot up the Vita and you’re presented with a simple touch-screen menu featuring 6 large bubbles. From here you can access your stored music and videos, tinker with system settings, and launch whichever game is currently lodged in the NVG card slot (NVG is Sony’s replacement for the much maligned UMD, and is based on a proprietary flash card technology). Swipe upwards and you’ll find a second screen of bubble icons which house your browser, friends list, messages, Trophies and camera functions. There’s also an icon for the PlayStation Store and space on both screens to hoard any additional apps or games you might download. Launch a game and you’re greeted with its LiveArea start page. From here you can see your friends’ current progress, browse for DLC, or simply jump straight in and play. Swiping left or right takes you back to the system menus or through to your other currently open apps, which are all laid out along a logical horizontal track. Cross-game party chat (a-la Xbox Live) is available as standard, and a range of connectivity options are available, including Wifi, Bluetooth and (for fifty quid more) 3G. The PS Vita also has a SpotPass-like function called ‘Near’. Players can leave ‘gifts’ - in-game items or challenges - that nearby users have a certain chance of collecting as they pass. ‘Near’ also let’s you see what those around you are currently playing.

Sony has packed a formidable array of technology into the Vita. The console has double the RAM of the PS3, and a GPU that easily stands up to anything currently on the mobile market.  Its launch line-up is formidable, and with big-hitters like Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet alongside curios such as Escape Plan and Frobisher Says, Sony has secured a much stronger set of titles than Nintendo managed with the 3DS. We were certainly impressed by the hardware: the 5-inch OLED screen is crisp and clear, with brilliant colours and some of the finest visuals yet seen on a handheld. However, we did find ourselves missing haptic feedback on touch-based games, and we’d need a little longer with the system to definitively evaluate the latency of the touch-controls. There were also a few occasions where resting our fingers on the rear touchpad interfered with games that used it (but this is possibly something that you would naturally learn to avoid).

Overall the Playstation Vita makes a strong first impression – Sony seems to have nailed the hardware and software line-up, and most of the launch titles make good use of its broad array of input sensors (look out for our round-up of the best launch games next week). But the question that remains to be answered is: will it sell? It’s hard to see where the PS Vita fits into the increasingly crowded portable gaming market: it’s not a phone, and it’s too bulky to fit easily in a pocket; it’s perhaps a little too small to be considered a tablet (although it’s lighter, cheaper and more powerful than most on the market); it’s more expensive than any current home console (£229-£279) and its battery life is too short for extended trips away without charge (3-5 hours for game play). Crucially, despite its extensive and impressive feature set, it doesn’t do anything particularly new; the augmented reality features are delightful, and the inclusion of front and rear touchpads is inspired, but there’s no single element that really jumps out as groundbreaking; there’s also a nagging feeling - borne out by those lacklustre 3DS figures - that the era of full-price handheld gaming might simply be drawing to a close.

Nevertheless, as a hardcore gaming device and media player, the Vita is bound to find its share of fans, and with its impressive array of input sensors it could well prove to be even more than the sum of its already formidable parts. There is the potential for truly unique gameplay experiences to be created for the Vita, and at the very least, it should drive the quality of smartphone games up by several notches.

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User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 29th Feb 2012 22:33, Post No: 28

i forgot to add this, guessing your from the US the psv price in america for the 3G version costs $299 the UK price is £279, after converting from $ to £ that works out to £190($299), so does this mean it costs sony £90 to export the psv to the UK or is it sony using the same excuse as microsoft did with the 360 2 years ago by hiking the 360 arcade price up from £130 to £160 supposedly because of exchange rates.

 

just in case you didnt know how much in $ the UK price is when converted is $445, now how well do you think the psv will do when more people find out how much there getting ripped off when they buy a psv in europe (also here is the price conversion from $ to €, again $299 = €225) the price in europe in € = €299.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 29th Feb 2012 20:53, Post No: 27

lol have you got this page on perminent update or somthing, are you getting angry as both of your facts about the psv screen are wrong.
 
firstly is a superamoled captive touch not superamoled plus (that website obviously got it wrong, try the official spec rather than uofficial website spec) and secondly the screen res is 960x544 not 900x540.
 
now you say you cant see the pixels unless you put the psv 1 inch away from your eyes, lol thats just rubbish, the human eye cannot focus that close to an object even if you are using a jewelers loupe the eye wouldnt focus so i think you chose a bad time to be a smart[#@!?]there.
 
the psv screen is 5 inches where as the samsung galaxy s2's screen is 4.27 inches, that's only a tiny difference where as the iphones screen is just 3.5 inches yet its screen res is higher than the psv's @ 960x640.
 
the 3DS did not have the same launch price hell knows where you got that idea unless you were refering to purchasing the 3DS on HP (hired purchase), 3DS launch price £169, PSV launch price £279 3G £229 WIFI, yeah thats exactly the same price isnt it NOT.
 
OpenGL is inferiour to DX11, no modern PC game run's off OpenGL in preferance to DX yet you think thats going to save you pathetic drivel.
 
now one last thing i feel i should point out is a little saying that you should remember "assumption is the mother of all f*** ups".
 
this bit is the best bit though, it looks like only you and me are the only people comming back to this site to comment, as much as it entertains me every time you reply getting more worked up and it shows in every new reply you make.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 29th Feb 2012 19:24, Post No: 26

@#23,24,25

I'm assuming you are all 1 in the same?

The PSV has a customized quad core  PowerVR SGX543, while the iPad2 and iPhone4 is only dual core. Also, PSV uses OpenGL for graphics rendering.

if you have followed the link, you would see that it is Super AMOLED Plus, and previously you said it's not a "Super AMOLED". And now you switch it to it's not a Super AMOLED PLUS. which if you went to the link I gave, says it is.

1) Samsung Galaxy SII has a smaller screen.  so it would be harder to see the pixel.

2) Samsung Galaxy SII has a 800x480 resolution, the PSV has 900x540 resolution. 

3) I do not see the pixels on my PSV, unless I look super close i.e <1 inch away from the screen.

 

Oh and I use a Galaxy Nexus, which has a pentile display, but it still looks amazing. 

 

The PSV costs as much as the 3DS (at launch), which also costed as much as PSP at launch... Also, the PSP went on to sell 70 million. more than the x360 or PS3 in the same time frame. You say it's expensive but the PSV costs less than Smartphones (unsubsidised) and tablets. 

Laptop costs more than desktops, tablet cost the same as mid range desktops and it does much less... Electronics of any kind costs more to be portable than stationary.

You keep spouting that I'm a fanboy yet I have provided facts to back up my claims but you haven't.

 

@23

why are you even swearing at me and calling me a fanboy, is that all you have to say? 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 29th Feb 2012 18:56, Post No: 25

whats next post 22 are you going to tell us the psvita has graphics better than DX10/11 (good luck with that, funny how sony had to use a power VR GPU which is also in the ipad 2 and iphone 4s and is only able to do DX9.0 textures).

 

oh just one more thing the PSV doesnt use superamoled plus its just standard superamoled, if you cant tell the difference just look at a samsung galaxy s2 screen and then look at the vita screen, on the vita you can easily see the pixels even though the vita screen res is higher than the s2, the s2 uses a far superiour screen technology increasing sub pixels by over 50%. 

 

who's a fanboy now, lol clearly you are.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 26th Feb 2012 01:46, Post No: 24

with no news update on this site just shows how desperate some fanboys are and how far they will go just to try to win a pathetic debate,

 

who give a s*** what the PSV screen is, just like in 2005 when the PSP launched it was as powerfull as a ps2 6 years later the PSV comes out as powerfull as a ps3 but costing as much as it does is seriously limiting its sales.

 

if anything the PSV will do worse in sales than the PSP as the current economic climate is still not very strong hence why no new home console from sony or microsoft for at least another 2 or more years.

 

sony have made exactly the same error they made with the ps3 with the PSV, too much power making it way to expencive, its like trying to win an argument where a PC gamer is constantly saying the PC wins cause its more powerfull than a current gen console only it costs at least 4X the amount of a current gen console, so what you have better graphics thats all youve got with a games PC and its exacly the same with the PSV get past the graphics and what have you got "an over hyped media player".


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 26th Feb 2012 01:31, Post No: 23

@22 you sad little troll, got nothing better to do with your time, PSV = PSP = EPIC FAIL.

not only are you a fanboy but a sad low life with F*** all better to do that cry like a fanboy, get a life you sad f***.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 25th Feb 2012 17:36, Post No: 22

@21

 

"Luckily the PSVita uses this Super-AMOLED Plus technology, which basically match the number of Red and Blue subpixels with the number of Green pixels (essentially regular RGB). "

 

edepot (dot) com/playstation.html

it's a Super-AMOLED Plus, super AMOLED Plus is still OLED. 


It's like saying LED(-backlit) TV are not LCD, which they are. 

 

Who's a fanboy now? 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 14th Feb 2012 12:29, Post No: 21

@20 facepalm all you want buddy you are quite simply a retarded sony fanboy who cannot accept SAMOLED is better than OLED its not the f*****g same as its already been proven with the samsung galaxy S several years ago, go play your psv as much as you like as its just as much of a fail as the psp was, have a look at the jap sales of psv vs 3ds lol.

 

well go on cry here some more you stupidly retarded fanboy, ill take the ps phone any tim over that piece of over hyped junk.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Mon 13th Feb 2012 23:34, Post No: 20

@19 

LOL... *facepalm*

super amoled is still oled that's y OLED is in super amOLED. Just liked LED back-lit lcd are still lcd, just that the backlighting is LED instead of tradition CCFL.

Your argument is a fail. If you want to game and your you lose connection on onlive ... guess what ? you can't play anymore. Whie on PSV you can play your games since you have it on PSV cards or already downloaded on memory card.

You can go out and buy PS Vita games, instead of downloading them, if bandwidth is a concern. 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 07th Feb 2012 14:45, Post No: 19

@#18 lol your just a typical sony fanboy disgusted to know the simple truth, go watch blunty3000 review a jap psv and come back and try to justify your incompitance, super amoled is not the same as oled hence the 'super am' part, super amoled works in any lighting situation oled doesnt but of corse you wouldnt know that as your dumb, now what happens when you buy those games off psn hmm on a psv the games are going to be several GB in size or the later games definatly will be, good luck paying the 3g charges for downloading content like that and the same goes for WIFI.

 

your whole comment is just an epic fail, onlive you know is better, PC visuals vs not quite ps3 visuals (old tech over 6 years old vs current tech pc yeah you really win there NOT), what else oh that right WIFI onlive vs psv when your downloading those games, what happens if you lose connection oh yeah you download stops you idiot.

 

god help us these morons will never learn.


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