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PlayStation Vita Impressions

Yesterday, I got my first hands on with a PlayStation Vita at the Austin Vita Club that Sony has set up. After reading so many previews, I felt like I already knew everything there was to know. However, I had a few reactions to using the device in person:

  • The buttons and analog sticks are very small. Much smaller than a PS3 controller or a PSP. The sticks had no perceptible dead zone and felt very smooth and polished.
  • My expectation was that the the OLED screen was larger and noticably nicer than most smartphones. That was definitely true. Size-wise, it’s larger than a smartphone, but definitely way smaller than a tablet. A few smartphone models have already have OLED screens, but the image quality on the Vita is noticably better than non-OLED screens like those found on an iPhone. There is also a quality advantage over the typical HDTV, although the HDTV obviously has a large size advantage.
  • The Vita Social Club setup was pretty stylish. Although, honestly, I don’t like these free events. They tend to draw more of a random street crowd that wants to mooch off free stuff, rather than actual video game enthusiasts. I’d rather pay to get a nicer experience. They chose the Austin famous Chilantro to do the free food catering; they make Korean tacos/burritos which was an excellent choice.
  • When you page around your available games, the Vita OS shows games that can’t be played without a cartridge. I hope they fix this in a patch.
  • I got to try the Marvel vs. Capcom fighter: that’s not my type of game, but it was enough to demo the quality of the controls, the display, and the graphics processing power of the device.

I definitely expect this will replace my PS3 as my primary gaming device. The launch lineup has a handful of entertaining content, but I’m super excited about LittleBigPlanet and other 2012 multi-platform releases.