Sony has officially named their new handheld portable gaming system “PSVita” at the Sony Press Conference at E3 2011. After the announcements were finished, everyone there was allowed to test out some of the games that they showed at the conference. I braved the line for the PSVita and got some hands-on experiences with the device.
When I first lifted up the device it was surprisingly light, almost to the point where it may be lighter some than some cell phones. I asked if this is the official weight of the device and the techs said that they were not sure. The final product may be a bit heavier than what they had on hand. There were five playable titles in which we had up to four minutes to play. The titles I managed to play on the PSVita were Virtua Tennis, Sound Shape, Little Deviant, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted.
Virtua Tennis: Great concept with using the touch screen to serve and return your shots back to the opponent. You use the left analog stick to move the player. When I was playing the game I had the Vita laying down. You can play the game while holding it, but I can see people dropping the system because you are swiping away on the screen.
Sound Shape: Awesome platform game. Making music by collecting items while going through the level is an awesome idea. Maybe its a bit basic, but it is a good start for those not familiar with platform.
Little Deviant: If you enjoy a lot of mini-games on the go, then you will love Little Deviant because that is what its all about. It takes full advantage of the hardware and it will make you look silly depending on what mini-game you are playing.
Little Big Planet: This game is already a classic. The Vita brings new concepts to the game; for example, you can take advantage of the touch screen on certain blocks to progress through the game. You can tilt the Vita to move certain objects to cross over cliffs. This will be a must-have when the Vita ships.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss: PlayStation 3-like graphics plus similar gameplay to the console version plus an all-new adventure equals one hell of a game. It looks really beautiful on the Vita. Pro.
There are a couple of things I wasn’t impressed with about the system. They had enough room to move the “start” and “select” buttons under the screen and move both analog sticks slightly down a bit. There were times when I would hit the “X” button and the right analog stick would be in the way. Its nothing too bad but I can see it being annoying depending on the game.
Here are the specs for the new handheld:
Operating System: LiveArea
Processor: 4-core ARM Cortex-A9
GPU: 200 MHz SGX543MP4+
Screen size/touch: 5 inch OLED capacative touch screen, rear touch panel
Motion Sensing: Accelerometer, gyroscope
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS (3G/Wi-Fi model only)
Online Network: Near for local play, PlayStation Network for over the internet.
Camera: front and near-facing cameras, 640×480
File Compatibility: Photo: JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG; Audio: MP3, AAC, WAV; Video – MP4, H.264
Price: $250 Wi-Fi only, $300 Wi-Fi + 3G
Release: Holiday 2011
Overall I am really excited for the PSVita