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PlayStation Vita review

The successor to the PlayStation Portable certainly has been hotly anticipated — especially since there haven’t been many games for the PSP recently.

Graphics: 10.0
Sound: 8.5
Apps: 6.0
Overall Games Score: 7.6
Wow Factor: 8.0
Overall Vita Score: 8.0

Pros: Graphics are jaw dropping; large variety of games on launch day; two touch screens.

Cons: Some promised apps not available on launch day; no Flash (yet) to watch videos; short battery life.

So let’s look under the hood. The tech stuff that makes the Vita superior is its zippy computer processor. It’s faster than the current iPhone and even the upcoming iPad 3.

But it’s in the gaming graphics department that the Vita really shines. For detailed artwork, it truly feels like the next big thing. It’s almost like having a PS3 that fits in your jacket pocket.

There are over two dozen games to choose from (and dozens more to come). But don’t put Vita in your pants pocket. With its five-inch screen and nine ounces of weight, it’s too big for that.


Once you start playing, you’ll see that the Vita’s design has also been influenced by the Nintendo DS and Apple iPad, which made touch-screen gaming so popular. Sony really loves the idea of touch, so much so that you can use both the front screen and the back of the Vita to put games through their paces.

You’ll either enjoy using a combination of ways to play or stick to one. (And, thankfully, buttons are still an option.) The main thing is this: The way you play is all up to you.

Here’s the most useful new idea. If you have both the Vita and PS3 versions of MLB 12: The Show, the baseball season you play on the Vita will be remembered when you turn on the PS3. You have to sync up the two via the PS3. But that only takes about 10 minutes.


Nothing’s ever perfect and neither is the Vita. The front and back cameras are primitive, especially for a system that’s so cutting edge in other ways. Just like Nintendo’s 3DS, they only have .3 megapixels, laughable in this day and age. You can take your own picture and have it placed onto a character in a game like Virtua Tennis. It’s a nice idea. But when I did it, I saw that it doesn’t really look like me. And it takes a long time to do.

The touch screen can be hit and miss. For instance, Escape Plan is a charming-looking downloadable game with unusual characters and movie soundtrack-type music. It only uses the touch screen. But it fails because either the touch screen isn’t precise enough or the game itself isn’t programmed properly.

Touch works better with a game like Rayman Origins in which you search for relics by tapping areas of the screen.

There were some aspects of the Vita that actually weren’t functioning when I finished my review on launch day. The Augmented Reality cards, which let you play mini games, had no app to get them started. There was no Flash program to let me watch YouTube videos. And there was no app for Facebook or Sony’s tune-streaming service, Music Unlimited.

If these were promised on launch day, they should be there on launch day. Not to have these available is a pretty big deal.


There’s no doubt that the Vita is a remarkable piece of equipment. Developers have yet to perfect the precision of the touch screen and the gyroscope (for racing games). But that will come with time. What you have now is a system that adds cool realism to the games you play.

You might want to wait for a sale because the Vita is as (or more) expensive than a PS3 right now. But when you get it, you’ll really feel like you’re living inside these games, particularly the best ones.


Rayman Origins (Ubisoft)
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older

What an outstanding game. If you’ve waited to play the console version that came out last year, I’d actually suggest playing the Vita version instead. Why? It’s like having sheer optimism in your pocket. If you’re a little down from schoolwork or losing in your sport, it’s the kind of game that makes you hopeful and happy. The Rayman characters presented here are as endearing as any Disney character.


Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour (Sega)

You’ll have to laugh at a bug in this tennis game that occasionally has your famous player running off the court prior to a serve. Is he scared? Does he need a bathroom break? Still, the smart simulation portion asks you to use the same finesse you would for a console game. And the minigames, one of which asks you to herd chickens, are strangely fun.


WipeOut 2048 (Sony)
Rated E10+

This futuristic racing game is so speedy, it’ll take your breath away. Imagine a racing car as fast as Sonic the Hedgehog, and you’ll get the idea. Add weapons, powerups and a zippy soundtrack for the craziest racing experience on Vita.


Lumines: Electronic Symphony (Ubisoft)

Remember Tetris? Lumines is Tetris with a science-fiction feel and an electronic soundtrack including folks like LCD Soundsystem. The result is not only a music game that’s easy to pick up and play, it’s also one that you just can’t put down.


51 Comments on PlayStation Vita review

  1. I was one of the winners of the boyslife PS Vita contest. Great consle and I love watching Peanut Butter Gamer on it!!!

  2. These are highly recommended games for this system. Little Big Planet, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Gravity Rush, PS All Stars, and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Also get the FREE game Jetpack Joyride. I wouldn’t recommend COD Black OPS: Declassified though.

  3. I got this with a COD: Black Ops Bundle for Christmas and was so excited (and Confident in this system) that the week before Christmas that I bought Little Big Planet PS Vita. When I started playing I was stunned at the graphics and then a couple days after Christmas I bought Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and got the same reaction

  4. gokushark100 // November 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm // Reply

    i want one so bad

  5. it does sound nice but i have never anthing sony

  6. seems cool…. . I think you do a great job with the reiew 😀

  7. Its just as bad as the sony pocketstaition.

  8. Uberlyuber // July 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    I hate that the ps vita is gonna have 3G cause AT&T will NOT give it for free. D:<

  9. my mom owes me $300 and I said instead give me a ps vita

  10. My cousin has 1i really wanted one and then i read this review i still want it but im gonna wait till theres more games and the price lowers i mean really $250 to $300 come on!

  11. the Vita has virtual realty cards to? sheesh. talk about copying Nintendos ideas.

  12. I already own a 3DS and I love it, but the Vita still appeals to me but I’m gonna wait for a price drop or something because $249.99 + Memory Card + $50.00 for the 3G Model (Maybe) + Game(S) would make it a huge investment upfront, and it’s one I don’t know if I can afford.

  13. i liked the review 😀 or :0 or 🙂 or :>

  14. that game look’s awesome! i wish i had 1!!!!!!!

  15. you know what i say the price should be 200

  16. i gave up wanting it for my birthday (months from now) for the price.
    so back to the 3ds.

  17. i need psvita

  18. i think it would be neat to have ,but i am going to wait till there are more games. i will for sure get christmas 2012 there will surely be a sale and there will also be more games.

  19. The psvita sounds awesome if I win one I’ll probably go crazy with excitment

  20. b-ball boy // March 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm // Reply

    I’ge been wanting a psp since I first saw it but haven’t gotten one.

  21. larry larrington // March 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm // Reply

    the ipod touch is thiner, has thousands of games on the app store, and can do more than just play games. u can text for free, unlimited. dont waste your mony on the vita when u can save up for something more expensive, but way worth the money

    • yeah but you know some pepole dont like just a touch screen like an ipod plus it is worth it it probaply last a long time but you dont have to go to the store to buy game on the ipod it is really is just an opinion of people which one is better

    • it is an opinion of people which one they like better the nice thing about the ipod is you don’t have to make a trip to the store to buy games but with a psvita you can use buttons and it probably last longer

  22. Why is the vita so amazing?

  23. I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. i have a psp but not one of those.i will win

  25. I love it because its basically a 7 inch tablet, with epic games.

  26. I love the Vita, but it’ll only be truly worth it if it’s made compatible with PS3 titles, seeing as it costs just as much as a PS3.

  27. I hope i win the psvita the psvita rocks it good

  28. I want one so bad!

  29. Chessmaster11 // March 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm // Reply

    The thing is MORE than a PS3? why would you buy it?! and then short battery life, inacurate touch screens, come on! sony could do SO much better! Nintendo 3DS in my book is the best out there right now, completly worth it + way more affordable!

  30. The Vita is not the best thing that came out thuis year or last year electronically. What the real buzz is about is the new iPad 3.c That I can’t wait for!

    • nintendude // March 20, 2012 at 1:07 am // Reply

      Those things get outdated so quickly! And they’re expensive. Last christmas, I wanted an ipad. Right after christmas, the NEW ipad came out.

  31. Don’t know if I will win or not, but this thing sounds quite exiting

  32. jonathan030705 // March 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm // Reply

    awesome psp

  33. awesome scout // March 1, 2012 at 11:05 am // Reply

    i so want one and im going to enter to win one.

  34. want one

  35. I can’t wait for the
    psvita to come out i’m so jubilant I really want one I
    my dad might let me get one but I’m not sure

  36. UnhingedCHAO5 // February 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm // Reply

    hey, dont hate on the vita. i have one and it is the bomb!! i am amazed at how well the vita turned out to be. It is the most epic hand held system yet!

  37. coll the new psp is going to be great it is the new step in technolage with touch screen phones ipods ipads and tablets

    • Not really... // March 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm // Reply

      The PS Vita is Sony’s attempt to come back after a disastrous couple of years. Nothing can stop its eventual decline. It’s years behind its Android, iOS, and Microsoft (yes even Microsoft) peers.

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