I’m gonna be that guy. That guy who compares the Nintendo 3DS to the almighty PS Vita. You might be saying “Why? Can’t Nintendo and Sony coexist in harmony?” Well, they’re both handhelds and they’re both competing on the market so no. PS Vita will get my vote for best handheld ever.
Sound: Lots of odd quirks and buzzes accompany everything you do on the Vita, and they’re heard extremely well by this small device’s impressive audio output. There’s a colossal range of volume settings, the maxes of which are almost upsettingly loud (an impressive feat for a handheld). Also, there is no noise when the system is running, something pretty remarkable for a piece of tech running a quad-core. Sound: 9/10
Presentation: The OLED touchscreen is astounding. Not only does it have fantastic sensitivity as far as touchscreens go (more on that in the gameplay section) but it is also the most impressive handheld gaming screen I’ve ever seen. It’s a record-breaking 5.3″, vaguely resemble a tablet, and produces near PS3 graphics. It is said that there is a clearly distinguishable difference between the two, and even I have to admit there is. But it’s such a minor gap that seperates them that makes this small device’s visuals feel so amazing. Presentation: 10/10
Gameplay: The touchscreen’s quality is fantastic and responsive (98% of the time) which is good because the PS Vita uses the touchscreen to an almost obnoxious degree, with almost every menu task requiring use of it. But once you get out of the main menus, the physical buttons get the spotlight and in a big way. With two analog sticks, a D-pad and four input buttons (not including the start, select and turn-on buttons) there is a lot of ontrol variations and tactics to be had in-game. All of the buttons are responsive and due to the Vita’s size feel identical to a PS3 controller, which is a pretty good feeling. I’ve even gotten used to the size of the analog sticks, being small but with a little more sensitivity performing identically to its console counterpart. All in all, a great gameplay experience that blends the classic controller and touchscreen into a seemlessly intertwined experience (minus menu navigation, of course). Gameplay: 8.5/10
Multiplayer: The online pass nonsense has carried over to Vita games, so I can’t mention the free online Sony supposedly offers. But when online does come into a game, the matches are usually lag-free and well connected. One big pro for the Vita is that Sony doesn’t pull the “Microsoft point” silliness and their currency is plain ol’ American dollars (currency may vary based on country, obviously), which makes using the PS store a lot easier. The PS store is impressive on the Vita, offering almost every original PSP title for download and then the Vita games to boot. A good online experience no doubt, but it’s clear Sony is moving more and more towards the money-grubbing habits of Microsoft, EA, etc. Multiplayer: 7/10
Length: Well, to play a game and enjoy the Vita in the first place you need a memory card, which is NOT included in the package. If you just bought a Vita alone, the length of time this handheld will keep you busy for is a hefty twenty minutes. But after you’ve spent a minimum of $20 (to an upwards of $100, wtf) on a proprietary memory card and another $40 on a game, you can start enjoying your $250 system. With all of the features the Vita has to offer and a great library of exclusive games, the price is hard to swallow but nothing to choke over. It definitely has more to offer than the 3DS. Length: 9/10
Overall: Although it sucks up money like a black hole, it’s a revolutionary handheld that meets my want of a portable console to the utmost degree. I give it an 8.7 out of 10, with the only true downside being its insatiable desire to eat your wallet. With that said, if you have the cash and you want something technologically amazing and refreshingly new (if you didn’t own the original PSP) the PS Vita is where it’s at.