Guest Writer: Vita and Pick Up and Play

One of our regular guest contributors, OrigamiKiller kindly decided to share his thoughts again. This time around he’s taking a look at Sony’s new portable contender, the PS Vita.

Portable gaming has never interested me. This has been quite clear to me as my PSP, bought at launch, has never had its fair share of my gaming playtime over the past few years. It is probably my lifestyle that has never captivated my interest for portable gaming. I don’t travel a lot or more importantly I don’t experience situations for which portable gaming is intended for.

Sadly this has meant the PS Vita hasn’t caught my eye over the past few months. If I was to own one I know that it wouldn’t get much use; at home I would always choose to play on the PS3 if I wanted a gaming session. The only real situation I would use it on is long journeys and in my life these don’t occur too often. However, in the last week my interest for the Vita has risen considerably.

[drop]There seems to be something special about the Vita. For one it looks fantastic, both in terms of its physical appearance and the visuals of the games. The styling for me can be best described as slick, something very characteristic of a Sony product. It was a major factor in my decision to buy a PSP instead of a DS all those years ago.

From gameplay footage the Vita’s visuals look stunning and are easily on par with the capabilities of the PS3. Uncharted and Wipeout highlight this best for me. It’s not just the visuals though, there are so many other technical details that should win me over instantly, like the introduction of a touch screen.

It is not this that interests me about the Vita though. The main nature of my newly realised excitement comes from the actual games that are on offer. Ironically it is not the “big games” that interest me as to be honest I have more than enough of them for my PS3. It is those games which look to be adopting the pick up and play style – something that has never interested me before.

This pick up and play style gaming is something which is on the rise in my gaming life. Recently I have discovered Temple Run. What a great little game that is. The way you can have a quick go here and now has come into great use in the past few weeks. After watching Little Deviants and Ridge Racer footage I can see those two games providing the same play style for me, switching them on for a quick race or level every now and then.

[drop2]It’s this that’s really tempting me to put a preorder in for the Vita. It feels strange how a device that isn’t even out yet can change my views on portable gaming. Sure my iPod Touch and the App store have dosed me with the pick up and play style for many years now, but the Vita offers that bit more. You don’t get PS3 visuals and online play on Apps (excluding a few) for a start. I can now look back at the view conveyed in my first sentence and say that portable gaming has begun to interest me with the potential of the Vita.

I sound pretty much sold on the Vita, but there’s one big hiccup – the price. In my opinion portable gaming needs to be at a low price. The thought of the initial price of the Vita plus memory cards and games on top is daunting. It feels overpriced to me. Whilst the difference between in cost between the iPod Touch and the Vita hardware might not be that much, it’s the exceptionally low cost of Apps (many are free) that make me feel Sony may find it difficult to enter the market that iOS and Android devices dominate; it’s fortunate that the Vita does offer much more than this. Sadly that “much more” is not what interests me about the Vita and for the time being I think I will keep to my iPod Touch and the App store.

Is it only me that has become increasingly interested in portable gaming with the prospect of the Vita? Also what excites you most about Vita – is it that pick up and play style gaming or something else?

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31 Comments

  1. Lovely article, fella. I’m not interested in Vita but simply because I don’t mobile game at all (okay, the tiniest of amounts) so it would be a huge waste of money to me. However, the games really do seem to be piquing people’s interests and I hope to see the great stuff (on the Vita) on my PS3 soon.

    • More like it’s going to be the other way around, PS3 -> Vita is the trend at the mo’.

      • It was the same with PSP, the ps2 ports and spin offs/sequels went to psp. But when they flopped or got as many sales as they could out of them they came full circle and went back to ps2 (gta Stories for a start)
        Lets hope Vita has more/less sucess with its games depending on whether your getting it or not.

    • Grest read and very true for many gamers. Vita…..day one with uncharted..even if just to play the game…which will land on ps3 as a downloadable title eventually, you heard it here first….

  2. The bog standard Vita really appealed to me price wise, but then after finding out how much the games were and then the ludicrous pricing of the memory cards it’s slightly put me off :(

  3. Im not really fussed about the price of the Vita for what you get i think it’s a great deal my only issue was the preice of the games at launch! i was going to pre-order Uncharted at Game and asked if the knew how much it would cost the woman say £45 i nearly coughed up the coffee i was drinking!

    • The games are overpriced indeed! i look at FIFA on the vita its about £35, i got FIFA on my PC for £15 1 week after release!

      • Man my spelling is awful the laptop butons keep sticking.

        I know the prices seem steep and the games like Fifa ain’t really bringing anything new to the table apart from been able to shoot and pass with touchscreen!

    • Uncharted can easily be find for £35. But the RRP is reallt overpriced(£45). No handheld game should have the RRP price over £40.

  4. Thing is – you just don’t buy a Vita for pick up and play gaming. It’s just investing too much.

    • Exactly :P But thats the only type of gaming that I want portable.

  5. Funnily enough since the last handheld I bought was a GBA SP I have found myself looking for a PSP version of Advance Wars and found it in Field Commander – hopefully it’ll be Vita compatible. I’m really going to go for both types of experiences, though I think that titles like Uncharted will be reserved for longer sessions i.e. on long journeys or when I want to play PS3-like titles but can’t be bothered to switch on my PS3.

  6. There are gonna be a couple of free apps, the sort of thing you show your family in order to try and impress them with the Vita’s AG capabilities which I’m pleased is happening, but those memory cards really are annoyingly priced, especially as they are essential

  7. My PSP3000 has been sitting in a drawer for a year now. I think I want a Vita, but clearly I don’t use the handheld that I’ve already got. For this reason I’m going to sit and wait and see how the Vita developes, when I can sit and play PS3 games on it whilst my wife watches the TV, and the cost comes down then I think I’ll give Sony handhelds another go, and trade in my old PSP for a Vita, until then I’m sitting on the fence.

  8. Those first 2 paragraphs sum up my feelings perfectly. Its all iOS this and android that these days but in terms of gaming i dont have the need for it. Im either at home, with my ps3, or at work or driving to another place i need to be.

    Portable gaming has a 0% requirement in my life and i cant see it changing. The Vita is no different.

    • A few weeks ago and I would have just left it there, but with exams coming into course the last month portable gaming has been on the rise for me. I probably will pick up a Vita later down the line too

  9. Yes I’m interested in the vita but I can’t afford the initial layout, and I’d probably end up playing it when I should be doing other things.

    It’s quite good that in the evenings my Mrs watches telly which forces me to do practical stuff, work and other things that need doing. If I had a vita I’d just sit and play that while she’s watching telly and end up sitting in a shit hole of a house and doing no work.

    I do really want one, its just not a good idea. I’ll probably pick one up at some point though.

  10. not long to go now :)

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