Sony PS Vita: It’s Finally Here!

For the past few weeks gamers have been waiting to see if the new Sony handheld, the PS Vita will live up to the hype. Last year’s E3 gave us just a taste of what the Vita can do, for a couple of months now we have been hearing mixed reviews, but I finally got my hands on the vita and will give you my take on it.

Hardware

The PS Vita’s hardware works well in sync with the software and this system also has a collection of buttons and joysticks that work well, they work well in an awesome way with the two touch surfaces (on front and back) of the Vita. The touch pads on the back is very sensitive; I’m heavy handed and while using the touch pad in the back my character in” Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen “went flying.

The position of the controls feels natural if you are not use to the Play Stations controller you will adapt to it pretty quickly. When looking at the system it looks heavy, but instead it is very light and feels comfortable in your hands.

Battery life is amazing! I’ve gamed for 6 hours straight (don’t judge me) and my battery life was at 60%. When not in use the vita goes into a hibernation mod, to get back to gaming all you have to do is press the PS logo button and your back to gaming.

Software

You have two screens from where you can access apps, the first being is the home screen. The home screen is comprised of as many panels as you wish, each having room for 10 shortcuts to apps or features. On the left side of the home screens you’ll see some dots, these dots showing you which of your several home screens you’re currently in. If you’ve got any applications open, you’ll also be able to see an arrow pointing to the right – this arrow leads you to your LiveArea Screens.

Here you’ll find a series of cards called LiveArea Screens that each has a core app in them, each core app given a card like this for various possible reasons. Each Screen is activated by tapping and has a “start” button in the center if you simply want to get to the app itself surrounded by various items that can range from leaderboard scores, tips, instant connections to friend nearby, and a display of who is playing the game (if it is a game) when you’re looking at it.

Some of the other apps you have are Messaging, this allows you to message friends on the Play Station Network. The Welcome Park app takes you on a walkthrough on how to use the PS Vita. Party app allows you to speak to and engage with your friends that have connected to you through this app. Like the rest of the friend-connected apps, this app works through the PlayStation Network and has an ultra-simple interface which allows you to set up or join a party then speak with your friends and join the games they are playing. Friend’s app allows you to have the friends you have on the PS3 on the Vita.

The Near app is a GPS location app which allows you to show off what games you’re playing, how well you’re doing and discover other PS Vita players around you. Trophies another app just like devices you’ve got connected to the PlayStation Network (your PlayStation 3), you’ve got this space to check out accomplishments for each game that you’ve got on your device. You can either show off all the trophies you friends couldn’t get or just compare them.

The Vita has a back and front camera, photos taken in the Vita come out nice but its nothing to brag about. The web browser that the Vita OS uses appears much like a prime-time-ready look at the web, with an interface on the right hand side for heading back and forward, multiple tabs, searching, and seeing favorites along with settings at the bottom bubble. Scroll down and the URL bar disappears up with the top of the page, this browser acts like an app that’s fully aware of the display size its working with and certainly making the best of it.

The Videos app is a very basic interface with separations between All, Rented, and transferred in from your PC. Their screens and the videos themselves having screenshot disabled. PlayStation Store has movies and TV show episodes for sale, so essentially your whole LiveArea is covered with links to videos you can go to the store and pay for. Remote Play feature allows you to connect to the Playstation 3 with the PS Vita. I hear the setup is pretty simple, but I haven’t tried because my PS3 is hacked (yes I said hacked).

Conclusion

I had my doubts about the Vita just like everyone else, but what really sold me was Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I love the series, so yes I bought the system for the game. Once I started playing around with the Vita I fell in love, the picture are amazing and bright, the touch pad on the back works perfectly, and being able to game with friends while on the move was just the icing on the cake.

I don’t have to run home to try a demo I can easily download it on my Vita from the Play Station Network. I have the WIFi only PS Vita which is $250, as I did not see the need to get the 3G when my phone works a hotspot.

Everyone keeps asking me is the Sony Vita worth the money I say…Hell yeah!!!

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Angelina Montanez born and raised in the Bronx, known as the "Electronic Hoarder" when she's not out looking for a new gadget to add to her collection, you can catch her playing with one of her many gaming systems.