For me, the PlayStation Vita represents everything I’m currently looking for in a mobile device: console-style games, innovative new features and a focus on the social aspects of gaming without any particular sacrifice. The fact that I’ve already bought one means I’m already over the price of the console (apart from having to pay off the loan, of course) and I’ve sampled five or six of the machine’s top games, so I know what it’s capable of.
It is, in short, utterly brilliant. I’ve been a strong believer of iOS gaming for a while, publicly so, but for one reason or another I’ve found myself becoming disenchanted with iPhone games and have moved back to the 3DS and – more recently – the Vita. Of course, if I’ve only got five minutes to kill chances are I’ll fire up Jetpack Joyride and have a quick blast, but anything more and I’m more likely to want to spend it with Mario Kart 7 or Uncharted: Golden Abyss.[drop]I think both Nintendo and Sony have learnt a lot of late, making mobile gaming titles better suited for the time that players might have available. With the former, their latest flagship Mario Land game neatly divides levels up into short bursts of platforming class, and with Sony they’ve had a proper focus on similar methodologies – not least because the Vita’s UI means you can pause a game and do something else without any fuss.
The new Uncharted is paced similar to a console title, but most levels are merely ten or fifteen minutes long, meaning a game saving checkpoint should easily fit within your commute. Likewise, some of the more download-orientated titles like Escape Plan are specially designed to be easily stopped and started, and obviously some of the system’s best games, like the wonderful Virtua Tennis 4, can not only be played for five minutes in Arcade Mode but walk all over anything similar on iOS.
The truth is, that if you’re looking for console-quality games on the move, the Vita is a dream come true. And even if you’re like me and would rather play on a handheld whilst something else is on the TV other than a videogame, the same applies – apart from a slightly dumb pair of wrists from holding the Vita up in front of me for extended periods of time, I’ve had no problems with the likes of Everybody’s Golf – a title that’s easily the equal of the most recent PS3 game, if not better.
I’m not saying I’ll never play iPhone games again, I still love the thing and some of the games are outstanding, but for a complete PS3 or Xbox 360 style experience, you simply can’t beat what the Vita is offering.