Last night I felt the urge to go to GameStop and peruse the store (which happens often), but to my delight they had a PS Vita demo unit out for use. So what was supposed to just be a short outing turned into me getting my first hands on experience with Sony’s new handheld. While I didn’t get to fully explore the Vita I feel like I got a pretty good showcase of what the system is capable of so let me share my thoughts with all of you.
The design is very similar to that of the PSP which made it very comfortable to use and even with a security cradle attached to the system it was still very light, which is a plus. The face and shoulder buttons are once again identical to that of the PSP, but the major additions come in the form of an additional analog stick, front touch screen, rear touch panel and a camera. Dual analog sticks were something PSP owners wanted out the gate, but even through two system redesigns were never integrated so prospective Vita buyers fear not. While the dual analog sticks are a great design addition they are very small and depending on how they are integrated into various pieces of software could potentially pose a problem for users with large hands (such as myself). One other caveat with the analog stick design is that if a game uses the rear touch panel and both sticks it could potentially make the Vita a bit cumbersome to use hypothetically speaking (you would literally be clutching just the outside of the system and would be putting extra pressure on the sticks). Enough with the design jargon let me tell you about the software I played.
The system had quite a few demos loaded on it, but due to time constraints (i.e. store closing) I only had the opportunity to play Gravity Rush and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Both games were a blast to play and it reaffirmed in my mind that dedicated handheld systems still have a place in the video game industry. Gravity Rush has a great art style with quirky characters and the gameplay mechanics were beyond unique. If I had the available funds to purchase a Vita at launch Gravity Rush would absolutely be a day one purchase. Uncharted: Golden Abyss was a treat as well, but it wasn’t anything that players haven’t already experienced in the previous three entries (sans some touch integration). Nonetheless Golden Abyss is setting the bar really high out the gate for graphics on the Vita and makes me very optimistic about the visual fidelity games will present down the road. Like I said earlier I wasn’t able to fully explore the other demos available or any of the other features that were on the display unit so I apologize if this seems inconclusive.
The PS Vita is a cool piece of tech that will definitely please those who are purchasing it day one and will be a great device for people to save up for. I unfortunately fall into the latter category, but it will be a glorious day when I can get my hands on one of my own. In the meantime many more trips to my local GameStop will be in order until that day arrives. Also if this article piqued your interest head to your local GameStop to see if yours has a demo unit and give it a spin; if you are a fan of handheld systems I promise you it won’t disappoint. As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content. If you get a chance to check out the Vita sound off in the comments section and let us know what you think.