PlayStation Vita – Next-Gen Gaming


PlayStation fans get ready for some sore thumbs!


Sony has launched its new portable game system, the PlayStation Vita which promises to deliver a more console-like experience than anything you’ve played before.


Have they delivered the goods? Yes, for the most part, but at £230, not far off the price of a PlayStation 3 console – and with games ranging from £30 to £50, it might be too steep for most gamers. The unit also falls short in a few areas.


The Vita retains the familiar general form of the PlayStation Portable hardware series while improving on nearly every aspect of its use. New features including: dual touch pads at the front and rear, dual cameras at the front and rear, dual analogue sticks, a gorgeous 5-inch OLED screen, GPS, six-axis motion sensors and a three-axis electronic compass and exceptional built-in connectivity via Wi-Fi. Taken together this makes for a handheld gaming device that truly signals the entry of handhelds into the world of next-generation gaming!


So whats new?

PlayStation Vita is designed to blur the lines between entertainment and reality in a variety of ways. Reaching beyond the capabilities of every handheld gaming console that has come before it, in this model of Vita players have access to a vast amount of content via improved Wi-Fi, allowing for maximum connectivity wherever you go. (An additional Vita model allows for Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity). Its 5-inch OLED front multi-touch display brings brilliant images to life and allows for a new touch driven navigational system, while the additional multi-touch pad on its back surface will allow users to interact with games and characters that they encounter within them with a simple movement of their fingertips. The real world and the game world are seamlessly merged with front and rear camera enabled augmented reality. So you could be going toe to toe in Reality Fighters fighting in your living room! A nice touch.



Additionally, services created specifically for Vita will be available on PlayStation Network. These services are designed help users take their gameplay, as well as interaction with other gamers, to new levels.


Starting line up


In addition to containing the best in new handheld gaming hardware technology, Sony’s PlayStation Vita provides users with the best in quality content. All your favourite game franchises are coming to Vita, including but not limited to Uncharted in Uncharted Golden Abyss, LittleBigPlanet, Hot Shots Golf, ModNation Racers, WipEout and many more yet to be announced.


Joining these new offerings, players will also have full wireless access to the PlayStation Store. Here, via Vita’s improved Wi-Fi capabilities, owners can download new game add-ons, movies, comics and PS One classics ported over for handheld play. PlayStation Vita also features full backwards compatibility to all PSP games. Together this is designed to create entertaining experiences unlike anything else available in the gaming market today.



Not Just a gaming machine

The PS Vita also offers a internet browser, downloadable applications like Netflix and Google Maps. You can connect the Vita to your computer via USB cable and copy music, photos and videos to enjoy on the go.


The cameras are a disappointment as both the front and rear cameras are only 0.3 megapixels each.


I also tried the Remote Play feature, which lets you wirelessly connect to your PlayStation 3 console. Set-up was straight forward, but was very slow when trying to access media. At this stage you can not play PlayStation 3 games on your Vita which is a shame.


However, despite the few criticisms about the Vita, there’s something special about this portable media platform. The Vita takes gaming and merges it with a TV based console – on the go.


I can totally understand why people would not want to carry a smartphone and the Vita, with its powerful processor, dual analog sticks and amazing 5-inch screen all which make it a more ideal gaming system than a replacement of a tablet or even phone.


The only thing you need to do now is start saving!


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The PlayStation Vita is released in the UK on 22 February 2012 but can be pre-ordered online from Game and Amazon