Review by ChaosInvoker

Reviewed: 07/11/12

Hey check it out, I managed to fit my PS3 in my pocket!

Nintendo has dominated the handheld department for years. Even during last generation, the DS lacked the power the PSP had; however, it had such a large library the PSP couldn't keep up. Now we've hit a new generation of handhelds, how does Sony's new toy hold up?

Hardware 8/10
The PS Vita is an excellent piece of equipment! Sony added a lot of gimmicks to compete with Nintendo’s 3DS. It has 2 analog sticks (great for FPS games), motion control (a motion sensor & gyro sensor), touch screen and a rear touch screen. One of the best examples of great use of the new hardware gimmicks is Gravity Rush, which uses the motion controls to shift your gravity, touch screen to dodge, the buttons to run, jump and kick and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the biggest issues with the PS Vita is the size of the device, as it’s rather big and doesn't fit into a pocket easily like the PSP did. On the bright side, the screen size is quite large and makes games visually more enjoyable. Also the larger device feels more comfortable in my adult hands.

It's able to play for roughly 3-6 hours after a full charge. To some that doesn't sound like enough time, but as long as you don’t have your brightness at max then you should get a good couple hours of gameplay.

Backwards Compatibility 5/10
First off I need to mention this device doesn't support PSP UMDs, which is kinda surprising considering this is the first model for the PS Vita. Some people want a better transition from one to the other! With the size of the device, it should be easy to fit a UMD drive on the back.

Also, most PSP games on the PSN are available, but there are a few exclusions. They also have yet to add the PS1 games to the PSN library as well. This new device would have been better off with a little more backwards compatible support!

Menus & built in software 10/10
No complaints here, just a big pat on Sony’s back! What’s so good about it? Well…

The home menu has several customizing options! The interface kind of reminds me of an iPod Touch/iPad/Smartphone. Every app looks like a pin that you can place on any of the 10 separate pages available. You can also add in your own backgrounds for the different pages and for the locked screen too.

To add content like video, music and photos you need to use the Content Manager program on the computer. Videos & Music files you obtain from the iTunes store work with the Vita hardware (most of the time, had a few issues with some videos).

Music can be listened while doing several things on the Vita, it can also replace the background music of the Vita game your playing (you’ll still hear the game’s sound effects). You can also hold the home button down to get a menu that allows you to control your music volume compared to the game’s sound effects. This way you can hear the action of your game better as not every song has the same base volume.

It also has a Remote Play feature that allows you to link your PS Vita to your PS3. You can listen to music, watch movies, and play Mini/PS1 games loaded onto your PS3 on your Vita. There are a few PS3 games you can play on your Vita as well using this feature. Unfortunately there isn’t a likable list of games available that take advantage of this feature! I hope in the future they’ll add more playable games from the PS3 library!

I could make an entire review on all the Menus & Software, as there’s so much more to talk about lol! The Vita has so many shortcuts and extra features that it’s best to watch a video or two about it so you’re aware of what the Vita is capable of.

Graphics 10/10
Sony has outdone Nintendo in the graphics department once again! Hey look, no-one seems surprised…
It’s like the old saying goes, graphics don’t make the game. But in my opinion, if the game is already great, then better graphics almost always improves it!

It’s almost like having a PS3 fit in your pocket, it looks that good! Uncharted, though a short game feels like a console experience and Marvel VS Capcom 3 looks every bit as good as its console counterpart!

Overall 9/10 – Not an average
The PS Vita is a very well made piece of hardware. I have a few issues with it here and there, but overall it was defiantly worth every penny I spent on it. Having a portable PS3 has been a kick!! I look forward to seeing what they make for this device in the future.

Is it a buy, wait or a no buy?
It depends, are you reading my review because your just as excited as I was to try out this hardware? If yes, then it’s a buy!!! If you’re unsure, then I’d say wait. The Vita doesn't have too many games to choose from this early in the hardware’s life-cycle! Also I expect a smaller (more portable) 2nd model to be released within a year or two that will fix a few of the early issues it currently has.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: PlayStation Vita (US, 02/22/12)

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