PS Vita First Impressions

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11/18/2012

Just got back home from picking up my PS Vita Assassin’s Creed Bundle. After opening it up and spending a few minutes with it, I have to say, what the hell Sony, are you getting cheap on us.

The first thing that got me a little upset was how the game itself was packaged. On the cover of the bundle it shows the typical clamshell PS Vita game case. So I was expecting the physical case to be in there, nope, not there at all. The bundle includes the game and the 4GB memory card in a very generic clear clamshell case. First question that came to my mind was, when I am done with the game, how am I supposed to store it? Is this Sony’s way of telling me I need to spend more money on some kind of storage device to hold just this one game? Even on the website it shows the game case in the pictures.

Another thing that really had me confused was the lack of a cleaning cloth. When I got my launch PSP it came with a cleaning cloth which was a very nice touch. Especially considering how many smudges and fingerprints that thing collected around the face buttons. It was horrible but the cleaning cloth took it right off with a few quick wipes. Ultimately, I was expecting one with this as well. With the touch screen on the front and the back, it would have really made sense to include one. There are a lot more areas on the Vita to attract smudges and fingerprints. I can always use the one that came with my PSP, I guess. It would be nice to have one included, even if it’s a generic one.

First thing I noticed about the console itself is that it is slightly longer then my PSP. It’s not bigger by much but it does feel better in my hands. The thickness itself seems to be about the same which is good. The weight of the Vita is a little bit lighter than my PSP. Quality of the build seems to be in typical Sony fashion. Nice clean lines and all the buttons have a slight resistance to them. Not much flex in the chassis itself like the launch PSP had.

Of course, one of the draws to the Vita is the dual joysticks. While they feel fine, as far as movement goes, these things are small. I never was a big fan of the “slider” style that the original PSP used, but it was effective and I never had any problems with it at all. The dual sticks on the Vita are small and act like the typical sticks we are accustomed to on the DS3 controller, as they rock back and forth. The biggest gripe I have about this is that they bow out with no texture on them. My thumbs very easily slide off no matter what direction I push them towards. A simple texture, such as what is on the DS3, would be a lot better feel. Add in a slightly concave top and these sticks would feel 100% better.

The buttons themselves are smaller than on the PSP. The action buttons are really no big deal as you can tell the difference between each one. The directional buttons on the other side are a different story. They are so close together you really can’t tell the difference between up, down, left or right, if your thumb is resting in the middle of the pad. The buttons themselves are raised but made from a single piece of material. I personally like the directional buttons on the original PSP a lot better. You could easily tell what direction your thumb was on.

Currently it is sitting here next time charging. I do like the glowing PS logo when it’s in charge mode. I haven’t even turned it on yet to check out the OS or the OLED screen, let alone the touch capabilities of the screens. As it stands right now Sony seemed to be just off the mark with the Vita. A few minor changes here and there and the Vita would be top notch.

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