Playstation Vita Hands-On First Impressions

Sony’s newest handheld, the Playstation Vita, doesn’t launch officially in the US until February 22nd, but if you’re one of the antsy few like myself who just needed to get your hands on  just a bit earlier than its official US Launch date, the “First Edition” bundle was available for sale yesterday if you preordered. Before I write up my full review on the Vita, I wanted to share my initial reactions to the system, especially for those of you who are still on the fence about picking it up next week.

First things first- the Vita is beautiful, both asthetically and physically. I love the way this device looks, and I LOVE the way it feels in my hands. The 5 Inch OLED screen obviously makes the Vita easy on the eyes, and games look great. I’ve never found myself questioning how much better this looks than the PSP- it’s astounding how much power they’ve packed into this thing, without making it very heavy or cumbersome.

If you’re a veteran of the PSP, or any Sony system really, the Vita is easy enough to pick up and play. They’vre rearranged some buttons, which I really appreciate, as the volume and start buttons on the PSP were too low for me to reach comfortably before. The biggest change has been the addition of a second analog stick. I cannot stress how much better these analog sticks are than the PSP’s, which I had break on me multiple times on multiple PSPs.

While I was obviously anxious to play this device as soon as possible, I thought the First Edition bundle was a great deal, considering this was the 3G version of the device, and it also came bundled with a memory card, case, and game, things you’re already going to have to pick up anyway. Speaking of games, games for the Vita are TINY. Tinier than DS games, but not tinier than the Vita’s new proprietary memory sticks. But I’m glad Sony has done away with UMD discs while still having a form of a physical copy.

I do have my doubts about this system, but not because I don’t think it’s capable because it is. It just needs a consistent, great line-up of games to get people out there and buying it. With launch titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss the Vita is posed to do well next week, but we’ll have to wait and see how this device performs in the long run. After just a few short hours with it, I can tell you you should be excited about this system.

I’ll be giving you even more details and impressions of the Playstation Vita shortly in my full review. If you preordered the “First Edition” bundle of the 3G version of the device it’s available now, otherwise you can pick up your very own Vita on February 22nd.

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