With its extra sharp graphics and twin analogue sticks, the PS Vita is the best portable gaming console on the market at present. But at £230, it could be placed a little out of people’s price range, so does it live up to the additional expense when you could buy a Nintendo 3DS for around £120?
And when you put smart phones into the mix with their free games, the cost of a PS Vita is even more questionable. Thing is, if you’re fine with playing Angry Birds on a small screen or building up your farms in Farmville, then yes, the Sony console is always going to be over your budget. But real gamers will definitely appreciate the amount of technology, packed into this gorgeous sleek bungle.
And as the aim of Sony was to create an experience of playing on a fixed console with a hand held one, I reckon they’ve achieved the impossible.
So let’s get the costs out of the way to begin with. First you have the hefty £230 for the console, then the games are likely to set you back up to £40 each. And finally, if you are serious about playing on one of these devices, you’ll probably want to invest in a larger memory card, as the 16Gb one will get used up pretty quickly.
Now to the specifications; the PS Vita has a quad-core processor with a dedicated graphics processor, a sleek 5-inch AMOLED screen, motion-sensor and gyroscope, front and rear cameras, and, nearly best of all, a rear touch-pad which allows a totally new way of gaming.
The main joy however, are the dual analogue joysticks, the first on any handheld console and decidedly tricky to design into the whole device, according to designer Takashi Sogabe. Moreover, the console feels as if it was meant to be played; it sits nicely in your hands and the controls are well placed. It’s light, at 279g but this does not detract from this impressive piece of kit.
As well as the dual sticks, it boasts the iconic Sony d-pad, face and shoulder buttons, volume controls, and a PS button to accompany start and select. It has a microphone and includes inputs so that you can add more memory cards and uses a 3G sim.
At its launch there were 33 UK games available to buy and they all played as if you were on an actual PS3. Once you own one of these, your only problem will be whether to play on it all day or show it off to your mates. It really is an amazing console.
Games available include Raymans Origins, Unit 13, FIFA Football, Virtua Tennis, Dungeon Hunter Alliance, Ridge Racer, Little Deviants, Wipeout 2048, Everybody’s Golf, Dynasty Warriors Next, F1 2011, ModNation Racers: RoadTrip, Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Asphalt Injection, Lumines Electric Symphony, Reality Fighters and much more. To buy the new PS Vita for less than £230 visit Amazon.