PlayStation Vita First Impressions
Well folks the wait is over, for me at least. I will admit it took longer than I had originally hoped but I have made the purchase and picked up a PS Vita. So without any hesitation let us get to the unboxing, specs, and some first impressions.
The design from the older PSP/PSP3000 models has changed quite a bit the system itself is fairly larger than its predecessor. The shape has also been altered though not by much appearing to be much sleeker and rounded looking which at first looks a little awkward but once holding it in your hands I find the machine to feel quite comfortable. The device itself is also fairly heavy and much more solid feeling then the PSP/PSP3000.
The device bears ten buttons on its face which includes the standard PS face buttons, start, select, the PS button, D-pad, and of course the two (that’s right two) analog sticks. Of course the L and R shoulder buttons are positioned in their usual place. Just to top left of the face buttons is the front camera. To the outside of each analog stick you can find each of the built in stereo speakers. While this sounds a little overwhelming the surface area of the device is quite large and the buttons seem to fit in nicely.
Smack in the middle of the device is by far one of the most impressive features of the PS Vita, the 5 inch OLED touchscreen. If I had to describe it in one word that word would be stunning. I kid you not when I say that this screen is so vivid, colorful and clear that you will almost feel like you are able to reach right into it. The back of the device is home to the rear touch-pad, the rear camera and hidden down in the bottom of the back is the microphone. The two camera’s on the device come ready to go with face detection, head detection, and head tracking.
Another change with the device is that it no longer uses UMDs (Universal Media Disc) but instead a flash memory card which have been aptly named “PlayStation Vita Cards” closely resembling a SD card.
Internally this device is just as beautiful as it is externally. The Vita uses PlayStation’s six axis motion sensing system. For all you technically savy fans, the device boasts a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, as well as a quad-core GPU SGX543MP4+, a three axis electronic compass, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity and of course WI-FI capability. The Vita runs 512 MB of system RAM and 128 MB of VRAM which allows the system to be capable of cross-game chat. Sony boasts a 5 hour in game battery life. (I have yet to be able to test this myself.
Enough specs, let’s get to the real reason you are here, first impressions. As I stated previously the first thing that caught my attention and floored me initially was how clear this screen is. It almost puts real life to shame with how bright and vivid colors are displayed. The responsiveness of the touchscreen seems to be right at par with any other top of the line touchscreen device. If there is one downfall of the device that I noticed initially it is that the screen is almost too wide.
Being an Iphone owner I am quite used to and fond of touchscreen devices and their general ease of accessibility. I did find however that while attempting to use the touchscreen to type in my PSN log in info I felt like I was almost straining to get my thumbs to reach to some of the more middle letters on the keyboard. However if this is to be the only downside of such a large and beautiful screen on a portable device then so be it. Upon initially looking at the device you may notice the positioning of the front camera, to the immediate upper left side of the face buttons.
While I have not had much time to mess around with the camera functions on the device I can only imagine ones thumb crossing the view of the lens and obstructing its view and quite possibly a game ruining experience. The bottom edge of the device bears two slots in which you can run a wrist strap, left or right which ever you prefer. This may not be a bad investment as I have heard from many sources that the Vita will not handle being dropped very well though I am not able or willing to attempt to confirm this.
On the back of the system you can find two concaved rubber grips, I am sure these are here out of complete necessity as the back of the device is quite glossy and very slippery. An investment in a few crates of glass cleaner and some microfiber cloths as having both rear and front touchscreens is going to mean a LOT of finger prints.
Surprisingly the Vita is priced at a fairly affordable $250(CAN), don’t get too excited though as there is most definitely a catch. The Vita does not come with any included memory cards or any internal memory and believe me this is where they will hit you as the memory cards for the Vita are required and are proprietary. You can stick with a low 4GB memory card which retails for around $20(CAN) or like me grab yourself a beastly 32GB card which will run you around $100 (CAN).
All said and done you will be looking at spending around $320-$500 dollars to walk out of the store with a PS Vita, memory card, and one game to start you collection off. The system is of course compatible with the PlayStation Store and there are couple of free games you will be able to grab up initially if you do decide to make the purchase which I do intend to provide some coverage on at a later time for those of you who are interested.
In closing, I for one am quite impressed with the device right off the hop. The price is agreeable for a brand new device, the starting game library while small is varied enough for anyone of any age to be able to jump in and start an enjoyable experience. Most of all the dazzling screen and innovative features are very promising. With dual touchscreens, and dual cameras paired with six axis motion sense and all the other goodies jam packed into this device one can only hope that a fantastic game library to go along with it is not far behind.
Wanna join in on the unboxing excitement? Check it out below.