PS Vita Review

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Mon 2011/12/19 10:32 JST in Japanese Pop Culture

I initially didn't have any interest in trying to get the PS Vita during the launch period - I thought it was going to be sold out and unavailable for quite a while and there were not that many games that I was particularly interested in anyway. I then had a gander at Amazon and was surprised to see that they were taking pre-orders at retail price as opposed to some merchant trying to flog the thing for 3 times the price.

I then started to seek games - I heard of BlazBlue but not played it at all - picked that up together with Uncharted which I've also heard a lot of good things about.

Box design looks...not so cool.

A load of accessories available to spend your moolah on.

Box lid opened.

Bare bones inside the box.

Adapter is the USB type.

I'll use the small USB adapter that came with the iPhone instead when I'm travelling.

Yuki-chan was playing with the PS Vita all day today while I was editing the last episode of Culture Japan Season 2. I cant wait til its all over!

Wee bit on the big side but you get a lovely large n bright screen.

I presume the holes on both sides of the PS Vita is so that you can hang it off your ear.

The joysticks initially feel very small but you get used to them.

There seem to be some UI problems though. The joystick on the right gets slightly in the way when you try to press the X button. The select and start buttons need to either be pushed very hard or with your fingernails. Also, when holding the PS Vita, your thumbs cover the speakers. The whole unit is not as comfortable to holds as the PSP either - will probably get used to it after a while though.

The port at the bottom of the unit where the USB and power cable goes.

Power button, PS Vita card slot, some extension slot and volume buttons. Folks who dont read the instructions when they first get the PS Vita may break out in a sweat - you need to hold the power button down for 5 seconds on the initial bootup. I saw folks saying that they got a faulty PS Vita because they overlooked this detail.

Comparison with the other gaming devices lying around. As you can see - the PSP buttons are much bigger. Everything on the Vita seems so squashed together. And if you are wondering - the iPhone app is MiraiClock3.

NDS, Vita and PSP are all pretty much the same thickness.

The USB plug at the bottom does not fit snugly and as you can see from the photo, there is quite a bit of a gap.

I usually choose Japanese but thought I'd pick English for these photos. If you are learning a language then I would recommend to not to choose your native lingo.
Yes there is a crinkly hair on the screen - too small to be human so must belong to one of the girls.

Setting the timezone.

On first run, you will get asked if you have a PlayStation Network ID - I do so naturally choose "Yes, I do."

But then this screen saying "A system software update is required. Update the system software, and then link your account with the PlayStayion Vita system."
The only option to choose here is "OK."

But after tapping "OK", I'm just sent back to the previous screen! To get out of everything, you need to lie and say that you dont have a PSN account.

I think this is supposed to be the equivalent of the Mac intro welcome sequence which is particularly bad.

Going to need time to get used to this horrible UI. One of the reasons why I love the PS3 and PSP is because of the system UI. The PS Vita UI must be designed by a completely different team...

Switching back to Japanese as its easier for me these days ^^; I go to the system settings where I can update to 01.500.

Now I can head to the PlayStation Store to see what goodies they have. I dont have a memory card yet so cant download anything ><
The card should arrive soon.

I heard the Twitter client for the PS Vita is good - tis free.

Time to check out BlazBlue.

The OLED screen is a joy to look at. Tis a touch screen too.

Kimchi fried rice with PS Vita ^^;

This is actually my first time playing BlazBlue. I think I'll be sticking with Noel for now ^^

Folks going from PS3 or PSP to the Vita will find that the buttons take a wee bit of getting used to - the PSP buttons are about the same size as the PS3 controller but the Vita ones are much smaller.

Yuki looks after the Vita while I work.

Danny: "Hey Yuki!"
Yuki: ?

PS Vita added to the other inventory of hardware.

Folks who want one now can order from J-List.

The back is a touch panel too although I didn't find anywhere in BlazBlue that uses it.

I've dropped my PSP may times and works fine as it feels sturdy in build - the Vita feels like something may break if dropped ^^;

Looks like I have found a cradle which looks much better than the official one.

Am overall happy with the machine so far - the git at the end of BlazBlue is annoying! The quirks that I mention are just things that one may need some time getting used to. I'm looking forward to getting my UMD passport so that I can play my PSP games like Valkyria Chronicles on it.

I think what we will see a lot of is PS3 ports over to the Vita - just like Ninja Gaiden Sigma due out next Feb.
After playing handhelds, I wonder why home consoles dont have a sleep mode. I dont have much time and appreciate that a handheld can be picked up and I can just start off from where I last was - playing a home console requires turning on tv > turning on PS3 > booting up game > go through several menus > play game but usually from beginning of level that I was on. And by the time I can start to play - I dont have any time left ^^;

When I play games, I usually watch the clock constantly and slowly start to feel guilty as time passes that I could be doing something more productive instead. Having said that, its important to relax from time to time - just remember that too much relaxing is just another comfort zone.

Do you prefer to play games on a console at home or handheld?

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