Sony’s PlayStation Vita keeps both hands busy
Sony’s new handheld gaming device, PlayStation Vita, has been described by many as a mini version of the PS3, the electronics company’s home entertainment console. Those people are pretty close to hitting the mark.
A Wi-Fi equipped model of the PS Vita was released in Canada in February for $249.99 (a 3G and Wi-Fi model priced at $299 is expected in June); it’s a lot of hardware for the price.
Most of the device is the five-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen, a bright and crisp display with multi-touch functionality. Additional inputs include a second touch interface on the back of the unit, motion-sensing, two analogue thumbsticks, two bumper buttons, and a directional pad for the left thumb, and four buttons for the right thumb.
Even through the PS Vita’s internal speakers, the stereo sound is impressive. And the stand-by battery life is very good, although actually playing games on it runs the charge down pretty quickly.
Games can be downloaded directly to the PS Vita or purchased from retailers in boxed versions that come in the form of a new flash card.
If there’s a complaint about the PS Vita, it’s that the device will only accept proprietary memory cards for those titles requiring one for game storage and saved-game data. The PS Vita cards, which range in capacity from four to 32 gigabytes, are priced between $20 and $100.
The PS Vita’s interface is largely intuitive, but some tasks, like quitting software, aren’t. To exit a game, for example, you have to look to the top right corner of the screen for what looks like a flap of paper. “Peeling” it down and to the left effectively shuts down the program.
There were about 25 games available at launch, with prices ranging from $9.99 to $49.99. Here’s a look at some of them.