The HotSpot - PlayStation Vita - 2/15/12

After a week of putting the PS Vita through its paces, The HotSpot crew delivers its verdict on Sony's newest handheld.

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There comes a time in every device's life when it must leave its loving, protective creator to make its fortune in the world. PlayStation Vita: Now is your time. Having spent a week or so playing around with Sony's latest handheld, Kevin VanOrd, Chris Watters, Tom Mc Shea, Brendan Sinclair, and Tom Magrino deliver their verdict. (Hint: Most of us are big fans.) We also marvel over the success of Double Fine Adventure and snicker at the idea that Activision is an innovative company.

The HotSpot - PlayStation Vita - 2/15/12 by gamespot

Audio above, video below!

Now with more fan art!

David scribbles…

REgrl4life urges you to fear the microphone octopus.

Dave writes:
I was listening to your discussion about the Playstation Vita on the last Hotspot with great interest. One point I don't think you touched on is that console technology has been fairly static recently, whereas the average smartphone has been getting more and more powerful. Pretty soon there will be nothing that a Wii/Xbox/PSV can do that a smartphone can't do as well.

For example, there are already adapters available for plugging your smartphone into high-def TVs and watching movies. If you added some playstation-style controllers connected via bluetooth you could probably turn a smartphone into a portable gaming console fairly easily. Or develop some sort of clamshell that you slip the smartphone into in order to provide buttons and joysticks similar to the 3DS and PSP. The peripheral technology is already here today and it won't be long before the processing power available in your standard smartphone makes all of this possible.

As for the all-in-one versus dedicated gaming device argument; I travel a lot so I really like having one thing that does (almost) everything. It makes my life easier when I only need to carry around one power adapter, one headset, one USB cable, etc. I'm willing to trade some of my gaming experience for the added convenience of an all-in-one device. I think (one of) Magrino's points was that the industry is moving in this direction and in that I agree with him. But of course everyone is different so it's nearly impossible to develop a single device that'll completely satisfy everyone.

A clear winner.

Discussion

126 comments
blue900
blue900

@beeftaco3232 who cares if you didn't give permission for ppl to comment. its a public forum. And the "shut it" comment shows your maturity....shut it - really??? Oh my I just wasted 1 minute typing this to you. What was the saying, "Do not cast your pearls before swine." Darn I just gave you a pearl...

blue900
blue900

@ davedrastic I agree that both are engaging but not the same immersion depending on the gamer. Infinity blade doesnt get me like a bad Uncharted does lol. Final Fantasy tactics on my ipad was pathetic on touch compared to my psp version which I can play on my vita. I wont find disgaea and tactcs ogre either. Engaging angry birds yes....but not the same. So these systems should not be compared. What we have to see is will portable gaming shift to the smart phone formula? I hope not, it's like playing a Wii on the go vs. a PS3 on the go lol. And I personally don't like to lose battery life on my phone because I played a game on it lol. If my battery dies on a VITA i can still text and makes calls on my phone...because it's a phone first :).

godfather_1
godfather_1

How does that Michael Cera looking-guy get a job as a gaming journo, he sounds way too much like a iPhone fanboy.

Magrino
Magrino

@FreedomPrime I do understand that the Vita is a gaming device, not a phone. That's the problem.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

"and the WII U will probably be nintendo's last system" magrino, lay off the sauce.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

I don't think magrino understands that the vita is a gaming device, not a phone......

WCK619
WCK619

how is sharing the Vita from work instead of buying it morally different from pirating? Tom fully admits to enjoying the Vita. Its hardware and its launch lineup are "shockingly good". But he won't support the developers by buying it because he can use it for free instead.

Vince21C
Vince21C

portal consoles are gona hit it big 4 kids, anyone over 16-18... not so much... that is why Nintendo > Sony Kids just wuldn't jack off to Nathan Drake LOL!!

Vince21C
Vince21C

there can't be stand alone portable game consoles no more... =/ I mean look at the phones and how they evolved first it was just calling people then it was texting people then there was the snake games then it was cameras then it was video calls then it was the mp3//ipods now there are the iphones.... portable consoles... they need some of that stuff if ppl are gona buy it... I mean I am pretty hardcore don't mean to brag *brushes shoulders* =} but a home console is all I need and the portable apps are good enough for the bus rides and what not...

j_kizi
j_kizi

Off topic... Did you know there is a gun that fires a tornado in MGS4!!!!?, i was shocked to find this out yesterday, while i was at work watching youtube.. :P ... i have to play that game again and find that gun now!!!

hobojoe58
hobojoe58

Magrino sounds like kermit and fakes his affection towards games. Hes more like a distant CEO than a thoughtful consumer, McShea should host, yea sometimes the good guys do win.

jecht_35
jecht_35

I don't want the vita to be a phone but it couldn't hurt sony to input some of the functionality of an itouch.

forest4
forest4

I agree with Kevin that the iPhone does gaming poorly and does internet well and the PS Vita should be good for gaming but not for much else.

tane100
tane100

Activision will end up making a dedicated console/device Modern Warfare-only dedicated, not in a distant future.

Longini
Longini

Wanted Twistel Metal. However, good crew/discussions this week.

Magrino
Magrino

@ejpaine I'm not so sure about that. We don't just go handing out 11s all willy-nilly.

twztid13
twztid13

@Smithers2286 I know no one that likes the new dash. It sucks. It burys everything in menus, makes all my props & premium themes just about worthless, and causes me to ignore everything on there except the marketplace & my game. I used to watch all the different vids, buy stuff for my avatar & themes. MS ruined what we all liked just to make people that were tricked into buying Kinect feel good (but those people are still pissed since all they can do is voice command to a top row menu, but still have to use the controller to navigate the MANY sub menus). They made it horizontal like the XMB, which I hate. It was a stupid idea, and they did it cuz some marketing pud told them it'd help to sell Kinects & so they could say, "hey our phones match the 360." Kevin is not out of touch, imho. He has his finger on the pulse of the industry because of his job, and is far more likely to have a grasp on what the majority of gamers think than a random commentor.

ejpaine
ejpaine

You guys were talking about re-reviewing a game and how games grow- especially in multiplayer and I just wanted to say that MGS4 had MGO and if that was re-reviewed, you would have had to give it an 11. It's multiplayer component was next level in terms of design even though it took a long time to develop to that state. Since its learning curve was super high, that evolution time was worth it.

dbene
dbene

@Tom McShea. I usually ALWAYS concur with your opinions...but wow. Seems like you almost completely discount the PSX. I found it far more superior than N64. Also, IMO that is the generation where gaming left the mainstream and into the adult arena. How can Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo, and Metal Gear Solid...not be considered amazing major milestones? IMO, the PSX had far more groundbreaking material than the 64. Not to mention the fact, that Sports games actually started looking like sports games rather than 2D false generation. I have never heard the Fifth Generation of Gaming to be considered the "lost generation". I almost consider if the renaissance of modern gaming.

dbene
dbene

@donalbane I have a Kinect but I do not keep it plugged up unless I am going to play a kinect game. Seems just as easy to me to use the controller instead of standing up and waving m arms around.

Magrino
Magrino

@Kazuma_Kiryu Sweden is actually fifth most popular at 176. I should note that these figures are only for the SoundCloud audio file. Not video.

Kazuma_Kiryu
Kazuma_Kiryu

How many viewers do you have in Sweden? Would be interesting to know.

donalbane
donalbane

@dbene It's great if you have Kinect. I guess if you don't, it's not as good as the old one, but hey... you always can hit the guide button.

dbene
dbene

@Smithers...I hate the new 360 dashboard and all the friends I know hate it as well. I actually hated the one before as well. My favorite was the old "non avatar" dashboards that used to have the big "blades".

georgeschall
georgeschall

I just wish you guys'd have more time to debate subjetcs like it was before...

Magrino
Magrino

@twztid13 That link is busted for whatever reason. Click "Comment on this video" and it will take you to the HD video.

Smithers2286
Smithers2286

@Kevin-V This was the first time i've heard anyone "dislike" the new dashboard. Everyone I know loves it, and most articles i've read praised it. So, if you need to tell yourself that you're in the "majority," because you're unwilling to realize your opinion is out of touch. Then so be it. Also, it wasn't intended as an insult, but rather an observation. It would seem you might be a bit defensive.

michelracineco2
michelracineco2

I agree with Magrino. To justify buying the Vita, I need more than just a game machine.

twztid13
twztid13

Why doesn't the HD version work? Hop on it, guys!

twztid13
twztid13

I hope this is just as intelligent & unbiased as the "3ds is doomed" hotspot.

Ultrabeatdown55
Ultrabeatdown55

My god, the host Tom does not know when to quit. He basically got shut down on EVERYTHING he said, yet kept going and telling McShea he doesn't have enough information. Come on man... Same rules apply to yourself, Mr. Magrino.

Magrino
Magrino

@decebal Tell me about it! I've been trying to get that Mcgrido guy fired for years.

decebal
decebal

BTW, I bought an Iphone without a contract. I didn't want to pay $3000 on a contract.

decebal
decebal

WOW... that Tom Mcgrido guy doesn't know when he lost an argument. He clings on to the argument like he's 13.

ColoradoKindBud
ColoradoKindBud

I'm loving the Vita so far. It truly feels like an extension of the PS3 & I LOVE that my Vita trophies go toward my overall trophies for PS3. Sweet! And current-gen console quality games in my pocket is awesome. I'm really glad I purchased the Vita.

monster637
monster637

Then there the major issue of who the hell walks around now adays playing a portable game system.......like your some kinda wierdo, .chicks digg the guy waiting for his mom to pick him up or on the bus playing his new version of a psp........at 30 years old

wowwow27
wowwow27

their issue with the vita is the fact that you can't get on game-spot and stream video and audio easily.

donalbane
donalbane

They say that the games are the main selling point of the console, but there was just news of a rumor that Japanese developers are 'jumping ship' and abandoning the platform to instead work on the 3DS instead. If it's true, the platform may be launching in the US with limited support moving foreward, but hey... I like Western games a lot more than Japanese games generally, and I doubt that the rumor is 100% true. I like buttons and sticks too. Phone gaming will never do it for me, and I've never enjoyed any of the games on my Android.

hojo80
hojo80

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dbene
dbene

I think it's an interesting argument on whether or not the Vita needs to have more apps gadegets...etc.. like smartphones. I can see both sides. It's similar to the same reason I personally can't understand the popularity of tablets (Ipad, etc.) ...as smartphones can do all those same things. I simply don't understand the love for tablets...right now.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@dbene No, you heard me right. I loved the Nintendo 64 at the time, and still enjoy certain games like Super Mario 64, but the generation as a whole has the fewest timeless games. 3D just wasn't ready for prime time yet, so you have to deal with tons of fog (N64) or just ugliness (PSX), and the twitchy analog sticks made movement and camera control clunky. There are still amazing 2D games (Puzzle Fighter, Symphony of Night), but it's mostly a graveyard of failed 3D experiments.

monster637
monster637

@MassaBR wishing for sony to be able to make decent software like apple or micro soft is like the chances of me having proper grammers and punctuation ......not gonna happen, hardware usually great and durable from sony......interface bah.....the ps3 xmb makes the horrible xbox interface look like da venci !!!

dbene
dbene

Wow....how in the heck could the Playstation/Saturn/N64 generation suck? IMO that's is when really took off. Maybe I misinterprated that comment.

monster637
monster637

The vita is The Yoko ono of gaming, the whole crew looked heated and ready to fight and by the end it looked like the band wanted to break up......... Who the hell wants a vita to play tetris. hand helds make great developers waste there time to make great games that no one wants to play on a lil screen,namco,tekken naughty dog,capcom making a resident evil on a horrible 3ds, kingdom hearts make it to every portable, but people have been screaming to give there money for a real console game,

monster637
monster637

while the money makers are the games that are for your grandpa or mom, angry birds, worms , tetris or 3ds, i know is all 3rd grade to 9th grade girls. they all own a 3ds. People now want there 60$ games played on there 70 inch tvs in HD and surround sound.. Yes i owned the first game boy ...and i own a god of war psp.... got like 5 games i keep around for it mgs, streetfight alpha 3, darkstalkers,tekken dark resurrection.kingdom hearts , bought both god of wars....every game i can only play or have incase there is a hurricane or a black out or a nuke fall out..Because they all sucked, because they were games that should be on a real console on a real tv . Hand helds are dead and Ds and 3 ds will be kept alive , by elementary schoolers and nerdy jr high and fat soccer moms.......people will use phone games for the bus ride now....hand helds are dead and the vita is the nail in the coffin and for the better ,more time for devs to make great games where they belong and should be played on 50 inch hd tvs at home, or tournaments or competitions ,or PCs

MassaBR
MassaBR

I think Sony will position the Vita to be more than a dedicated gaming handheld, it's just a matter of time. The OS on this device was built like Android, webOS or iOS, not the bare bones embedded operating system you'd expect to find on a dedicated gaming system (like the 3DS). The cost of doing that was significant, both in terms of staffing up to write the OS as well as adjusting the hardware to fit it, so it'd be crazy to assume they're not doing anything with it. Apple didn't build the iOS line-up of devices in a day; they started with the iPhone, which launched without an appstore. As of March 2011 the iPod Touch sold 60 million and the iPhone 100 million (source: Wikipedia). The iPhone launched earlier so I don't think the ratio in sales is as significant as Magrino seems to think. And that's not considering the iPad, which is also not a phone and doesn't do "everything", but seems to be doing quite well. It seems to me that Sony's strategy is to build a platform and a line-up of devices with a big differentiating factor being the quality of the games, which is their strength. It certainly beats the strategy of trying to compete with Chinese and Korean electronics in the Android/Windows market, where profit margins on the devices are razor thin, turnaround is quick (and they can't keep up) and all the benefits of being the platform holder (like the 30% cut of all app purchases) are in the hands of Google or Microsoft.