Core gaming with social apps and augmented reality.
Ok so recently I've picked up a wifi only version of the PS Vita in GameStop along with WipEout 2048, a 4GB memory card and a starter pack which included a plastic shell cover (doesn't actually block the buttons) and a case.
So once you open the box you'll find your Vita, charger, a bunch of instruction manuals and little packet saying "YOU'LL NEED THESE" which are your augmented reality cards for the crazy 3D camera stuff I'll talk about later on.
After your done fidgeting with everything and feeling the new analogue sticks, when you first turn on your Vita you'll be asked to activate your PSN account with the Vita, set up the internet connection ect, watch a how to video and listen to annoying menu music ect.
Ok so the first thing you'll notice is that they scaped the original XMB design and replaced it with the new LiveArea which is fully operated by touch. From here everything is access through icons which can be re-arranged in what ever suits you. You can also change the background. Once you touch any of the icons it will bring up a window confirming that you want to start the app/game. In order to close a window you bascially peal down the window. When the Vita goes into stand-by mode to start it back up you have to peel back the screen.
Available for download on the PS Store is Facebook, Twitter,Foursquare (where the hell is Skype!) and a whole bunch of others. Another app you may have seen is Near which basically socializing with gamers who are near by in your area. Near is clustered with information so it's bit messy. Something you should try is the remote play for the Vita and PS3. I did try it before with my laptop but it was really laggy but comparing it to the Vita I was playing PS1 games flawlessly. Depending on how close your PS3 is. Don't forget to check out the PS Store either its packed with demos and games.
The friends list has been changed up a little with some new features such the option to have your friends list publically displayed or the new profile background. Anyone remember back a while ago when this picture was floating around the web as a concept?
Well now it's a reality and it could be a possible update for the PS3 in the future.
One of the problems I hate about the Vita is sending messages. You can't use any of the button so it's all done by touch which is kinda really awkward and annoying because the letters are so damn small.....DAMN IT!
I'm not going to go all down to specs here so I can keep it short. The Vita finally has not 1 but 2 analogue sticks (all rejoice) if you ever played a shooter on the PSP..it's sorta ehh awkward, but now with 2 sticks it's a whole different experiance!
The Vita also boosts a multi touch screen and rear touch pad, GPS and 2 los res cameras back and front that manage to just get the job done, you can take photos and record videos. The Vita also has more RAM than the PS3 allowing it to do more meaning things like cross chat which I completely forgot to mention back in interface. Anywho the battery life last roughly from 4-5 hours depending on what your doing. Theres a headphone jack and volume control. 2 speakers either side of the Vita that actually sound really good. In terms of "how heavy is the Vita" it's not featherweight but it's not really heavy so inbetweenish if you can somehow in-vision that. The touch on the Vita works wells and some of it's uses are pretty clever like in Fifa using the rear pad for where you want to aim at the goal. The one big thing that was going through my mind before I got the Vita was how the analogues would feel. At first it's takes a little while to get used to them but they function well unlike some of those cheap controllers you might buy for your Xbox or PS3.
Games come in the form of cards/cartridges quite like the NDS
Available for free download on the PS Store is 3 augmented reality games. Table Football, Fireworks and Cliff Diving. Basically you place your AR cards down on the table and 3D stuff just starts popping up left right and center and you interact with it. Other uses augmented reality include games like Mortal Kombat or Reality Fighters using the enviroment around you as the in-game arena or tagging building with graffiti.
So let's move on to the reason why I actually bought this thing. GAMES! So far I've played WipEout 2048, Unit 13, Hustle Kings, FIFA Football and some puzzle game. I know I need to download more games and demos but my memory is limited.
This things is a big step up from the PSP. It's like the step up from PS2 to PS3. The graphics and gameplay are amazing for a handheld. Playing FIFA on the Vita compared to the PSP was much better experiance with the smoother gameplay. As a fan of WipEout I can definitely say I love playing it. The majoriy of online games I've played have been lag free and it's pretty fun pulling horrid faces to show off if you place on the top 3 at the end of race or if you destroy someone elses ships. Looking at some of the other games out and the list of games in development I'm looking forward to playing some FPS shooters like Resistance but 1 game I'm very curious about is the GTA: Vice City Nights leak. I'm dying to see how it looks and if it'll use the rag dolls physics introduced in GTA IV. Aside from GTA I'm also looking to get into some JRPG like Monster Hunter and what not. Seemingly as there's so many games coming out for the Vita I'm gonna need to look for a summer job somewhere.
"Would I recommend getting a Vita?"
If you in it for the games it's well worth investing in it. I know your iPhone can do a lot more in terms of features a decent web browser but it's can't whip out dual analogue sticks and Resistance. (all rejoice again). Are waiting for a price drop or another model to be released? Or are waiting for Christmas or your birthday?
Moving along some of the features I would like for the Vita is using the dirrectional buttons to work the keypad when sending messages. Get Skype and get my PS Minis working!! I forgot to cover that too. Basically over the years of PS Plus I've racked up over 40 PS Minis and abotu 20+ PS1. We're waitng for the firmware update to play PS1 Games but my Minis won't start up and it's the same for my friend with his Vita. Another thing I would of wanted but it's too late now is a decent amount of built in memory for the Vita but what can ya do.
PS home if it were possibie would be pretty cool on the Vita.
I know I probably didn't cover everything but if you ever do happen to pick up a Vita let me know!