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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.