The PlayStation Vita is Sony’s latest handheld gaming device and true successor to the PSP range. It's the most powerful dedicated gaming console on the market capable of delivering a console-like experience on-the-go. It has two quad core processors, a 5-inch OLED touchscreen display, dual analogue sticks, and for the first time on any console, a rear touchpad inventing new ways to play. It is available now in Wi-Fi and 3G/Wi-Fi versions.
From the moment you switch it on, you realise the PlayStation Vita is unlike any handheld before it. Graphically it’s the most powerful there has ever been. Its OLED touchscreen is a sight to behold, giving games a beautiful console-like sheen. The touchscreen itself works wonderfully well and is highly sensitive, with no noticeable lag whatsoever. Just try playing Uncharted: Golden Abyss and attempting not to fall in love with its display.
In fact, the device overall is, as you’d expect from Sony, incredibly well-built. The PlayStation Vita feels solid and the controls feel great. The analogue sticks could have a little less give to them, but are still well-constructed. The fact that there are two of them, unlike on the Nintendo 3DS is, quite frankly, a godsend, making gameplay infinitely more comfortable. The PlayStation Vita is a joy to use even for long periods of play. The same cannot be said for the Nintendo 3DS.
In a first for handheld gaming, Sony has developed a rear touchpad to deliver a new way of playing games. At this moment in time not every game makes use of this, but from experience playing LittleBigPlanet it’s safe to say that it works very well, and proves to doubters that Sony is just as capable as Nintendo at bringing to the table new innovations. In LittleBigPlanet, the touchpad us used to solve creative puzzles that really make you think about what you’re doing in a way we’ve not seen on a handheld.
Speaking of which, PlayStation Vita has possibly the best launch-line up seen for a console, offering something for everyone. And they aren’t duds either. Launch games include some of gaming’s best known franchises. Day one titles include: uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, WipEout 2048, Motorstorm RC, FIFA Football, Rayman Origins and many more.
The price to pay for a handheld that offers console-quality graphics is a high cost. The PlayStation Vita costs up to £279 for a 3G version - just as much as a fully-equipped home console, more in fact. You could purchase an Xbox 360 for the price of a PlayStation Vita and still have enough to purchase a game.
The memory cards, too are incredibly costly. Expect to pay up to £27 for an 8GB memory card, or £37 for a 16GB memory card. Games don’t come cheap either. Flagship launch game Uncharted: Golden Abyss will set you back around £36 online, with most games coming in around the plus £30 mark.