So I went to GameStop last week and got myself a little treat, actually, it was a treat with a marvelous 5 inch OLED screen, and I can’t stress that enough, but I’ll keep rambling about it some more in the review here, I got myself a PSVita!
First off, I bought the Wifi only version, though let me assure you, by the time I’m writing this article, the launch edition is still available for sale, or at least the box was still up for preview in all GameStops I went to, for those of you that don’t know what the launch bundle is, it’s basically a 3G/Wifi vita + an 8GB memory card + a month of free 3G from AT&T I think, and a free PSN game, though a little research will show you that the free 3G month is only redeemable after you pay for your first 3G month, and the PSN game is redeemable after a month of activating the card, all of that was for $300, which is the price of the 3G/Wifi alone, now I don’t know what possessed me and kept me from buying that one, but I just didn’t, the Wifi only version costs $250, though how can it be Sony’s without some hidden charges here and there! Well, my dear readers, those charges are well present, you NEED to buy a memory card since apparently Sony cheaped out and didn’t implement a small amount of memory on the device for game saves, which is very stupid in my book, but anyway, I bought the 4GB card for $26 I think, a starter kit, which comes with a carrying pouch for your vita, a case for your games which can carry up to 32 game cartridges, a screen protector, and a tissue to wipe the screen with, I also bought the Mad Catz Armor Shell, which is really nice, albeit being a bit of a snug fit, as well as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Rayman Origins.
The first thing you notice when taking out the Vita from its box is how big it is, but it’s not inconveniently big, just big enough to have you notice it, the screen responds very well, the new operating system is really nice and intuitive, Sony decided to take a step back from the PSP’s and the PS3’s XMB and go with a bubble based OS (not literally, I just can’t think of a better description off the top of my head), but it suits the whole “Touch screen” theme so well, oh, and you can only use the front touch pannel while navigating through the menu, it’s annoying, but you get used to it. Another interesting thing that Sony did was making a few applications for normal PSN functions, like for example, to view your friends list, you have to launch the friends app, to send a message, the messaging app, to see your trophies,
you have to go jump through three hoops of spike and fire whilst singing killing me softly well, you get where this is going. You can’t be playing a game, pause it, and open your browser, it won’t work, the multitasking works mainly with group chatting and gaming, not all games though, if I understand this well enough, Uncharted won’t allow it, since Uncharted is one of the few Vita games (not that there’s many right now anyway) that closes all network connections while being played, saves more resources for the game, but I’m not complaining, the game looks phenomenal on the 5 inch screen.
More into tech specs now, we’ve covered the 5 inch OLED, though not HD, but rather qHD, same as the iPhone’s resolution (960×544), an ARM Cortex A9 4 core processor, a SGX543MP4+ GPU which is roughly 4 times as powerful as the iPad 2’s SGX535 (I think, just taking a swing here, correct me if I’m wrong), 512 MBs of RAM with 128MB of VRAM which makes it handle the whole “multitasking” nicely, and of course either Wifi or 3G and Wifi capabilities.
Now as far as how the handling of the handheld goes, the rear touch pad gets in the way, a lot, but I personally haven’t had any issues except for some mild discomforts while zooming in/out in Uncharted, but the place where you’re supposed to keep your hand doesn’t really help, I found my hand slipping to cover up the entire back of the vita as I was playing, thankfully, Uncharted offers traditional controls alongside touch ones, since I’m not the biggest fan of touch screens (or 3D for that matter, way too much of a gimmick in my opinion).
To all of you who have already bought a Vita, what do you guys think of it? do you think it’s worth the current price tag? and for all of you wanting to buy a Vita, I (personal opinion here, not trolling) would suggest you guys wait a bit for a price drop, or if a new vita comes out with onboard memory, though this won’t be happening anytime soon, since Sony usually gets out the “Slim” version of their consoles in like 4-6 years. If you can’t wait to play the new Uncharted, it IS a console seller, that you can be sure of, also Rayman is epic.