PlayStation Vita, sometimes also dubbed as “PSP 2”, is the latest portable gaming device created by Sony Computer Entertainment. Released in Q4 of 2011 in some countries, this device quickly dominated the portable gaming industry with new features and functionalities. With regards to the design, Sony seems to have ditched the slider configuration (seen on the PSP Go) on this gadget since it highly resembles its younger brother, the PlayStation Portable. The buttons and controls are placed in the same configuration as the PSP but with an addition of another analog stick on the right. According to Sony, this device represents the company’s achievements as it gears towards future generations of portable gaming.
Like the PSP, the Vita has a screen seated right in the middle of the left and right control panel. The control panels still has the D-pad, left analog stick, the “triangle”, “square”, “x”, and “circle” buttons, but like mentioned an additional right analog stick. Also, the “start”, “select”, and “home” buttons can still be seen but on different locations compared to the PSP with an additional front facing camera. On the topside, the right and left triggers can be seen along with the volume and power buttons and the Vita card slot. On the bottom side, you will find a multi-use connector with an earphone/mic connector at its side. The back also features a touchpad with a camera on the top.
The Vita runs on an ARM Cortex A9 4-core CPU with an SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit. The 5 inch screen has OLED technology and is capable of capacitive multi-touch. The rear touchpad also functions in a similar manner. The PS Vita also has a front facing and rear camera. Aside from the D-pad and analog sticks, this device also has a six-axis motion sensing system for games that require motion control. Sound is provided by stereo speakers located on the outer side of the analog sticks. The Vita also seems to have a beefed-up connectivity package since WiFi connectivity comes standard. Some models have added 3G connectivity as well.
Sony has made a very good move with the PS Vita considering that mobile or portable gaming is already being snatched by smartphone operating systems like Android and IOS. With the new features like newer forms of control inputs for touch and motion, Sony sends out a message to all gamers that they can adapt to new platforms that require these new controls. Also being a devoted gaming device, performance is exceptional. Thanks to the CPU and GPU working hand-in-hand to give best experience with no issues whatsoever. The OLED screen is absolutely amazing resulting to crisp images and videos.
The company’s decision to switch from UMDs to a Vita Card is somewhat an indication that Sony is gearing up for the future. There may be issues when it comes to backwards compatibility with previous PlayStation devices and frankly speaking, users might not be able to use previously bought UMD games on this device. Also, since this is a new device, the game library is very limited. Users are hoping that this gets fixed in due time. The Vita is a definitely a powerful gaming device. New features and functionalities have been added and yet battery life seems to have not been taken into consideration. Like any other quad-core gadget, a powerful device also deserves a powerful battery. Sony could’ve squeezed more maH into its new battery for longer gaming time.