Nintendo kicked-off the next generation of portable gaming consoles with its launch of the Nintendo 3DS back in spring of 2011. Despite being the successor of Nintendo's popular DS line, the 3DSs performance was not quite up to par when compared its older brother. Nintendo saw this and quickly turned the situation around with a much needed price drop on the base 3ds system. Nintendo also swiftly added major game releases shortly after the price drop to make things more enticing to those who were still on the fence.
So, right now youre probably thinking, what does this have this have to do with the PlayStation Vita? The reason for this is because Sony is facing a similar situation with the launch of its successor to the widely known (Hacked) PlayStation Portable console, The PlayStation Vita. Although the scale of each situation is different, the premise very similar, which is why I wanted to specifically highlight why I think this device has such an amazing potential and to resolve some myths about the console. Going from least to greatest, here goes..
5. Decent battery
Yeah, thats right I said (typed?) it! Most would argue that the PS Vita has abysmal battery life, which is half-true considering its only 3-5 hours. When compared to the 3DS (which is also at 3-5 hours) that figure is pretty good. Especially seeing as it is a much more powerful machine and you can have up to seven applications open at once (but one game only).You can also turn Bluetooth and GPS location settings off to squeeze out more precious gaming minutes. Also the charger that comes boxed in with the Vita is pretty powerful which can fully charge the Vita in less than an hour unlike the 3DS which uses a low powered DSI charger with a charge time of 3.5 hours. This is a minor quirk but its good to know that I can get back to gaming quickly if I need to charge.
Turn off that useless Bluetooth!
4. Connecting with Friends? Not a problem.
With gaming now going mainstream, getting connected in a world with an ever-growing emphasis on social media is essential (to me at least). On my 3DS I have a hard time connecting with friends on the device because only certain games have a feature where I can join my friends match though the3DSs friends list, like Kid Icarus and Mario Kart 7. Games like Resident Evil Revelations doesnt have this feature, so I have to try to set up times when my friends can play using Swap note (3ds messaging app). Theres a problem though, the notes are not instantly sent, nor can you message without having to close your game. So often times we never find each other or I get a message too late and my friend is already offline by then.
Vita's Youtube App is well designed unlike the PS3 Version
On the PS Vita its so much easier as I can open up the messenger and send an invite and in seconds later were racing in Need for Speed or kicking butt in PlayStation All Stars. You can also chat with friends while playing games with the party chat app. When using the app you can see a listing of all the people in the room and what game they are playing and there is a button on the side that says join. This lets you instantly your friends game as he/she is talking to you. The Vita also has an app called near which uses the location services to see other PS Vita owners in your local area. (It doesnt show exactly where they are, that would be creepy!) It marks players general location on a map with their psn id avatar and you can add friends and look at their trophies etc. You can even send little in-game gifts to people nearby depending if the game in question supports it. For example in Call of duty you can send your custom load outs to nearby friends or in Ragnarok Odyssey you can send cards to help beef up your friends characters stats. The Vita also has the other functional stuff like Facebook, Skype, YouTube twitter which makes this a pretty versatile device although its not up to the standard of most current phones when it comes to these features.
Lots of people near my house with a Vita!
3. Cool Controls.
One of the major things Sony highlighted about the Vita in its announcement was the inclusion of dual analog sticks. It probably had something to do with the poor control problems for PSP games, due to the lack of one and also due to fan demand. All I can say is its great because it opens up possibilities for some genres of games that may have never come to the system without one. The sticks work very well in my opinion, and when I play games like Assassins Creed Liberation it really makes me wonder how I even put up with the PSP for 6 years. It also has touch screen and the weird rear touch pad in the back. The touch pad I cant really speak for because it only has been used for gimmicks so far, but I hope that changes with the anticipated quirky upcoming game Tearaway. The 3dS has a separate attachment called the control pad pro which allows 3DS users the ability to play with dual analog control. Although, I cant speak for it because I never got one for my 3ds because I feel its not necessary. I may get one when Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate heads to the US. Overall, given the fact that Vitas analog sticks are built in from the start, I found it to be worth mentioning as to why its awesome!
You can't play a game like this properly without dual sticks.
2. Heeello, Sexy!
Not much to say in this section because most people know that the Vita is a nice looking piece of tech. Personally, I think both the 3DS and the Vita look great but the Vita gets the edge just because of the OLED display. It doesnt sound impressive but let me throw out an old fashioned cliché and tell you it must be seen to be believed. Watching high resolution videos isn't just great, it's awesome!
The Vita looks so good this is a normal reaction for most.
1. What really matters.
The #1 reason someone would tell you, as to why they got a Vita, would probably have something to do with playing video games. Theres a problem though, because there seems to be a lot of confusion with people saying there are no games. Are the games on the store shelves invisible? Are the people making these claims blind? Is Mr. Miyamoto stealing them? Im not sure but this is one of those myths I was telling you about. The truth is the Vita does have games, lots of them. In fact, it has well over 80 retail games and the console isnt even a year old. This is not even counting all the PSP or PS one games on the PlayStation network. Im positive that everyone hasnt played every single game released for PSP, so there is something you can play. I just played Chrono Cross and Metal Gear Solid the other day (such timeless classics) as well as a newer games like little big planet and Ragnarok Odyssey.
Want cool console like games on the go? Vita's got you covered. Broke the bank after buying an expensive Vita memory card? Vita's got mobile games for less than $2. Dont like crappy $2 games? Buy some cheap PSP games (Downloading Darkstalkers Chronicle for $10 as I type this). From big Vita releases, to PSP games, to bite sized games, the Vita is on its way to having a robust library in the upcoming years. In conclusion, the Vita has games just not the kind that can move hardware which Sony needs to address.
PSN + Lauched on the Vita with a Bang!
I like both my 3ds and my Vita. I used the 3ds as a basis to compare features since the two products are direct competitors. I really think that the PS Vita is a great product and would like it to Vita (live?) along side the 3DS as both offer different gaming experiences. Also this is my first blog, and I want you, the reader, to tell me what I can improve upon in my writing because it personally is not my greatest subject.
Here's hoping for another year of happy gaming, no matter what you play on.
Nintendo World Report.com
Me and Google Images
Edit 1.0: fixed some minor grammatical errors now that I've had some sleep.