Get up to speed with Sony's plan to revolutionize on-the-go gaming with 3D sophistication.
Sony likes to tout that its technological advancements in the gaming space can’t be beat, and its latest march into the portable space, the PlayStation Vita, carries with it a mighty battle cry. The list of specs run long: lovely, 5″ 16:9 organic LED O screen, dual-analog controls (a big improvement from the PSP predecessor’s awkward analog), touch interface on the front screen and back panel, front and rear cameras, an exceptional stereo speaker setup (take that, iPad!), a beefy set of innards that outputs 3D games not too far off from the PlayStation 3. Numbers, dimensions and features aside, the Vita, out the gate, is being judged by this user as a pure gaming machine, and when the fight with Apple and Nintendo crescendos, the joy of the interactive experience is what will separate the winner from the loser. As it stands, the Vita came out swinging with a robust collection of solid titles, largely paralleling the look and appeal of the console foundation they’re ripped pretty much directly from. If you’re keen on dropping the $300 to $400 for a proper Vita take-home starter kit, prepare to be impressed with this mini PS3 in your hands.
Here are three ways the Vita takes a lead over the competition:
(1) It’s a Pure Gaming Machine
Sure, you’ve got the social, apps, networking and various other modern-media requisite functionalities, but there’s immense power under the hood for a reason — to replicate the PS3 experience on the go. Games will make or break this beauty, and it’s already evident that blockbuster-style games will drive the point home — see Uncharted: Golden Abyss for starters.
(2) Community, Interaction, Options
Sony has been behind the curve when it comes to creating a progressive online experience, but the slick interface and promise for new ways of gaming on the Vita — that extend well beyond traditional gameplay — are a great opportunity to make right the wrongs of the PlayStation 3. Access to the constantly improving PlayStation Network is obviously a key selling point for the system. This is Sony’s second shot at the handheld market, so expectations are big and rightfully so in the quickly changing mobile-era landscape.
Is simply rehashing the same type of games we get on the PlayStation 3 enough? With Apple likely to bring even more pint-sized, perfectly engrossing smaller games with an indie bend to the table, Sony will need to promote that same new-frontier spirit on the Vita. All this new tech is awesome, but here’s to Sony marrying that tech with the growing wave of game-makers looking to break free from convention.
Start Up Strategy
A trio of games to get your Vita experience started…
(1) Lumines: Electronic Symphony
Ubisoft’s trippy, puzzle-based experience combines colorfully falling blocks with a propulsive electronic soundtrack. The first Lumines landed on PSP to huge critical praise, and if you’re new to this sequel, the same resonance holds especially true here. $39.99 ubi.com
(2) Rayman Origins
One of the most attractive games you’ll find plays like a gem on Vita. This Ubisoft title is a wonderful throwback to old-school platforming with plenty of modern twists. $39.99 ubi.com
(3) Gravity Rush
The launch list is robust, but one of the more original titles — especially in the fact that it isn’t one of many sequels — is rich in atmospheric style and gravity-centered gameplay. $39.99 us.playstation.com/psvita
By Brady Fiechter