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Burning Embers: PS Vita First Impressions

by on December 13, 2011
 

Huzzah, after a week and a day break I have returned. There won’t be any “Batman Returns” type action in my return but you at least get to hear what I think about the PS Vita.

So I had the wonderful chance to test out the PS Vita at the Vita Hill Club in San Francisco last night. A lot of press were in attendance so there was a good amount of hogging being done, but I got to play a decent amount of games and to get a feel for the Vita. The Vita in essence feels similar to the PSP except when you’re using the dual analog sticks of course. However, the Vita is quite different from the PSP. Aside from the dual analog sticks the Vita features front and back facing cameras, a touch screen, and a touch surface on the back. What’s really interesting is the touch surface on the back of the PS Vita. Fifa was the only game I played that took advantage of this feature, you could touch the back surface to kick your soccer into a section of the goal, so I’m not sure as to how developers are going to use this function or if they will use it at all outside of sports games.

Anyways, outside of physical features the Vita also showcases augmented reality. In some games you can move the Vita around to see other areas of a game or to move around your sniper gun. From what I played this can be quite awkward. You’re either trying to keep up with the scene unfolding as you mash buttons or getting a bit frustrated at how slow things are moving. However, this is just the first generation of this device so I’m certain things will improve as time passes.

Jumping onto the trendy bandwagon the Vita now has apps. These are real bonafide apps, not the crappy ones that just send you to a web browser. When you chose the twitter app you actually go into the twitter application made for Vita. Now, if you’re really app crazy you’re going to be a bit disappointed though, the Vita will only have the twitter, flickr, 4square, facebook, and skype apps upon launch. I believe the device will be getting more as time goes by, but as to how many and how often I don’t know. However, you do have to understand that Sony made this device mainly for gaming so don’t expect too much out of the apps arena two years from now. I asked if games would have social media support but unfortunately that information was not available at the time. I did however find out that Motor Storm for the Vita will have social media compatibility. For me, social media compatibility isn’t that big a deal, but I did all of this for you dear readers. I’m so good to you and you don’t even know it. 😉

Anyways, my final assessment as to whether the Vita will be worth the price tag is inconclusive. The games available at the event weren’t very many and a lot of them felt like casual games. I myself wouldn’t buy the Vita at launch because of the enormous price tag for a hand held plus the very high cost for memory cards. In my opinion I think waiting for the Vita to come out instead of buying at launch or pre-ordering would be a better idea. This way you can see what other games will come out for the Vita and also see if enough complaints about the high prices will bring the price of the Vita down. But if you have money just burning a hole in your wallet and want a Vita then be my guest.

 

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