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Where Did Sony Go Right with the PS Vita?

by Gerard Martin Cueto on 11/25/12 06:18:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


A few months ago, I wrote an article about the things that Sony got wrong with regard to the Playstation Vita. This article will focus on the opposite end of the spectrum and highlight things that Sony got right when it came to their gaming handheld.

The Hardware

The PS Vita hardware is excellent. The unit itself is light (lighter than the 1st-gen PSP), and the two analogue sticks provide a great sense of control. In addition to having dual analogue sticks, the Vita also offers front and rear touch which when implemented right results in very unique gaming experiences (Little Big Planet Vita for example). The portable’s 5-inch OLED screen provides a very sharp image and vibrant colors. When it comes to graphical and processing power, the Vita blows its main competition, the 3DS, out of the water and pumps out games that run well and looks almost as good as PS3 games.

The OS

The PSP’s Cross Media Bar has been replaced by a touch-friendly OS. Vita’s operating system is characterized by home screens (with icons for games and apps similar to iOS and Android) and LiveArea screens (which serve as the entry point for games and apps).  In addition to having the start button, a game or app’s LiveArea contains additional information and functionality such as a button to check for updates, recently unlocked trophies, and manuals. Games and apps on the Vita are closed by peeling off the folded upper-right corner of live screens. The Vita OS is intuitive, versatile, and presents information to the user in a very understandable manner (notifications, running games/apps, LiveArea screen selection, etc.).

The Launch titles

The Vita launch line-up is the biggest in the history of the Playstation Brand. To be exact, PSV launched with 25 titles in the US highlighted by first party efforts such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Hotshots Golf, and Escape plan. Third party publishers also supported the Vita on launch day with the standouts being Rayman Origins from Ubisoft, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 from Capcom, Electronic Arts’ Fifa Soccer, and the PSN-only title, Tales of Space: Mutant Blobs Attack.

Playstation Plus

Sony’s Playstation Plus service has been getting more and more praise (and memberships) since it offered the instant game collection, a large collection of mostly retail (and some downloadable) games which Plus members are able to play for free so long as their membership is active. Sony has recently extended the service to PS Vita (with no added cost) and the games included in Vita’s instant game collection are nothing short of amazing. The games are Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Gravity Rush, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, Tales of Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, and the newly released Jet Set Radio HD. PS Plus on the Vita will surely encourage more gamers to purchase Sony’s gaming portable.

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