PS Vita’s Load Times Analysed

[drop2]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. 60 seconds couldn’t be that fast to make one *cough*?

    Anyway haha, nice article… I guess with that power the loading times would be a bit long, the PSP’s where quite lengthy at launch..battlefront 2 so i guess with the likes of Monster Hunter or Phantasy Star we could be seeing data installs in the future.

    • There’s no advantage to installing data as both the game and memory cards are similar speed solid-state storage. You only install data to move it from a slower medium to a faster one (i.e., BD-ROM/DVD-ROM to HDD/SSD).

      • They could make it so a game will read half of its data off a cartridge and the other half off a memory card (better make it optional) to reduce load times.
        A bit theoretical though, as for all I know the Vita architecture may not even allow reading from both at the same time, and there could be other bottlenecks.

    • o.O.. oh I see, thanks

  2. Im now buying Wipeout soley because I will struggle to remove the Vita from my grip once it arrives and the load time gives me plenty of time to make AND eat a sarnie. This vital intake of sustinance may save my life.

  3. If i can put up with Fallout 3/NV’s loading times that tend to increase the longer you play it, then i can put up with waiting up to a minute. Also, it takes roughly half a minute to make a sandwhich. ;)

  4. It would be the game I’ve pre-ordered takes the longest. Hope the patch speeds it up a lot.

  5. Didn’t actually feel that long when I was waiting for Wipeout to load.

    Have heard the first time you play a game you get longer waiting times (assume background setting up), can you guys confirm this?

  6. So if you want a quick blast on Vita while on the train/bus whatever for 10mins you’ll spend 2 of those waiting for WipEout to load, or around a minute for the other games tested there. Can’t see it beating the iPhone as a handheld gaming device.

    • You mean, can’t beat iPhone for a 10 minute gaming snippet?

    • I wish public transport was that fast…

      ;)

      I don’t know I think they’ll have different experiences, imo I find a few iOS games to be a bit daunting if it was a long train journey. The Vita/or just a reg gaming handheld would be best but defiantly not Britain’s bumpy roads

  7. Now I’m hungry! Could do with something “chickeny”

  8. i don’t know about the vita, but i definitely want a sandwich now. o_O

    all i’ve got is jam though, and that’s really better on toast.
    :(

  9. The great thing is, even with all the load times, you could actually complete all of these games back to back while you wait for Bioshock 2 to install onto you PS3. *Rage*

    • I remember that being a bitch for install time, you’re not far off the mark with completing them all back to back before B2 installs…

  10. Brilliant

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