PlayStation Vita Review
- Posted January 18th, 2012 at 13:45 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 11 Comments
Lukewarm reviews, complaints of system crashes, and reports of unresponsive touchscreens from the Japanese launch hasn't instilled us with confidence for the U.S. and U.K. release of PlayStation Vita, but finally we get to judge Sony's new handheld for ourselves.
Though we still have no idea how Vita will perform when online services such as NEAR and the PlayStation Store are officially activated, we can tell you all about Vita's hardware, its operating system, its games, and how it performs right at this very minute, a little over one month prior to its February 22 release date.
Reviewed: Vita, U.K. Edition, Wi-Fi version
At first glance, there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of differences between Vita and a PlayStation Portable. Other than the dual-analog sticks sitting either side of the 5-inch OLED touchscreen, and the noticeably smaller action buttons, truth is (apart from sporting a similar chassis and the fact that they're both designed specifically for gaming) they couldn't be more different.
Drooling over hardware specifications
The PS Vita, for instance, is powered by an intensive quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, capable of clock speeds of 2GHz, but more likely to run between 800MHz and 1.4GHz, which probably explains why a fully-charged battery has lasted a disappointing three hours and 10 minutes with moderate use.
While playing the processor-intensive Uncharted: Golden Abyss, we clocked it at just two hours and 45 minutes before it shutdown. Charging times were much more impressive as it took approximately one hour and 15 minutes until the battery icon indicated it was fully-powered.
We've therefore spent most of our Vita experience plugged into a wall socket so that we don't need to worry about the battery icon draining in front of our very eyes. It's a bit disappointing that gaming on our Xperia PLAY smartphone outlasts our dedicated gaming device, but it's not an issue that's likely to ruin our experience, unless the games don't live up to expectations.
What it lacks in battery potency, PS Vita makes up for in power, with a quad-core GPU SGX543MP4+, the plus indicating that it's been modified specifically for Sony's device. It has some serious graphical and computing power behind it, and you only need to spend five minutes mesmerized by the quality and performance of Sony's flagship launch game, the lag-free Uncharted: Golden Abyss, on its 960 x 544 screen to witness this impressive new benchmark in handheld gaming.
It also comes equipped with 512MB of RAM, compared to the paltry 64MB of the PSPgo, and is backed up with 128MB of VRAM to ensure you can move between the features of the PS Vita quickly to multi-task, chat, game and watch videos.
Using some of PS Vita's power is the Sixaxis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer,) multi-touch display and a rear touchscreen pad that should, in theory at least, deliver a new kind of gaming experience.
Examining PSVita's sleek design
On the front of PS Vita, to the left of the screen, sits the d-pad, analog stick and PlayStation Home button. The multi-directional d-pad makes a slight clicking sound as you move it around with the tip of your thumb, while the analog stick rotates extremely smoothly and silently, though is smaller than we imagined it to be (being almost exactly the same size as the original PSP's awkward analog stick).
The Home button is sunk into the chassis of the Vita unit, which is a deliberate design decision that ensures you don't accidentally press it. The same applies to the Start and Select buttons situated on the right hand side of the unit, which are impossible to press when your finger-tips are flat on the unit but can be pushed with ease when you raise your digit at an angle.
On the right hand side of PS Vita's display sits the 1.3 megapixel camera, which is extremely tiny, as are the action buttons - about half the size of the circles that surround Vita's analog sticks. The four action buttons are also fairly close together and require a little bit of force to activate, which ensures you don't accidentally knock the wrong button by mistake.
While holding the Vita in two hands, our thumbs rest ... (continued on next page)
- 2:31pm EST - January 18th, 2012
Kudos on getting the review up but the digital foundry review is by far the best i have read. This..is okay, seems less objective but interesting to read none the less.
- 4:05pm EST - January 18th, 2012
I know you didn't just compare gaming on the Xperia play to the PS Vita. If you really did, you might be interested to know that the original gameboy lasted for ages between charges.
- 5:01pm EST - January 18th, 2012
@2 Didn't the original gameboy use batteries?
- 8:40pm EST - January 18th, 2012
Looks like you have a nice piece of hardware, but we live in a world where we dont want to be confined to your network or your apps. How about letting this thing load all the apps from the Android Market and I promise you can have my 400$.
I cant justify paying for a device that only runs "Sony" apps, I dont want to hear the excuse "its about the gaming" because it could play all your games and run Android apps with little effort on your part,
Stop being greedy controlling jerks, you will still get my 60$ for uncharted and would get my 400$ for your vita, but only if you let it use all the apps.
- 11:36pm EST - January 18th, 2012
@ 4 it would be nice if we could use the android market not just sony app...this would be epic...
- 1:23am EST - January 19th, 2012
o to this link to get a free ps vita all you have to do is sign up and refer 14 friends with the link they provide for you (please go im just testing to see if this works) http://consoles.freebiejeebies.co.uk/248932
- 1:32am EST - January 19th, 2012
Concidering the issues involved in an "open" platform like Android there's not a chance in HFIL the Vita will ever use android apps or the android market which caters to them specificaly. Also I'm not so sure about the headline of this article and it's so called "luke warn reviews". I've read numerous reviews and the majority of them have been sterling and upbeat with the only real complain being the battery life. Everyone generally says it's an excellent system otherwise. The few issues people have had mechanically will always be magnified in the launch period because people want to be able to say ahead of time "ha! I called it first!" because of so many previous generations of game systems and their varying degrees of issues (which also occasionally got blown out of proportion).
sony1978a | Aked
- 11:13am EST - January 19th, 2012
I said it before and I will say again, for Sony to win the portable war they must add these futures to PSVITA.
1- Built in HD tuner so we can watch the HD free to air TV on the go.
2- Built in digital radio so we can listen to radio station not just mp3.internet radio cost too much data and $$ so that is not an option.
3- APP store, like Apple, and Google android market, so we can download apps like face book Google earth, angry birds, and so on, etc.
4- Built in turn by turn navigation, like tom-tom, and nav man, etc.
5- Built in 8MP camera, with HD video recording.
6- A good web browser, not like the crappie PSP browser.
7- Must support the latest flash player, and java plug-in.
Sony is only targeting gamers with PSVITA, in my opinion that’s a bad move.They must target everyone.
I have a ps3 I hardly use it for games I got it for bluray and playtv futters and PSN videos store.
- 7:40pm EST - January 19th, 2012
8 - Yeah... but with all those features, it would cost $800 and be an iPhone.
I think they made a good move leaving out features to keep the cost down. I mean people already have smartphones that do the rest of this stuff everyone is complaining about. This thing is a bad-ass gaming machine. Its like having a PS3 in your pocket.
If you want angry birds, get an iPhone or one of the bazillion android devices. Enjoy angry birds all day.
- 1:53pm EST - February 13th, 2012
Please just leave as a great game machine do not listen to all the wankers that want a iPhone we dont need that crap
- 6:42pm EST - February 18th, 2012
s Vita is the best portable console ever!
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