Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Opinion: Vita Thoughts

Opinion: I Touched the Vita
But I did not touch the deputy
Written by Sir Philip
The video game gods have smiled upon us.
I have been on the Vita bandwagon since it was revealed years ago as the NGP (Next Gen Portable). Two sticks? Finally! PS3 Graphics? Yes please! 3G? Not necessary but thank you anyway! I haven't actually bought one yet, but I frequent the Best Buy and Target down the street each day so I can play around with the Vitas they have on display ("Yeah honey, we're out of eggs again I swear! I'll run to the store and grab some!"). Why am I so enamored with this steroid pumped PSP? And if I love it so much why don't I marry it? Read on my friend.

What I Like About the Vita

The first thing is how the Vita feels in your hands. It's light and not as big as I was expecting. It's a essentially the same as a PSP but taller for a larger screen. Which is fine by me.

Speaking of the screen it looks gorgeous. They had several demos of games and movies on the model I saw and not only did I not need to squint like I do at my own PSP but I totally forgot I was even playing a handheld. I played Uncharted: Golden Abyss and it looks like I have a portable PS3. I personally felt like there was nothing lacking in the graphics. I indeed held my home console in my hand. Almost the entire size of the machine is dedicated to the screen size. Which I think is a brilliant move.
I don't care what sales number say. In your face 3DS.
The dual-sticks are what I was most excited for, and they pulled it off. I can see it taking a little getting used to, but in a matter of 30 seconds I was using the camera properly and aiming as I would with my Dualshock.

And finally, the price. When it was announced I thought for sure this hunk of love gaming would run me $400 easy. So I was pleasantly surprised at $250. I just hope I can come across a memory card and game for cheap, otherwise it may end up being close to $400 anyway.
Sony's dirty little secret they conveniently forgot to mention until 2 months before launch.
There are a million other specs and details about the Vita that I love (portable trophy hunting, remote play of my own system, WiFi and 3G etc) but anyone can read that. I'm mainly talking about what I felt and played (felt in the literal sense with my hands, not the feeling of heavenly choirs singing the Hallelujah chorus within my burning bosom, which actually happened). But I love the Vita, I love the games, and anyone with half a brain would know if too if they just touched one.

What I Didn't Like About the Vita

I miss the XMB. I don't know why they copped out for an iPod-esque app screen. I felt the system lost a little bit of its identity by not including the home screen interface it has rocked since the beginning of the millenium. And the XMB is already outfitted to be a perfect touch mechanic, scrolling back and forth and up and down would've fit so well. I don't see the need to change it. Speaking of touch mechanics...
Drum roll please.
...I hate 'em. Another integration of stupid motion controls that should be left to Nintendo to ruin their heritage with. I don't mind it being an option, but I hate when touch gestures are necessary. Only a few games require it within game play, but the home screen navigation on the unit is only touch. Why can't the D-pad as least be an option?

Another few minor gripes which I will quickly list:
Stupid money making mechanic by requiring a memory card
It almost feels too nice, there's no way in heck I would put that thing in my pocket or through it in a backpack. This is the only thing I think the 3DS got right by having it fold in half.
The buttons are really small (smaller than PSP), but since this results in a larger screen I don't mind it as much.
They should have made the dual-sticks a major marketing tactic, and by not having an FPS at launch is a sin.
Loading times are way too long. The purpose of a portable game is to be able to play now.
The camera is lousy. Digital cameras have been in cell phones for 10 years, there's no excuse for such bad resolution.

Some of those are just my thoughts, but there are a few aspects I felt Sony over promised and underperformed especially in the 3G department. But the pros easily outweigh the cons.

So Why Haven't I Bought One Yet?

Well the only problem that is joined at the hip of my love for video games is my lack of expendable income to get one. Also how they kept the Vita so small with such amazing hardware beats me, but as is Playstation tradition a slim will be on the way soon, and then I can either get a cheaper current version, or a retail smaller version. Either one is a good thing.
What did you expect? Elves and magic?.... I did.
The bottom line is that the PS Vita so far is everything I hoped it would be. I'm probably the biggest fan who doesn't have one. It bugs me when I'm at the store and someone asks the sales clerk what this Vita is and they respond, "It's just a new PSP." JUST a new PSP?! Excuse me? This isn't JUST a PSP. This is the future of gaming. This what will enable me to earn platinum trophies while waiting in line at the DMV. This is the machine that will end world hunger and find the WMDs. This handheld will stop pollution and make a brighter future for our children. I just pray that they can keep the flow of triple-A franchises coming so that I can have a real console experience anywhere I want. A rare commodity for folks like you and me is time, and how awesome would it be if we could get a PS3 break during lunch while at work. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Email or tweet me and tell me what you think of the Vita!

1 comment:

  1. I want one.. but I has no moneys...

    And I agree with you as well. It's not just a new PSP. That was the PSP Go (Shit Yourself).

    Vita is a good step in the right direction for gaming.

    One thing you forgot to mention as well is the cases for the games. They're so small and awesome I can only wait for the day I have a bunch of them on my shelf, looking super sleek and sexy.