New to You: The PlayStation Vita Slim

The Sony PCH-2001 (PS Vita Slim)
The Sony PCH-2001 (PS Vita Slim)

Welcome to a section that will probably have the least amount of posts due to the fact that I don’t get very many new consoles, new in the sense that I have never had a platform like it before. So, without further stalling, lets get to the meat of the subject. The PS Vita Slim.

So as stated in a previous post I was fortunate enough to be gifted a brand new PlayStation Vita Slim (PS Vita) to help me along with my handheld focus and collection. While not as popular as the Nintendo 3DS and lacking in some triple a support titles, the PS Vita is an odd console in terms of its gaming selection but in terms of a handheld, it is definitely a must own device for handheld enthusiasts and collectors. So lets dive straight into the discussion at hand!

My 'home screen'. Current retail games on the bottom, most used apps.
My ‘home screen’. Current retail games on the bottom, most used apps.

The PS Vita in terms of its feel is very pleasant. Being a bit wider than my “New” Nintendo 3DS XL, it  gives my longer fingers room to breathe, how ever there is the matter of the back touch panel, which I will touch on later. The matte finish on the plastic outer case gives a rough but grip-able texture that is different from the glossy 3DS. However the back touch panel and front facing panel are both glossy finger print magnets… When it comes to the analogue sticks, they really do feel and work great! I was more used to the free floating circle pad on the 3DS, after playing a lot of games with that however, I found myself enjoying the dual analogue sticks just as much. Everything else on the system feels just as comfortable if not a bit better. The D-Pad and shoulder buttons take a bit of getting used to, though I wish they felt much more like the 3DS’s shoulder buttons and D-pad felt like. The day to day performance is just as good as the “New” 3DS Xl when it comes to the battery division and the game content division. I find myself averaging about 6-8 hours of battery life on the system. Which is fairly good but keeping in mind that I do take my breaks and do other things. That is the one joy about handhelds, they give you time to do something else productive while they charge!

My currently downloaded PSN and PS One Classics.
My currently downloaded PSN and PS One Classics.

In terms of the layout and interface of the PS Vita, Sony opted for the Live Area theme over the use of the Xross Media Bar and while it received some luke warm reception, I personally enjoy the feel and function of it, it even allows for interesting wallpapers. When ever a retail game card is inserted to the system it installs a handy icon for you to move where ever you like, while it does take up some space, some retail games like Killzone: Mercenary takes up about 1GB of space, they are nice replacement for the live tiles we got on the Xross media bar for the PS3. Though the settings icon, once launched, feels just like the PS3 settings section and is very easy to navigate. The interface is also very simple and requires little in the way of fuss. The PlayStation Store-front is also a nicely organized mess of games, however there is still much needed room for improvement here. Such as a much better function for the search menu to allow for better search results and to help narrow down a game.

My slightly used more than normal apps section.
My slightly used more than normal apps section.

In terms of the game cards, I like the styling of them, however they feel very flimsy and like I might break them just pulling them out of the box they came in. Though I am sure they are quite sturdy as I had the same reaction to the original Nintendo DS cartridges when they first debuted. So tiny. But The one and biggest complaint I have, like many users is the face you have to buy Sony made memory cards which forces the user to pay what Sony wants you to pay. Not saying the memory cards aren’t bad or not fantastic, just I believe they can afford to trim down the prices a lot more these days. However it really isn’t a deal break when considering how well PS+ works with the system and the opportunities to download tons of great games saves you in the long run. That being said, when it comes to penny pinching, the Vita can possibly save you quite a bit in the long run. Yes, you have to put down quite a lot of money initially but if you stick with a yearly renewal with PS+ you can just about get any game your heart desires for free or for a discounted pricing. It does add up in the long run considering that you pay 49.99USD for a full year and you get a free game every month. Better than spending 19-29USD per game purchase. That being said, most, myself included, still prefer having the physical media on hand to touch and geek over, so it becomes a tedious balance between finding out what games you want to own physically and if you can get them cheap or to just hope you have enough space on your memory card to download Killzone: Mercenary.

My least used apps plus other widely used apps.
My least used apps plus other widely used apps.

In short my time thus far with the Vita is a pleasurable one and is very, very amazing. The games list is outstanding and the system itself is a piece to be admired. While the lack of triple a title support is an issue for most, the ever growing Indie game market will continue to impress. Heck, The Banner Saga and Starbound are slated for release on the handheld this year! Holy cow! All I can hope is that each one will have a physical copy to but it may just be a digital one. but hey, a person can hope!

Also if you cannot tell what my favorite anime is right now then I will spare you the guessing. The images are gathered from the web and they are characters from the fantastic Kill la Kill series that is available for your viewing pleasure on Netflix and Crunchyroll. I haven’t checked Hulu yet…


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