Is the PS Vita Worth Buying?

Is the PS Vita Worth Buying?
Sony’s PlayStation Vita has arrived as the next generation handheld gaming device, but is it worth picking up? As a handheld portable gaming device, the PS Vita delivers a great gaming experience. It delivers plenty of graphical processing power to play console-like games on a compact mobile platform. The high resolution, OLED screen is beautiful to play on and it has controls similar to what you find on a PlayStation controller. In addition to it all, Sony has also added features we would come to expect in a mobile device today. Let’s take a look at what Sony is offering with the PS Vita.

Pros

5″ OLED Multi-Touch Display
Using an Organic Light-Emitting Diode, the PS Vita delivers amazingly, brilliant graphics with approximately 16 million colors and higher contrast ratios that normal LED screens. The 5″ screen has a resolution of 960 x 544 in a 16:9 format. The display is also a capacitve multi-touch display to allow additional control options.

Processors
To deliver the power it needs to play console-like games, it has a 4-core ARM® Cortex™ – A9 core processor and a 4-core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit.

3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
The PS Vita comes in two flavors, a Wi-Fi/3G version and a Wi-Fi only version. This allows for multi-player gaming, competitive leaderboard updates, and web browsing.
A 3G connection is handy so you can take your device on the go.

Controls
Along with the PS, power, and start button, the PS Vita comes with the standard dual analog sticks, a d-pad, four action buttons, and two shoulder buttons to control your games. The PS Vita also comes packed with 6-axis motion sensor system to allow for smooth tilt control and a rear multi-touch pad. The rear touch pad lets you control elements on the screen without blocking your view of the beautiful display and leaving behind fingerprints.

Size
The size of the PS Vita is great for gaming and watching videos. The form factor of the PS Vita makes it comfortable to hold for long gaming or video watching sessions without your hands cramping up.

Cross Play
With compatible game titles, the PS Vita can allow you to start playing a game on your PS3, pause it, and continue on your PS Vita. Now you won’t have to wait to get back home to play, but you can the game with you instead. The PS Vita will also allow you to connect and join in multiplayer games against players on the PS3.

Digital Backward Compatibility
In addition to the couple dozen titles available at launch, the PS Vita will be compatible with over 250 digital PSP game titles. Just remember that you’ll need to have the memory to store them.

Front & Rear Cameras and Microphone
The front and rear cameras on the PS Vita give it the ability to support augmented reality experiences and the microphone allows for voice interactions and chat. Social apps available like Skype, will let you use the Vita for video phone calls.

Apps
The PS Vita will have apps available like NetFlix, Skype, FaceBook, and Twitter. Sony also has their own apps like Party (for voice and text chat), Near (to locate nearby gamers and friends), and Camera (to take pictures and videos).

GPS and Compass
The PS Vita comes with location services built in. The GPS, which is only available in the 3G model, will help with locating players nearby using social apps like Near. Since the Vita comes with Google Maps, you can also use it with the compass as a navigational device.

Cons

Proprietary Memory Card
Sony has done it again with making the memory cards for the PS Vita proprietary. Since the PS Vita does not include any on-board memory for storage, you’ll need to purchase their memory cards to store game saves and to hold any digital PSP titles you download from the PlayStation Store. Sony has four sizes available: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB.

Rear Touch Pad
Depending on how you hold your PS Vita during play, the rear touch pad can get in the way if it’s enabled for what you are playing. If you are not gripping the sides as designed, but holding it with your fingers spread, you can accidentally brush against the touchpad and cause unintentional actions to occur.

Built-in Battery
The battery in the Vita is built-in and you can play about 3-5 hours on a single charge, giving it roughly the same amount of playtime of a Nintendo 3DS with 3D effects on. Fully recharging the battery takes about 2hrs and 40mins. It would have been better if Sony gave us a removable battery so we could keep gaming on long trips.

3G DataConnect Plan
If you pick up the 3G enabled version of the PS Vita and wish to have the flexibility to play networked games on the go, you’ll need to invest in an AT&T DataConnect plan available in 250MB, 3GB, or 5GB monthly session. This can get costly, especially if you already pay for a data plan for your smartphone, which is seeing wider adoption these days. While some smartphones can become hotspots, this will drain battery power on both devices quickly and you’ll end up with two powerless devices.

Size
Unlike the Nintendo 3DS, the size of the PS Vita is too large to fit into a normal pocket when you are on the go if you’re carrying anything else. It’s a great size for gaming with its large screen and comfortable control layout, but it also makes you want to ensure it’s protected with a case to avoid damaging the analog control sticks or scratching the screen.

Web Browsing / Maps
While the Vita has the ability to browse the Internet and access Google maps, it’s inferior to what is available on smartphones today. It doesn’t have Flash support, which isn’t bad, but its HTML5 support is limited. One of the greatest past times of viewing YouTube videos is unavailable though an app or via the web browser.

Price
The most obvious issue is the price of the PS Vita to get to a state where you can really appreciate the system. The Wi-Fi only version is available at $249, while the 3G/Wi-Fi version is set at $299. This only covers the game system, the power cord, and power adaptor. As an incentive to get the 3G/Wi-Fi version, you can purchase the 3G/Wi-Fi launch bundle available at the same price until March 31, 2012. It comes with an 8GB memory card, 250MB AT&T DataConnect Pass plan promo, and a free PSN game.
Note that the 250MB promotion only starts after the expiration of your first session plan, so it’s more like buy a 250MB DataConnect Plan, and get one free.

The games for the PS Vita currently range from $30 to $50. If you hurry, GameStop has a Buy 2, get 1 free offer till tomorrow. After picking up at least two titles you’ve spent at least $60 to your start-up cost. Also you can purchase digital PSP titles on the PlayStation Store. However, you will need available memory to store them, which brings us to the next cost.

As mentioned before, Sony has proprietary memory cards to the PS Vita. The costs of the memory cards are 4GB ($20), 8GB ($30), 16GB ($60), and 32GB ($100). You’ll will most likely need to purchase multiple cards if you intend on storing a lot of videos and digital PSP games.

Now that you have spent so much on your PS Vita and games, you have to make sure to protect your investment. You’ll need a screen protector, case for the game system, and a case for your games/memory cards. Sony offers a start pack $40 dollars to give you all these essentials, along with a pair of headphones and a cleaning cloth.

Final Thoughts

The PS Vita is a great device if you really want to take a console-like gaming experience on the go. If that is your thing and you have the cash to burn, the PS Vita is for you. Personally, I would rather play those console games on a console in front of big screen. When I’m on the go, I don’t find myself playing games that require the large amount of attention that console games require. Mobile gaming for me tends to be more focused on games that can be easily consumed in bit-sized chunks. In my case, I just can’t justify dropping the $350 – $400 minimum to pick up a PS Vita when my smartphone can satisfy my gaming needs and perform the other extra features the Vita has to make it more than just a gaming device.

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33 Responses

  1. getsonq1

    why does everyone say the vita cain’t fit in the normal poket? just goes to show you don’t know what your talking about? I hope they don’t pay you for this.

    Reply
  2. Steve

    Size is a CON? WTF?!! I love the PS Vita because of its size! It is comfortable! Why would it being larger be a con? WTF!?

    Reply
  3. Steve

    The PS Vita is a console for the hard core games, nor your casual gamer who will be happy with short stupid waste of time games which do not bring any satisfaction.

    Most people out there don’t even know what real games look like or should play because they have been conditioned for so long with short brainless touch games on your mobile devices like phones.

    The PS Vita is a man’s console, for the real gamers. Nice controls, amazing screen, very, very powerful system. No other handheld device comes close to what the PS Vita is. The PS Vita is in a class of its own, and comparing it with other devices is pointless because there are NO other devices like it.

    Reply
    • TRU

      “The PS Vita is a man’s console, for real gamers”. Spoken like a true geek who never gets laid.

      Hey, I’m all for my PS3 on my big screen and sick sound system. But buying a PS Vita and carrying it around everywhere like a 12 year old sugar fueled kid who can’t even be out in public without his games is just stupid. No adult will take you seriously, no woman will be impressed, and you’ll just look like an introverted, absent minded, socially underdeveloped loser. But hey, at least you’ll be the envy of the saturday morning cartoon crowd. They’ll think you’re neato.

      Reply
      • VK

        Maybe introverted, absent minded, socially undeveloped loser is the look I’m going for! Regardless, this isn’t about what other people will think watching you play. It’s about how much fun you’ll have WHILE playing. I couldn’t give to !@#$ about what the dude across the bus thinks about me, all I want to do is kill !@#$ in transit! All the other things are just bonuses.

      • james

        Two*
        And I’m sorry but spending that amount of money and obsessing over gaming that much is pathetic.
        I agree this is perfect For when waiting for friend’s, traveling ect, but cmin, its a bit sad that you’ve just gotten so uptight about someones opinion.

        I also need to mention, I used to be a gamer,
        I got bored, found a girl and am a lot happier paying for real thinhsx rather than a virtual fake enviroment. If you’re this uptight, I think you need to re-plan what your life is about

      • We are legion

        Who are you to judge what he does with his life. I think yours is pathetic but i dont tell you to change. Also you say you got bored so obviously your life is nothing special and getting a girl is easy just gotta find the right one. Btw thats not a lot of money maybe for someone poor but obviously he is not and you are so maybe you should re-plan your life and get a better job.

  4. Lunias

    While your analysis is pretty good and I agree overall, there is but one issue that I’d like to address. I have been hearing reviewers all over the internet say that the PS Vita is too large to fit in your pocket. I don’t know if I have really big pockets or everybody else wears skinny jeans or something, but I have never had problems fitting it into my pockets. Even with a game case.

    PS: The game case is a good idea, by the way. Not only does it keep the system safe in case you drop it, but many of them add a much-needed grip to the sides. My case is made by Nerf; it has larger pads on the sides that help the gamer hold onto the device, and keeps your fingers off the rear touch pad so there’s no interference! I highly recommend buying such a case.

    Reply
  5. ps vita screen protector

    I almost got the starter pack, but my friend told me about xo skins screen protectors first. They are military grade without orange peel. Plus they cover the full glass and not just the viewable screen. You should review one.

    Reply
  6. jjfkjbdjbvkjdbv

    this is amazing i like the ps vita and its not just for hardcore gamers its also for liittle games like little deviants or escape plan wether you are a hardcore or soft gamer i would recommend buying the ps vita

    Reply
  7. Speaker_Placement

    One con that no one has been talking about. Speaker placement. It’s in the WORST spot. I tested the Vita out today and wondered why the sound wasn’t that loud. I checked how high the volume was, it was all the way up. I kept playing games on there to test if it was just the game. I realized that my two thumbs were hovering right over the speakers as I play. Why did they place the speakers where you thumbs go over it? that’s just rediculous!!! Why couldn’t they just put the speakers at the top? The vita doesn’t use those special disks anymore so there should be room inside of the vita to place them up top.

    Reply
    • VK

      I absolutely agree here. When I play my hands cover the speakers unless I curl my fingers a bit and hold the thing like it’s covered in ants. By far the worst thing about the Vita.

      Reply
  8. Damien Basey

    Ive had my eye on the vita since it was announced and have read all the reviews and blogs about the device. I picked it up this past week and here is what I have to say to all those negative folks out there. The vita is an awesome device and I look forward to all the cool ass games to come. For those complaining about price, size, and whatever other lame excuse you can come up with to knock the device is no deterrent from the brilliant piece of machinery it is. I proud paid 250 for it and it’s worth it. Who cares if it doesn’t fit in your pocket. I am a working professional who happens to be a gamer. I own a laptop, Ipad, and vita and they all go with me. You need a bag or backpack or carry all bag. It’s a must to tote all these devices but I’m ok with that. I am taking a real ps3 experience with which is EXACTLY why I bought the damn thing. The Vita delivers. For those complaining need to grow up.

    Reply
  9. vita tester

    the vita is good but dont get the 3g it will coast you $350 to play games

    Reply
  10. lol

    this device is great and all but I agree that it is very costly to play I think of my self as a geek for playing alot of games but all of you pple that believe this is worth it is just pathetic, don’t think that gamers would love to play all the time because thats just sad to pay for smething like this when like the other guy said I rather play with a real console game at home with a big screen tv instead of bringing psp vita all around it doesn’t impress anyone, People need to get it through there thick heads that even something like this is not all that special I’ve seen the reviews and I bet this is gonna end up almost as a waste of time like the psp go.

    Reply
  11. VK

    I have one and I like it. There aren’t any games out att that I like, but that should change in the coming year. The only two things I really gripe about is that the speaker placement is bad, and that there’s no flash installed, so you can say “forget it” to watching vids online, which is pretty much half of what I do on the internet…

    Reply
  12. tyler

    THE TRUTH: first thing as u most all say theres no good games out yet, so why dont you wait for some and enjoy the price drop?it ovb will bcuz sales arent great, same as 3ds and sony wants tht money, needs the profit sooner to fuel its next gen war which is coming…. its all about games. i love my 3ds and theres alot of great games out now, for all gamer types… 3ds has great sound, size, and battery… and i spent half and its in its best cycle of life now just saying lol…im even typing this from my 3ds rite now, easily too… maaybe if sony made flash video for gods sake… like u have 3g plans, and u dont ev3n have flash movies?uh get real thats retarded. they shood have made that move, nintendo would have but it came out 1year earlier, and nintendos next will be amazing, 2 circle pads[which are gr3at] and bigger screen and video, and fold up like laptop so will fit easier and still fold out to big…thats what we shood wait for…. its the truth.

    Reply
  13. chris

    Ps vita looks ok but if you want a portable gaming console I would get a 3ds. I have one and it is awesome

    Reply
  14. elroy

    I think the handheld itself is great but the price and money needed isnt you would expect such a great handheld to atleast have a memory card or a game included since your already paying 250 dollars but Sony is mostly wanting your money by making it seperate overall the handheld is amazing but the required money for it isnt unless you have money by all means go ahead but for someone who is on low budget i would go for the 3DS especially since its way cheaper and is a great handheld both prices have big differences for the 3DS its around 170 dollars for the PSVita almost 400 or more including the Memory card the Game and accessories like screen saver or case

    Reply
  15. Cold Blooded Predator Kitty

    Alright well I was cOnsidering getting this but I realized that it a stupid scam designed by Sony to get more money for Past purshased psP games. If I were Sony I would drop the having to pay fOr umd to vita cause if I payed 30$ for my game I’m not giving u another 31. I’m pretty sure the “intelligent” minds at Sony who developed a high end portable device can surely incorporate a program that reads the unique umd and instead of copy pasting it onto the vita it cut pastes it as in the data can be switched between the umd and vita but leaves the umd empty until u decide to put it back on the umd and if you were to sell the blank umd, is that not what we have police for? If u scam someone and sell them a blank disk confront them and if they refuse, involve the police. Alternatively all this can be avoided by lowering transfer prices to 10$ a game none of that 31$ depending on the game crap that is the worst scam I’ve ever seen drop it to 10$ fOr every game and I’ll pick one up right away cause if not I’m just gonna buy another psp btw mine is broken it won’t play umds only downloadable games I don’t know where to get repairs in canada

    Reply
  16. vinylscratch

    i was thinking of wether to get the ps vita but 2 things kill it for me the cost of the system 249.99 and having to buy the memory card sepretly
    its not that im poor or anything but 249.99 is abit high on the handheld scale and have to shove out more money for a memory card oh and dont for get also having to buy a game for the system. id get it if it came with a memory card but sony is getting greedy with this stuff. when i play handhelds its only casually to pass the time like right now my 3ds and psp are just collecting dust cuz im done with them. most games i play now are free mmos on my laptop or playing burnout on my ps3 with friends (havent even touched my xbox or wii played them now done with them)
    so yeah for me getting a ps vita right now would not be cost effective for me. itd just give me a massive attack of buyers remorse. all my big gaming is done on consoles not handhelds. they are good for trips but once i reach my destination i dont touch it till on the way back
    i was a hardcore gamer but after you played so many games over the years they start to lose their appeal. there are still up and comming games im looking foward to but for me personly iv lost alot of intrest in video games. i much rather hang out with friends and people than sit and play video games hours on end

    Reply
  17. Blues

    If you didn’t get a PS Vita, you wouldn’t be missing out. If you have a PS3, it might be worth getting for remote play. The Vita still has a long ways to go.

    Reply
  18. Mike

    VITA BEST MOST POWERFUL DEVICE OUT THERE WOW 250 IS A STEAL YEAH GOTTA BUY A 32GB CARD WHICH IS NOT 100 AND GAMES AND CASE ETC SO WHAT OH I HATE APPLE AND IPAD FAN SHELL OUT UP TO $800 FOR A 4G WIFI IPAD 2 OR 3 WITH 64GB BUILT IN ME IF I WANT A PAD OT TAB I GO WITH THE BEST SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 2 FASTER AND BETTER THAN ICRAP VITA IS AWESOME I OWN IT AND HAVE THE 3DS AND PS3 AND WII MOST I DID NOT PAY FOR IT PAYS TO BE GOOD AT GAMBLING AND IT PAID BIG AND I QUIT DOING IM SMART I WON $150,000 AND QUIT CAUSE IM NOT DUMB OR GREEDY SO HERE FINAL ANSWER GET BOTH AND U WILL BE HAPPY PLAIN AND SIMPLE

    Reply
  19. WhiteoutGold

    Come on guys the vitas great and the only people that hate it is the nintendo a** kissers who play theire mind craft 24/7.

    Reply

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