Sony Playstation Vita – The Review

Sony Playstation Vita

The PS Vita will also be able to play PSP titles, minis, PS one classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store and everything is accessible from the main user interface, which you control via the touchscreen.

A great way to pause a game is to press the ‘Playstation’ button on the left-hand side of the unit, and it also allows you to get back to the main PS Vita menu, e.g. to change the game you’re playing. This is also the equivalent of a ‘back’ button.

The “Near” function is one where you can look for other players in a 10-mile radius, so you can chat with them about games you’re playing, share items and gifts within that radius by technically dropping them in the real world so that other PS Vita users who have the 3G version can go ‘geocaching’ to find them.

I couldn’t get this to work, nor for the PS Vita unit to connect to my network. I know the games had some network features disabled, so maybe it was something to do with the fact it was a review unit.

There are other online modes like “Party” where you can chat to others, but for me, it’s all about the games.

There are also two models available – Wifi-only and 3G+Wifi. The latest costs around £60 more on Amazon and also requires a monthly subscription from Vodafone. However, smartphone users like myself can, in my case, use an Android handset to tether that to my 3G network and get on that way. Well… for as long as my HTC Desire Z can do so until it’s useless battery decides to quickly deplete itself.

On the subject of batteries, another oddity is that the PS Vita does not have a removable one. They state it’s meant to last the lifetime of the unit… but why remove that choice? I don’t have any Apple products but I understand their batteries can only be changed in-store and not by the user’s hand.

And there’s something else it doesn’t do: output video. Unlike the PSP handheld, you are restricted to only seeing the games on the screen itself. This is very remiss of Sony as I love nothing more than to see my games on a bigger screen sometimes, and there are a number coming out for the Vita which will deserve to be seen on full display. Okay, so the PS Vita’s graphcs (960×540 pixels) are only a quarter of full HD, but they’d still look welcome. This loses the unit a point overall.

Go to page 3 for a look at some of the best games out now, which all come on memory cards rather than discs. For more info, click on the individual packshots and there’s examples about how you play with their interactive features on the above video. Oh, and about memory cards, you can buy ones to save your games on cards ranging from 4Gb to 32Gb.


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