I spent last night floating in Sydney harbour with Sony Computer Entertainment and a mix of media and members of the Video Games industry for the launch of the Playstation Vita, which will hit retail stores on Thursday.
What is the PlayStation Vita?
It’s the successor to the PlayStation Portable, the portable games and entertainment device that’s been on the market in evolving forms since late 2005.
How is it different?
While the physical shape is very much like that of the PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Vita packs a real punch in so many areas, starting with the screen. The 5inch OLED touch screen display is crisp and delivers smooth rich colour and movement so games look amazing and when movie streaming comes to the device soon it will no doubt be a great experience.
Overall the Vita is physically larger that the playstation portable and with that size and extra features comes more weight, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and in terms of other handheld devices on the market it’s not heavy at all weighing in at 260grams (less than half the weight of an iPad 2 but around 10percent heavier that Nintendo’s 3DS console).
If you already own a PlayStation home console then you’ll see some similarities with the PlayStation Vita control system however the Vita also has a rear touch pad, motion sensors, a gyroscope, an accelerometer and an electronic compass built in. …and for all this to work the device has a high performance CPU and graphics processing unit.
All these features point to it being more than just a typical mobile games device so frankly if you just want to play Angry Birds then go any get an iPad, the Playstation Vita offers more of a core gamer experience, not just tapping or swiping the screen, but using real controls like a home console.
Let’s talk about the games. The futuristic racing game Wipeout2048 looks amazing and another title called ”Escape plan” really shows off how crisp the graphics can look on the system.
I’m also personally looking forward to spending more time on the augmented reality game “Reality Fighters”. Games for the device will be made available via digital download and a new media card format. More PS Vita games can be found here.
Games aside, as I mentioned earlier we can expect a streaming movie service for the Playstation Vita , along with a music player and music subscription service plus all the popular social networking applications are available on the device.
Price wise you’re looking at $349.95 for the Wi-Fi only model and $419.95 for the Wi-Fi with 3G model which will give you more of a portable experience.