Thursday, 14 June 2012
Sony PS Vita 3G + WiFi Full Review
I have been waiting for PS3 gaming on a handheld for years. Enter the PSVita. Now let's kick things off with the hardware. The PSVita is made entirely out of plastic, but dont let that put you off.It is constructed out of high quality plastic and when I first held it in my hands I had a feeling that I was holding bullet proof glass (NO JOKE). Now lets move on to the buttons. The d-pad and buttons are great. However the action buttons are quite small and for people with large hands this can proove to be an issue. Even I don't like them that much. They are very responsive don't get me wrong but I prefer the regular mushy buttons that were on the original PSP's not including the PSP Go of course which was worse on every level. Also the original PSP's buttons felt more like the buttons that were on the PS2 and 3 controllers. So I would of liked those to be on the Vita. Now lets talk about the software. Sony is DONE with the XMB and have replaced it with this applications interface. Now it is satysfing to flick between these screens here because the screen is so vibrant and responsive with it's capacitive touch screen but it looks like everything is painted on Smarties. It looks like this is more suited towards kids. Also the app interface does come with it's problems mainly due to launching applications which always come with few second load times whereas the XMB everything was pretty instant. In the XMB you could go to your videos, music and photos without having to wait for it to load but unfortunatley, that's not the case with the Vita's new interface. Sony should of atleast given us the option to switch between the two. You can also lock your PS Vita with a 4 digit code so no one can access it. Great if it falls into the wrong hands. That was a feature I wanted on the original PSP but it wasn't included. Also just look at how long the charger is. It is a 3 piece charger and at night I connected it to the PS Vita and for some reason it wasn't charging and I thought I broke it. But then I noticed that it fits in both ways. It is not a hard design choice and I don't know why Sony did that. The screen on the PSVita is 1 inch bigger than the 1st three PSP's and when you use this then you will not want to go back to any of the other PSP's screens. Not only because of it's bigger size but also because the screen is so vibrant and colourful. The Vita's front panel sports a highly reflective gloss finish which smudges and collects dust easily. However smudges can be removed with an occasional wipe, glare on the other hand is a constant problem. Indoors adjusting the position of the Vita is not a problem, however outdoors it is completley unusable. Making the screen brighter helps but it comes at the cost of battery life. Speaking of battery life. Sony quotes that you get 5 hours of play time and they don't live up to their promises. When I first took the PSVita out of the box and started using it Bluetooth was enabled and so was wifi (once you set it up) and with those settings on I got only 2 hours and 15 minutes. However when I disabled wifi and bluetooth I got 3 hours and 30 minutes. The PSVita's battery life is a problem. I know it has high specs but Sony knew about the dissapointment on the 3DS's battery life and they should of atleast strived to make the battery life better but it is infact worse. What also makes it harder to resolve the Vita's battery is that it is not user accessable. That means that unlike the 3DS you can't remove it and replace it with a higher rated battery. There is also the rear trackpad controls. So far it serves no use for the games. Using it is essential for games like Little Deviants but the control is awkward and I didn't enjoy using it. In my opinion I enjoyed using it for the smaller things like zooming in and out with your rifle by sliding the trackpad up and down. It is certainly not for everyone and to show it off as a highlight, developers need to start working on games that will take advantage of the touchpad otherwise it will just be completley ignored. And the front and rear cameras leave alot to be desired. Now you use the buttons on the Vita to play however the touchscreen is also thrown into the mix. And what this implies is that the touchscreen is meant to compliment the controls, not replace it. Developers are not going to be spending so much time to produce a game for an iPad like Uncharted and it is obvious that it is so much more fun to play with physical controls and not entirely on a touchscreen. Let's talk about aurgmented reality because the PSVita has a couple games that demonstrate it, the main one being Reality Fighters which is great fun and is freakishly satisfying to see yourself in the game. However the downfall is that it is not built in. The 3DS came with a ton of augmented reality content built in and they were great. However Sony are charging you to use augmented reality which I question when you take into account the PSVita's BIGGEST problem, and that is cost. The PS3 is even priced at the same range or you could pick up a 3DS that has much more titles currently available at a lower price tag. What's worse is that Sony have chosen expensive propriatary memory cards which add to the problem. The PSVita is high quality and premeum tech and retail price for the WiFi only model is £230. There is also a WIFI+3G model priced at £279. This includes a free 4GB memory card, and a PAYG SIM card, which when topped up with £5 of credit allows consumers to download a copy of launch game WipeOut 2048. As a further sweetener, Vodafone will offer anyone purchasing the console 250MB of data lasting up to 30 days with full 3G connectivity. The PSVita truly is a remarkable device. Albiet larger and heftier than it's predaccesor and the 3DS. Will I be getting one? I most certainly will. However I am going to wait for more titles to release and for a price drop. Also seeing homebrew on this in the future will be alot of fun. It would be great if an application was released for this where you could use the Vita as a wireless controller for your PC games. That would be awesome. If you must buy it now then there is plenty of fun to be had. But those who wait would benefit from a wider selection of games and software.