Like many gamers, I was very excited when Sony announced the PlayStation Vita at E3 2011. I wasn’t so excited when they announced that the 3G model will be powered by AT&T, but still happy that a new Sony portable system was coming out.
Once I heard about the February release date, I instantly went to Amazon to pre-order my Vita. I figured it would be easy for me to choose between the 3G/Wifi and the Wifi-only version since I didn’t care to have 3G on my Vita. I didn’t bank on Amazon offering a First Edition Bundle that comes with the 3G/Wifi version set to release on February 15th, a week before the system only packages come out.
I know some people are a little skeptical about getting a PS Vita at launch and will probably wait to see how things go by way of sales or reviews, but I’m going to be a bit more optimistic. I know sales in Japan weren’t great, but who’s to say that it won’t do well in the US and beyond? Also, if there is one thing we learned from the 3DS, it’s that a disappointing first few months don’t set the tone for the life of the handheld.
I’m a Playstation Portable owner and I’ve enjoyed mine for a long time now. My PSP has gotten me through long car rides and plane trips, keeping me entertained until I got to my destination. I love Sony as a company and honestly think they put out great products that last a long time.
I went back and forth in my head on whether or not to get a PS Vita. I admit that I did cancel my initial pre-order because I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to get a PS Vita due to the launch games not appealing to me at first. However, the more I looked into Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the more I talked myself into taking the plunge and getting a Vita. I went back to Amazon and placed my pre-order again for the First Edition bundle they were offering which would be delivered by February 15. It came with a case, a 4GB memory card and a copy of Little Deviants.
I was very excited when my Vita arrived. The initial setup was a lot like setting up a smart phone. It asks for the language you want displayed, your wifi information, and to insert an AT&T SIM card if you have the 3G/Wifi model. Once all that was set up, I linked my PS3 account to my PS Vita and was good to go.
Once you’re connected online you have the option to familiarize yourself with the system via the Welcome Park app. It shows you how to use different features such as the camera, sixaxis controls, and touch screen.
What I really like about the Vita is that not only can you see your PS3 friends online, you can also send & receive messages via the Group Messaging app (which lets your friends know you’re using your PS Vita to send your messages). Any messages you receive still show up on your PS3 as well, assuming you have the two linked.
On top of that, there’s this neat feature called Near that allows you to see what people around you are playing. They don’t have to be on your friends list for you to see them. In the Near app’s settings, you can set private locations in case you don’t want people to know your exact location. I set my house up as a private location as I don’t think it’s necessary for people to see where I live. You can also decide whether or not people who aren’t on your friends list can see your online ID. It’s an easy way to see what people around you are playing and, with proper security measures, keeps your location and identity safe.
I’ve been playing Uncharted: Golden Abyss a lot since I loved the series on the PlayStation 3. The touch screens have been well integrated into the game. You can do things like climb ropes, cut through bamboo, and even use melee via the touch capabilities of the system. Interestingly, the menu is accessible through the touch screen only. I wasn’t sure how I would like having to use the touch screens for certain things, but they did incorporate them into the game quite well. I even find myself using the touch screen to make Nathan Drake climb things as opposed to using the analog stick.
Overall, I’m enjoying my Vita so far. The screen is big and bright which makes it easier to see what you’re doing in a game and the system itself fits in my hands perfectly. Such comfort is a step up from Sony’s last handheld, which typically caused my hands to cramp after any period of extensive use. The sound quality is clear and that’s with the volume set at the default setting. The only problem I’ve come across so far is the position of the right thumb stick. I noticed when I go to press the X button, I end up trying to press the thumb stick instead. Not sure if it’s because I need to get used to the layout or not, but I’ve done it quite a few times already.
Would I recommend getting a PS Vita? Absolutely! It feels good in the hands, has a great audio, and the games look great. If you were a fan of the PSP the you’ll love the PS Vita. If you’re on the fence about getting one then I suggest you go to a store to try one out, you won’t regret it.-
Image source: Social Barrel
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