First I wasn’t even planning to get one of these, I’m still really happy with my Nintendo 3DS and none of the PSVita games really appealed to me. But when the European release date crawled closer and closer and more people I know became hyped, I decided to cave in . Ordered me a Wifi Vita with the games “Touch my Katamari”, “Dynasty Warriors Next” and Everybody’s Golf. By the way, check out this Callaway Strata review I read and got started.

So after messing around with my new toy, this is what I can say about it:

First Impressions:
Sometime before it’s release I had a 5 minute test run with one of the demo pods in the stores and I wasn’t amazed, the analogs were too small and the screen did not impress me, but you can’t be sure with such a short time, but after I received my very own PSVita I started to like everything a lot more. The analogs (and all the other buttons) are indeed pretty small, but the handheld itself is lightweight and even with the small buttons it’s a nice portable machine, I’m used to the small buttons now and I couldn’t be more happy.

At first the screen didn’t impress me but after playing the bright and colorful “Touch my Katamari” I noticed how nice the screen actually is! Combined with the graphics it really gives you a console experience right in your hands.

Inside the Vita
Everytime you turn on your device you are greeted by the time and date, you can set any picture as a background here, and just like most of the Vita’s applications you can just “wipe” it away.

It’s just like a sticker! The zipper is just part of the wallpaper though, can you think of any creative ways to “peel off” that sticker?!.

You are now in the psvita’s new OS called Live Area, just like most of the smartphones nowadays. You can even customize the live area with your own color and/or wallpapers.
and change around the “orbs”:every “orb” is a App, It can be a game, the settings or anything you download from the PSN store.
When opening a app you will see something like this:
It shows news, dlc updates, and it even shows when one of your friends earn trophies and a lot more!
The PSN Store is a little bit different than it’s big brother the PS3, see for yourself:
Everything is a lot easier to check out, and even though it’s library is not as big as it’s big brother, I’m sure it will get lot’s of love in the future. You can download everything from Full games, to Game Demos, PSP games and a future update will bring the PSone games back into your portable life. It even makes you more social…

Being Social

Nintendo has Streetpass and Mii’s, the Vita has NEAR. Depending on your system, Wifi or 3G it will determine where you are on the planet and checks your area for other PSvita players. You can see what they like and what they have played. If they own the same games as you, it will send out presents and other random goodies! People don’t have to live close to share these presents, even if a friend lives on the other side of the world you can get goodies from near. It also shares high scores and challenges which you can challenge.

The trophy app is almost like the PS3’s one but again, I like this much better. It combines your PSvita and PS3 trophies in one list, you can even separate them if you want and compare them with friends.

Friends, Group messaging and Party
The friendlist has been updated, the profiles are much nicer to check out and you can even choose your own “banner” for your profile or chats, as of now these banners are for PSvita users only though.

You can message your friends through the messaging app (you don’t say?), and even have group conversations and talk using the microphone in the Party app. Even when playing games!

In the Social section of the PSN Store you can also find Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Foursquare.
I don’t use foursquare and not using Flickr much (yet). But I’ll tell you about twitter and Facebook for now.

I’m really loving the twitter app, everything you need is in there. you can check all your tweets, messages, private messages and if you made a in-game screenshot (with the PS + Start button). You can upload pictures and show off to your friends! No complaints here.

Facebook is nice, you can check your friends, chat with them comment, like and stalk them all you want. the only thing that’s bothering me is that you can’t upload pictures! If they would add that in any of the updates I would think it’s better than Facebook on my phone! (also you can’t play games)

At this moment I have no comments on the browser, it’s so bad that it’s better if it wasn’t even there. I hope they will update this as soon as possible.

Launch games are never amazing, but some of them are fun though and really show what the Vita can do. What they also do is show off the new front and back touch screen. even though they are fun, in some games they might be annoying if you can’t turn them off. The Dual analogs makes gaming a lot better and might even make some older PSP games more enjoyable to play with. The graphics in some games may look jagged on the edges sometimes, but overall they look like early PS3 games some of the games look even better to me. Here are some examples of the games I own myself:

The (photo) camera is a nice feature but is nothing compared most of the smartphones on the market right now, and for now it’s only useful for the Augmented Reality games which are also OK in their own way but it’s nothing new or special even though they show it off that way. The 3DS’s AR games are much better and fun to play, maybe sony will bring some better games in the future but for now I think they are all just there to “show off”.
You can transfer pictures and video’s from your ps3 and/or pc to your vita, have a slideshow on the small screen but who’s really buying a vita for it’s camera features? It’s a freaking game console!.

Remote Play
Remote play is exactly the same as it was on the PSP, nothing new has been added. Sony did promise us the possibility to play PS3 games through remote play but we still need to wait and see if this is actually going to happen.

The PSvita has just been released and I understand that launch games are never that Amazing. I am almost certain that the 3DS will stay on top for a LONG time, but the Vita certainly has potential to be a good competitor. It has the power, it has the controls, it has the amazing screen. Now it just needs the games. If they would have launched with a amazing First person shooter and/or a beautiful RPG sales might have been a little bit better. Even with the high price and the fact that you have to buy a separate overpriced memory card. I won’t bring my Vita when I go out for shopping like I do with my 3DS, but with a battery life up to 5 hours it’s amazing when you sit at home on the couch or on long trips or vacations.

I’ll leave you with this comparison picture to compare sizes with other handhelds/phones.

1 comment to PSVITA Review

  • Jake Starling

    Things will get better for the PS Vita (“PSV”). With a smart advertising campaign and some great games that take advantage of the PSV’s hardware, the sky’s the limit. I still believe there is a way to make a PSV a fun and interactive learning system. The iPad is already there with musical instrument instruction et al. Could happen in a bigger way with the PSV…especially with its Augmented Reality capability. Va Pour Sa Sony!

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