Well it’s here. The PlayStation Vita arrived stateside with the first edition bundle last week and I’ve had enough time to play with it to develop early thoughts. With the official launch this week, actually tomorrow to be honest, the console will have a whopping 20 plus launch titles which is a lot better than the 3DS. But if you think about it the 3DS did have backwards compatibility something the Vita doesn’t have. This is a huge set back early on. You can’t play your PSP games. Now I’m not saying the PSP had a great library, that is in fact what killed the handheld. In order to play your PSP games you have to go into the PlayStation Store and repurchase it there, with no discount. Want to play Kingdom Hearts again? Got to fire up your PSP. See it’s only some games that you can play on there, I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal but deep down inside it kinda upsets me.
Now let’s go into the actual console itself. The fact that it has two analog sticks makes this a vast improvement over the PSP. With a slicker and bigger screen, and design the system feels like the handheld we should have gotten those years ago when they first decided to try to lose to Nintendo in the handheld race. There is no huge flaw with the design other than having a touch screen. Yeah the touch screen works great with games like Little Deviants but it takes away from games like Uncharted. I am one of those gamers who just likes to play video games, like more on a hardcore level. Motion controls made me run away from Nintendo and fell into Microsoft and Sony’s arms instead. Now they develop optional motion controls and I’m disgusted. I do like the back touch pad, but there really hasn’t been much of a use for it. If only they had that instead of the touch screen then the screen wouldn’t get so muddied up.
As for the games themselves, I don’t like what the games come in, it’s hard to explain, it’s like a bigger SD card but it’s easy to lose and less clunky than the UMD that they used to use. The internet accessibility on it is what also drives me mad. You have two options, a 3G model and a Wi-Fi model. If you get the 3G model you can also run Wi-Fi on it. That’s what is the huge selling point on the 3G model is. But the problem is the cost of a plan. It’s 30 bucks a month just for 2 gigs of data through the only carrier, AT+T. So that’s like a total rip off, you’re gonna find yourself whipping out your smart phone or other 3G device to use internet on a non hot spot device while pausing whatever you are doing on the Vita. Unless they develop a more reliable data plan at a more friendly price I most likely will be turning off the 3G and running at the Wireless hot spots around the area.
Now as for the game I played Uncharted and that’s about it. The visuals so far look to be about early PS3 titles which is pretty good, and the controls are nice but the damn touch screen feels forced and gimmicky, I can’t find a way to turn it off but thank god it’s not a large part of the game. The interface on the menu also seems very, well not PS3 like. Give me that menu screen and I’ll be content.
Needless to say, I love my Vita. I can’t wait for more titles to come with it and the idea that games that are on both the PS3 and Vita can have one save that you can upload to the console or the handheld and pick up and play. I also am curious to see what the future holds for the remote play that they talked about, streaming PS3 games onto the Vita. This is a must have but if you can wait, then wait, the price tag is a bit steep right now and it’s understandable. Also the wait for the titles to be announced is frustrating, there is no real future titles announced yet, and that isn’t happy.