Gamer Roulette: Viva La PS Vita
Kanto to Hyrule, Mobius to Santa Destroy, Planet Reach to Little Big Planet, Cinema Student, Screenwriter, and all around gamer, Eric Parra is a bad enough dude to bring you your weekly fix on relative gaming. Whether it’s reviews, previews, or FAQs, matters that are professional or just personal, make sure you check Neon Tommy every week for all sorts of interesting tidbits in the world of video games. And remember, it’s dangerous to go alone.
Once upon a time, there was a company you may have heard of. They didn’t do too much, a VCR here, a Compatible Disk there. But soon enough, they hit it big. Also they made the Playstation.
Eighteen years later and Sony’s got a new kid on the block—the successor to the Playstation Portable, the Sony Playstation Vita, or PS Vita for short.
So the system has been out for a little over a week (unless you got the pre-released first edition super special awesome bundle on the 15th or the Japanese version that came out in December) so you probably don’t have much of an opinion about it yet. Since sales haven’t been too high either, you probably don’t have one anyways.
Well, rest assured, I’ve had a fair share of time on the Vita (nearly 20 minutes) and I can say it’s pretty awesome. For the most part, it’s essentially a simplified PS3 on the go, but definitely not a PSP GO. Let’s get into examples.
Say you’re a PS3 owner (such as myself) and you’re constantly moving around (I’m currently on a running track nowhere near my home console). Now if you (aka me) had an urge to play a Playstation game, you obviously could not. But if you had a Playstation Vita, not only could you play some awesome just-like-Playstation-3-titles such as Uncharted and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, but you would also have access to your downloaded games bought off of the Playstation store (which I have plenty of) and play them right there in your hands, even on a running track. Also, if you love collecting virtual trophies (I know I do) then the Vita works the same as the PS3 in that field making you (mostly me) a happy camper.
Oh, and what’s that? Any Playstation 3 game will be playable on the Vita? Which means the console version of Sonic Generations can be played ANYWHERE? What more could you (possibly not you, but definitely me) ask for?
Well, the harshest criticism is that mobile phone gaming is the way of the future, and what purpose does a system solely dedicated to gaming stand against a smaller portable machine THAT IS ALSO A PHONE?
Well to that I say, why get an expensive DSLR camera when your phone has a fairly adequate one already equipped? The simple non-sarcastic answer is quality. A Vita looks nicer and the controls are better and you can play next-gen (why are we still calling it that?) games. Plus you can multitask with relative ease between playing a game, sliding your finger on the screen and going into a browser, then sliding your finger again, and playing some music. There’s even cheap, highly addictive casual games that you can pick up and set down at any time. You can access Netflix, Skype, Facebook, funny cat pictures, and numerous apps that keep expanding. In short, the Vita can do more or less everything your last gen or soon-to-be-gen phone can, so instead of buying the next brand new iphone, keep your current one and get a Vita. Problem solved.
So what else is special about the Vita? As mentioned, it has a touch screen. This is great and mostly necessary with today’s latest in technology advancements (touching is the future!), but the screen is prone to getting finger prints easily, which gets annoying pretty quickly.
Also mentioned already, but the graphics are phenomenal for such a small screen. While not as 3D as the 3DS, playing “Super Stardust Delta” made it look like the explosions were coming right at me, and that was exhilarating.
There is full six-axis support, which means that you can physically move the system around and certain games will react accordingly; characters or items may roll or fall or what have you. But there is also a touch pad on the back of the system, which allows for further game dynamics, such as creating hills or earthquakes or something. I don’t actually know how much good it can do, but it was pretty awesome different.
There’s a 3G and a Wi-Fi version. 3G is a bit more expensive, but you have a more consistent internet connection or something while on the go, I guess. Whatever the case, wi-fi would seem to suit my needs since I don’t play many games online, and as student, campus wi-fi does not go anywhere. There’s also a deal about memory cards. They’re kind of expensive, but they hold a lot of data I think. Switching between files on your PS3 and your computer is relatively easy though, so I wouldn’t bother bulking up on memory.
Alright, so a quick last second recap. The Vita is pretty nifty. It’s like a Playstation 3 in the palm of your hands. You can touch the back of the system and make things pop out in the front of the screen. You can go on facebook. You have access to trophies and other Playstation games. Sonic Generations may be playable in the future. Uncharted is already playable. You should probably buy this.
I mean, I’m not until the price drops, but then again, you’re not me.
Check back next Saturday for Eric's next column.