PlayStation Vita

The launch of the “Next Generation Portable” is finally here! The PlayStation Vita (PSV) is officially available around the world today and it looks like Sony are getting ever closer to achieving a dream of providing a true portable PlayStation gaming experience.

According to Sony the PlayStation Vita is meant to provide a full gaming experience while on the move. They also hope that the PlayStation Vita will complement the PlayStation 3 (PS3) by acting as a pseudo-extension of the legacy console.

Now that the console is available, do you have an idea of how you will be spending your hard earned cash? If not, do not worry as the Vamers staff have you covered with our comprehensive PlayStation Vita launch guide.

Is the PlayStation Vita for you?

The next round of video games consoles is still a few years away, however many gamers are itching for something new to ‘play’ with. Enter the PlayStation Vita. The PlayStation Vita is the natural successor to Sony’s popular PlayStation Portable (PSP) and offers a way for current PlayStation fans to enjoy a PlayStation 3-like experience while on-the-move. The PlayStation Vita is targeted at the ‘hardcore’ mobile gamer, someone who is not happy with casual mobile phone games and who wants to enjoy a full-fledged console experience while away from home.

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The Hardware

Sony’s PlayStation Vita sports a magnificent five inch multi-touch and capacitive Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display with a resolution of 960×544 (just below High Definition standards). The device is powered by a quad core central processing unit and a separate quad core graphical processing unit for audio and visuals that near PlayStation 3 titles in quality, playability and functionality. The PlayStation Vita even has twice the amount of RAM as the PS3, allowing for true multi-tasking and fast load times. Each PlayStation Vita also includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a unique capacitive rear touch panel, stereo speakers, front and rear cameras (with face and head detection and tracking), a microphone, and two individual analogue sticks – a first for a portable gaming device.

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The PlayStation Vita is only available in the colour black. However, two variants of the console exist: Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G.

The Wi-Fi only model has a suggested retail price of R2 999.

The Wi-Fi + 3G model has a suggested retail price of R3 599.

The PlayStation Vita is not network locked in South Africa. The console will accept normal sized SIM cards from your carrier of choice. With that said, the SIM card you insert into your PlayStation Vita must be registered with RICA, as per South African legislation.

The Games

Sony have outdone themselves with the launch lineup for the PlayStation Vita with over 18 titles available from day one. All titles are available as digital downloads through the PlayStation Network as well as by means of game cartridges at local stores. Games range from a suggested retail price of R359 to R559 each. The following PlayStation Vita games are available as launch titles:

  • Army Corps of Hell
  • Asphault Injection
  • Dungeon hunter Alliance
  • Everybody’s Golf
  • Formula 1 2011
  • Little Deviants
  • Lumines
  • Michael Jackson The Experience
  • Mod Nation Racers: Road Trip
  • Rayman Origins
  • Reality Fighters
  • Ridge Racer
  • Touch My Katamari
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Unit 13
  • Virtua Tennis 4
  • Wipeout 2048

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With such a large variety of games to choose from, how will you know what to pick? The best advice the Vamers staff and myself can give is to visit your nearest video games store and try each of the PlayStation Vita games. With that said, there are five PlayStation Vita games that are of most interest to the Vamers staff. The games are Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Escape Plan, Little Deviants and Gravity Rush. In addition to the bevy of PlayStation Vita games available at launch, Sony have confirmed that the new handheld console is compatible with digital PlayStation Portable games with support for digital PSone Classic titles appearing in the near future.

The PlayStation Vita is also bundled with six augmented reality Play Cards and an additional voucher code to download three augmented reality games – all for free. The three free games are Table Football, Cliff Diving and Fireworks.

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Three memory cards are currently available for the PlayStation Vita: 4GB (R199), 8GB (R349) and 16GB (R499). The 32GB memory card is said to be delayed until a later point in 2012. Additional AC adapter’s will retail for R159 while an official portable charger will set you back R499. If you were unable to pre-order your PlayStation Vita in time but you had your heart set on obtaining a pair of PlayStation Vita branded in-ear headset’s, then you are in luck for they can be purchased separately for R299. Those who are interested in ensuring that their new PlayStation Vita remains in mint condition may be interested in purchasing the PlayStation Vita starter kit, which includes a pocket pouch, screen protector, game card case, cleaning cloth, wrist strap and an official PlayStation Vita carrying case for R199. To prepare yourself for your PlayStation Vita or in the event that you lose your manual, you can view the PlayStation Vita’s manual online here.

Will you be buying a PlayStation Vita today (launch day)? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

[Sources: El33tOnline, My Gaming]

Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.