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Opinion

PS Vita's Load Times Analysed

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Ridge Racer - as you'll see, not the slowest loading Vita game by some way.
How long does the PS Vita take to load a game? Well, it’s dependent on the game, of course, but I thought I’d do a quick check and actually time it, seeing how lots of people are asking.

How? Well, it’s simple: I loaded each game fresh from the LiveArea and chose the quickest route to starting a quick game of each.

I also, for the purpose of trying to inject a bit of daft humour, timed how long it would take to make a sandwich. A simple one, mind, none of your fancy toasted Subway nonsense.

Bread, butter, cheese and a bit of ham. For the sake of arguement (and so I don’t need to worry about horrible mathematics) it takes about a minute. Sixty seconds.

Thus, utilising a dash of approximation, it’s possible to compare Vita’s loading times with that of sandwich production. Could one rustle up a tasty treat in the time it takes WipEout 2048 to load?

The results, as people like to say when they do stuff like this, may surprise you…

Reality Fighters

Sony’s AR-powered scrapper takes 34 seconds to get to the start screen, another 33 to get past all the menus and pick your fighters, and then just 8 to start the actual fight. That’s a total of 75 seconds, well over a sandwich but probably not enough to really get started on the next one.

Unit 13

Zipper’s brilliant third person tactical shooter takes 47 seconds to get to the title screen, and then jumping into a level (we picked ‘level 5′ at random) took 31 seconds. That’s 78 seconds, not bad at all, and restarts are instant if you die or mess up.

WipEout 2048

Much has been made of Sony Liverpool’s future racer and its loading times – so here’s the truth.  62 seconds to get to the main menu, and 56 to load the first single player event.  So, that’s 118 seconds, almost two whole sandwiches.  Is it worth it when you start the game?  Of course.  And restarting an event is much, much quicker – about 10 seconds.

Uncharted Golden Abyss

Drake’s first (chronologically at least) adventure takes 40 seconds to get to the level select screen, and just 31 to actually gain control after skipping as much of the movie as we could, starting the game from the very beginning on ‘normal’.  71 seconds, then, although a movie normally hides some of this – that’s the case for most of Uncharted and load times are either zero or tiny between levels.  Impressive.

Everybody’s Golf 6

I love this game, despite the relatively low-resolution display. It takes 35 seconds to gain control, and jumping into the very first tournament takes another 21 seconds of loading. How long in total, then? 56 seconds, so although there’s a couple of seconds between holes, it’s still up and running quicker than you can slap that last slice of bread on top.

ModNation Racers

The PS3 version famously suffered from terrible load times, but how does the Vita one stack up? Much better.  It took us 43 seconds to get to the Start screen, another 14 for the hub to load up so we could pick a track, and then the track selection took 38 seconds (this was the first track, in single race). 95 seconds in total then – not nearly as bad as the PS3 version.

Little Deviants

It takes a while to get to the menu (even skipping the movie) – 49 seconds, but the first minigame loaded up in just 8 seconds. That’s pretty speedy once you’re up and running then, clocking in at just 57 seconds – three whole seconds shy of a perfect sandwich.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Capcom’s fighter is a really solid Vita launch title, and definitely one for fans of the genre. It takes 64 seconds for it to first load, though, another 15 to get to the Arcade mode menu and then 23 before you can pick your fighters. Once you’ve done this it’s quick, but until then? 102 seconds. I’ll let you figure out the analogy.

Ridge Racer:

It might only have three tracks but I still think Ridge Racer’s pretty good. Regardless, it takes 30 seconds to get to the ‘start’ screen but another 10 before the menu loads. Jumping into a Spot Race on Harborline 765 takes another 19 seconds, taking the total up to 59 seconds. A second off a sandwich then, but who’s counting?

Oh, we are.


Notes:

  • This isn’t meant to be terribly scientific or conclusive – I only tested each game once and the timings were approximate.
  • No other apps were running on the Vita.
  • All games ran off memory card, apart from Ridge Racer which was a physical purchase.
  • All games were UK review code – and some elements of each may be subject to change before release – apart from Ridge Racer which was a Japanese import. Ridge Racer was running off the latest patch.
  • WipEout 2048 is getting a patch to improve load times.
  • All movies and splash screens were skipped were possible.
  • The Vita was allowed to sign into the PSN (it doesn’t keep a persistent connection) when required on loading each game.
  • The Vita was running firmware 1.60, the latest at the time of this experiment.
  • UMvC3 does loads of Trophy checking and DLC checking on first boot – this was cancelled as soon as we were able.
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56 Comments
  1. gazo69
    Member
    Since: Forever

    Another great Vita article, top stuff.

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 16:50.
  2. uncleniccius
    Member
    Since: Jan 2012

    I don’t think the load times are too bad; maybe a tad long. Was the unit 13 comment an attempt at being subtle; yet saying it’s good?;) When do the Unit 13 reviews come out?? Oh and apparently Gravity Rush is OPEN WORLDDDDDD!

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 17:16.
  3. nofi
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    @uncleniccius not for a while. Something coming up on TSA about unit 13 soon tho…

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 17:31.
    • sparkyscrum
      Member
      Since: May 2011

      Can’t wait!

      Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 17:41.
    • mypetfrog
      Member
      Since: Feb 2012

      So Unit13… some retailer websites say 22nd Feb, some say 9th March… judging by your comments I guess the embargo means prob 9th March release?? :( Gutted if so, was really looking forward to that one!

      Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 19:17.
      • nofi
        One for all.
        Since: Forever

        Yep, it’s not for launch.

        Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 19:42.
  4. sparkyscrum
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    So is sandwiches now the offical time measurement for TSA?

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 17:41.
    • colossalblue
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      yes, time is measured in sandwiches, cost is measured in LBP t-shirts.

      Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 17:48.
  5. Death_In_Flamez
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Great article! Loving the small analysis of a frustration in life :D

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 18:12.
  6. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    anybody remember the original Ridge Racer on ps1?
    that had a Galaxians game you could play while it loaded.
    at least i think it was Galaxians.
    it didn’t take long to load, about 30 seconds i think, but you could keep playing if you wanted.
    and once it was loaded you didn’t even need the disc any more, you could take it out and replace it with your own audio cd and listen to some of the tracks on that, so it was kinda the first ever example of a custom soundtrack. ^_^

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 19:14.
    • yogdog
      Member
      Since: Feb 2010

      I loved that game! Played the hell out of it as a kid, I remember it getting insanely hard (for a 8/9 year old) at the time though!

      Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 19:32.
  7. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Good load times for Little Deviants and Ridge racer :) both look to be pick up and play style and the load time support that :)

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 21:31.
  8. ninjatjj
    Member
    Since: Feb 2012

    Are these load times based off the card though or running from an install? Not sure if it would make much difference, but it could possibly have the same effect as using a toasty slice vs a medium slice so who knows, could be important.

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 21:41.
  9. nofi
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    @ninjatjj they’re off memory cards, says at the bottom mate.

    Comment posted on 09/02/2012 at 22:33.
    • ninjatjj
      Member
      Since: Feb 2012

      @nofi – d’oh – cheers bud seems like I forgot the cardinal rule to always read the small print

      Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 08:53.

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