Playstation Vita Preview

10:22am Friday 17th February 2012

By Ian Crump

PLAYSTATION Vita is easily the most powerful portable gaming device commercially available. The technical capabilities and raw power of this gorgeous hand-held is enough to make currently available smart phones look dumb, and tablets look like indigestion pills.

The Vita is at the cutting edge of commercially available technology.

So let’s get the boring/nerdy tech spec out the way in this one quick and hopefully painless paragraph.

The PS Vita has a 5 inch OLED touchscreen along with a rear touch panel, built-in gyroscopes for motion control, discreet front and rear facing cameras, dual analogue sticks, GPS, Wi-Fi and, depending on which model you’ve chosen, 3G capabilities.

The dual thumbsticks are teenytiny works of art compared to the horrible sliding thumbstick tragedy of the PSP. Nestled nicely into the unit, they’re both accurate and comfortable to use.

I was originally concerned that I would be doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things by accidentally fumbling the touchpad on the back, but grooves provide the perfect resting place for fingers. It’s as comfortable as it is aesthetically beautiful.

The unit is packed with as many features as it has potential. And depite the huge, strikingly vivid screen, the whole system is deceptively light.

But where would a console launch be without games, and the PS Vita is receiving them by the dozen. On launch day, gamers will be treated to the choice of over 30 games – and plenty of them are top quality.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is clearly the release for the Vita, and because of the unit’s dual analogue sticks, it’s the first time the series has been suited to the hand-held market. With the same level of stunning graphics and unparalleled gameplay we’ve come to know from Uncharted, it’s great to get a portable dose.

Little Deviants is a new series for Sony and is one that makes the most of the Vita’s functions. I’m not normally a huge fan of mini-game compilations because they’re usually unpolished and rough around the edges. But there’s thirty hugely varying games on offer and each has more polish than a shoeshine boy’s cloth.

There’s plenty of talk that dedicated hand-held games machines are coming to an end, after all who wants to carry around an extra device? Well, me for one, because despite loving my iOS and Android devices, they’re basically phones that can play certain games, whilst the Vita’s power and versatility makes it something that absolutely excels at all types of game.

The PlayStation Vita is a must-have for anybody into technology or gaming – it’s the pinnacle of both. Graphically things are looking almost as good as they do on home consoles, whilst there are far more ways to interact. There’s no other machine on the market better suited for gaming.

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