In recent years, portable gaming has exploded. Once the near-exclusive domain of Nintendo and its two-decade stream of best-selling devices, now smart phones and tablet computers compete for time, attention and dollars.
Nintendo’s latest release, the glasses-free 3DS has struggled to find its footing as well, leaving an opening for a device to satiate hardcore gamers.
Enter the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s latest portable powerhouse and the handheld that serious gamers have been dreaming about for years.
At first glance, the Vita doesn’t seem much different from Sony’s last portable, the PSP. Roughly the same size and weight as the previous system, the Vita feels comfortable in your hands. All the buttons, thumb-sticks and pads are easily accessible, though the sheer quantity of control options takes a tiny getting used to.
Those familiar with the PSP will be pleased to know that my reference to thumb-sticks, plural, is not a mistake. There are indeed two analog sticks, in the same configuration as Sony’s dual-shock controller.
The twin-stick design is gaming’s standard, and it’s nice to finally have a handheld that adheres. Moreover, these sticks have more substance to them than the PSP’s tiny disc, creating more precise control.
Above the thumb-sticks, you will find the usual assortment of buttons: on the left, a digital directional pad set in a concave circle, perfect for fighting games; on the right, the standard four-button pattern instantly familiar to anyone who has played games since the SNES.
Two shoulder triggers finish the button selections, making the unit feel like a slightly oversized control pad.
But we are not done yet. Keeping up with the times, the unit’s brilliant 5-inch, high-definition OLED display doubles as a touchscreen, and on the back there is a touch-pad. Both support “multi-touch,” allowing gamers to use multiple fingers to pinch and swipe as games allow.
If all that is not enough, Sony’s packed in the most sophisticated motion sensors available, with a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a three-axis compass to detect your every twitch. You may get lost, but your Vita will always know where it is. Rounding things out, front- and rear-facing cameras grant visual input into games and apps.
Of course, all the features in the world would mean tiny if the system did not have the power to play good games. The Vita’s quad-core ARM Cortex processor and dedicated graphics chip provide near-PS3 quality. One look at “Uncharted: Golden Abyss,” and you will know you are holding a powerhouse.
To complement the system’s sheer power, Sony emphasized connectivity, necessary in this multiplayer, streaming media world.
The Vita comes in both Wi-Fi and combination Wi-Fi/3G flavors. 3G will cost extra, as you will have to buy bandwidth from AT&T. Some fans have balked at Sony’s choice of provider, given the problems many experienced with AT&T’s handling of iPhone data plans, but the company is promising a stress-free experience. I question Sony’s decision to go with the soon-to-be obsolete 3G standard instead of 4G or 4G LTE, both offered by AT&T. If Sony wants to get five or more years out of the system, the company should have thought ahead.
While the Vita can play older PSP games, you will have to re-purchase and download them via the PlayStation Network store. The Vita uses small data cards rather than the PSP’s UMD format, which never caught on.
You can also forget about using your old PSP memory card, or any other standard memory card. The Vita uses proprietary memory cards that cost considerably more than the standard SD cards most electronic devices employ. Sony claims the proprietary card grants it to better control the memory specifics like transfer speed, but this sure feels like a cash grab.
So what can this impressively powerful machine do? Next week, we will explore the Vita’s most important aspect: The games and programs it plays. Stay tuned to see if this handheld lives up to its hype.
- Xbox 360 Review: PopCap Hits
- Rihanna Should i was Riccardo Tisci and More about May We have found have a look at a popular Instagram pix through yesterday 04 Chemical
- Sony Bets on Its PlayStation Vita To Boost Sales
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time preview
- [Rumor] 2K Sports ya trabaja en Wii U
- nteresting compete using the mid-day, for the observation of the , is an Rank Nine sevenfurlong problem. H.
- Cosmetic Dentist Sydney Care Physician
- Infernal Engine Authorized for Nintendo 3DS Development
- Unplayable PS1 Game Debuts on PS Vita Store
- Sony Ericsson shows off Xperia Play phone for PlayStation games (video)
Submited at Sunday, February 26th, 2012 at 7:00 pm on PSP by alliana
Comment RSS 2.0 - leave a comment - trackback