Sony PlayStation Vita handheld games console

Sony PlayStation Vita review: a big, beautiful gaming machine

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (3)
  • Buy Now 90
Sony PlayStation Vita
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.50 / 5 (of 3 Reviews)

Pros

  • Light and durable design with excellent controls
  • Big, beautiful OLED screen.
  • Rear touchpad works well, permits unique gameplay

Cons

  • Overpriced proprietary memory cards.
  • Onboard 0.3 megapixel cameras are terrible
  • Middling battery life

Bottom Line

When it comes to pure performance, the PlayStation Vita is the best dedicated handheld gaming console you can buy.

Would you buy this?

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Terrible Cameras

Sony PlayStation Vita review Color/contrast shot taken with the Vita's rear-facing 0.3 MP VGA camera.

The PlayStation Vita has a pair of front and rear-facing 0.3 MP VGA cameras, and they’re both terrible. During testing the Vita regularly captured photos that appeared blurry and dim with poor contrast between light and dark areas. The Vita 1.6 firmware update added a video recording feature to the Camera app, but the quality of video captured using the Vita’s cameras is equitably poor. These cameras work well enough for playing the occasional augmented-reality game, but for snapping photographs suitable for sharing you’re better off using a dedicated camera, or your smartphone.

Sony PlayStation Vita review Color/contrast shot taken with the Vita's off-center front-facing 0.3 MP VGA camera. Gross.

Fantastic Performance

The PlayStation Vita packs a quad-core PowerVR Series 5XT SGX543MP4+ GPU that’s similar (though superior) to the dual-core SGX543MP2 GPU which powers the Apple iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The Vita’s GPU does a fantastic job of rendering movies and games without a hitch; during testing we played several graphically-demanding Vita games (including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Lumines: Electronic Symphony, Super StarDust Delta and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3) and they all looked fantastic, with nary a dropped frame or graphical glitch to speak of.

The Vita also boasts respectable battery life, and during testing we were able to eke out just under five hours of fun playing games, watching movies and listening to music at maximum brightness and maximum volume before our Vita review unit ran out of juice. Thankfully it only takes about an hour and a half to completely charge the battery via the AC adapter.

While our Vita review unit included a 3G radio, we were unable to assess the performance of the AT&T 3G on Vita units at the time of review without a compatible 3G SIM card. Once we have thoroughly tested the 3G functionality of the Vita we will update the review accordingly.

All told, the PlayStation Vita is an excellent handheld gaming console that’s worth paying for if you demand more from your mobile gaming experience than smartphone or tablet games can provide. You’ll have to make some sacrifices in order to play with this kind of power, but if you’re willing to accommodate the Vita’s size and Sony’s draconian memory card pricing scheme, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most powerful handheld gaming devices ever made.

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Joanne

4.0

1

Pros
Correction to initial rating
Cons
Correction to initial rating
• • •

Just wanted to correct my text in my commentary of the PS Vita.

I had written SIM Card at one point, but this should have been Memory Card, or Memory Stick. Sorry about the confusion :)

Joanne

4.0

2

Pros
Online game library, crisp hi-def picture, sound is incredible
Cons
expensive initial purchase not ready to use out of the box
• • •

I bought the PS Vita for my son this past christmas, but his dedication to his Nintendo DS soon left the newly aquired Vita sitting gathering dust. I took it to play the games that he had gotten with the system for Christmas and soon discovered the multitudes of things this little hand-held offered. Online game library via Wi-Fi had me downloading tons of mini games and PSP cross over games, as well as movies and shows to watch. Eventually I began receiving lots of friend requests as my trophies and achievements were displayed on leaderboards, and I even received messages from people asking for tips and tricks on how to get on with certain games. I discovered a game called Plants VS. Zombies and found myself immersed in corn cannons and pea shooting blooms to rid my lawn of the zomibies wearing caution cones on their heads. I was hooked from this point on. My smart phone couldn't compare to the large hd screen this new Vita offered. And needless to say at this point it's hands off for my son, the Vita is now mine (not that he cares with the DS, Xbox, Wii, and Playstation that scatter our house) :) My score of four stars accounts for the initial price of this device, and the fact that when you get it home you would think the box would contain everything you need to charge it up and play the games you bought to go with it. Well this in not the case....get ready to drive back to the store and pick up a sim card for this. Otherwise you can't play any game at all without it. The memory cards are also EXTREMELY overpriced and is designed specifically for the PS Vita system, so you can't use any ordinary card. This aspect of the whole package is the piece of the puzzle that really pissed me off and almost made me return the whole thing. They are lucky that I was too lazy to box it back up, because I was already forced to return to the store to buy one. I wouldn't be surprised if alot of other people box it back up without giving it a chance upon finding out this. But nonetheless I am happy with my Vita, but don't think I'd buy another if this one hits the fan. Happy gaming everyone!

Angel Gandia

2.5

3

Pros
A9 4 core from apple
Cons
Terrible cameras resolution
• • •

Ok wear is the 3D 5" Screen (the could be 7")I miss the 3D on the PSP VITA
and 5MP camera on the back. Battery life ?. thumbsticks more hi that the rest of the bottoms.
I DON'T LIKE. good the software like iPhone 5
IF I CANT CHANGE THE BIOS OR HACK IT. IS ONLY THRASH.

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