Impressions of the PS Vita

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On Tuesday January 17th 2012, Sony opened it’s doors to their community meet up in New York City. I arrived at the location of 154 Stanton St  at 1:30 PM. There was already a line of 20 people in front of me. Sony was giving out a PS Vita shirt to the first 100 people online. I was able to get one of these cool shirts. The store did not open until 4:30 but Sony did have a treat for the people waiting online. They came out and let some of the people online play with the Vita. Some employees came out to answer any questions that anyone had. I thought that was a nice gesture from Sony since it was a cold and rainy day. Then the doors opened and the line started to applaud loudly.

The Vita

The Vita is nothing I expected. From pictures I thought the system would be heavy but it is light. Comparable to the PSP it is much lighter and even lighter than the iPhone 4. I was able to hold the Vita with one hand and not feel any cramps. The analog sticks are completely different than the Nintendo 3DS. The analog sticks are out instead of having a grove in it like the 3DS. The sticks are great upgrade coming from the PSP and feel they can last if you take care of them. Some people have complained that the face buttons are smaller but that is not a problem. My fingers never pressed two buttons at the same time. The OLED screen makes colors  vibrant and crisp.  The touch screen is responsive and not sluggish. The back touchscreen is the same way. For example in Uncharted sometimes I would press the back touchpad and it would not disrupt gameplay. Sony has done a great job on the system. The price of the system is $250 for the Wi-Fi only version and $300 for the 3G/Wi-Fi version. I feel that the $250 price tag makes the system worth it. I wouldn’t complain if the price droped though. Below are some impressions of games available at the event.

UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS

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Once I got inside the first game I went to was Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Uncharted Golden Abyss is a prequel to the first uncharted game on the PlayStation 3. What I read from most critics about the game is true. The game looks and plays great. If anything the game looks like a mix between Uncharted 1 and 2. There was no frame rate slow down at all. In the part of the game I played I was in middle of a gun fight and had to use a sniper rifle. To aim in the rifle one can either use the gyroscope in the Vita or the right analog stick. The gyroscope will take time to get used to but the analog stick felt great.  If anything the game felt just like any other Uncharted game I played and I am looking forward to owning this game on the Vita.The game did use touch gestures and it felt responsive. The video below shows some of the gameplay first hand.

Uncharted Hidden Abyss Gameplay

 

LittleBigPlanet (Vita)

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LittleBigPlanet was a game that took me by surprise. I did not think it would look that good. The game looked like I was playing the PlayStation 3 in my hands. The touch controls work great in the game and it is not a distraction. You can play without it but any stages made with the capabilities make the ideas for stages infinite.  In this version of LittleBigPlanet mini games can be created instead of stages. I played an ice hockey mini game where you controlled the goalie and it could be played with two players. The front screen was used and the response was phenomenal. Another great game being added to the Vita.

LittleBigPlanet Ice Hockey Mini game

Wipeout 2048

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Wipeout 2048 was a surprise to me. Wipeout was my favorite game at the event. Yes I know, even better than Uncharted? Yes it was. The game is perfect for the Vita. Smooth controls and great visuals. The level I played on was a futuristic New York City. I raced through the Queens mall and up the Empire State Building. During the demo however the Gyroscope and touch controls were off. I would like to see how they go into effect. A great feature demoed at the event is that Wipeout 2048 includes the PS3 game Wipeout Fury. With the two games you can play cross game. This means one can play with someone who has the game on the PS3 locally and online against the Vita. One negative I seen was that the Vita had a slow loading time to start the race but when the game started their was no lag or difference between both versions. If this feature is continued to be use, the Vita will be a game changer.

Wipeout 2048 gameplay

Hot Shots Golf World Invitational

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Hot Shots Golf was a game that caught my attention. This was my first time ever playing Hot Shots Golf. I am not really into golf games but this game is fun. The game almost felt like Mario Golf to me. That is why the game had my attention while I was there. The details in the character looks impressive. In my opinion the characters look better than the courses and the courses are gorgeous.  In the demo there was a handful of character choices but few clubs. The game used the right analog stick to move the character and X to start the gauge. It is nice the game lets you choice how you want the gauge to look and function. Anyone can have their own preferences.

Hot Shots Golf Gameplay

Mod Nation Racers

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Mod Nation Racers unfortunately was my least favorite at the event. The game played great and reminded me of the PS3 version but the graphics looked too much like motion blur. The game felt like a video that was recorded instead of something that was crisp and smooth. There was some frame rate drops while I was playing. The game did have everything the PS3 version had with the addition of touch controls. I am not saying it is the PS3 version you just have to be your own judge.

Be Your own Judge

If you live in the New York City area you can preview the vita for yourself at 154 Stanton Street. Sony is going to have the place open until the launch of the Vita. The hours of operation are 12-8:30 PM. The place is open everyday. There are a few games I missed so anyone can go and see the other great games the Vita have to offer. You will not be disappointed.

 

Pictures

(gamingbolt.com – uncharted, http://cdn.gamefront.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/LittleBigPlanet-Vita.png – LBP, http://videoclipsimage.agaclip.com/0VsO4jYaPBg-_-ps-vita-wipeout-2048.jpg – Wipeout)

 

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One Comment

  • Great write up! That hot shots golf game is one of the most addictive games ive played on the original psp. Might have to get the vita when it drops.

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