Hey everyone, I feel like it’s finally time to review the Sony PlayStation Vita! I have had my Vita since mid 2014, so I feel like I have a good enough grasp on the positive and negative aspects of the vita, so I thought I would review it. My review will center around the OLED PlayStation Vita, I also own the Slim model and I’ll leave a few thoughts on it here.
Anyway let’s start. The specs included with the original OLED PlayStation Vita which launched back in February 15, 2012 include the following
- CPU: ARM Cortex A9 core (4 Cores)
- GPU: SGX543MP4+
- Screen: 5 inch 16:9 OLED display
- Screen Resolution: 960×544
- Memory: 512 MB
- VRAM: 128MB
Those are the main specs for the PlayStation Vita. As you can tell by the spec list, the vita is a capable and powerful handheld system. If you’re upgrading from Sony’s older handheld “PSP” you will be impressed with the visual quality of most PlayStation Vita games. I myself owned a PSP back when it first launched and I loved it, but after awhile I got burnt-out on handheld gaming, which is why I delayed picking a Vita up all the way to 2014. When I finally decided to go ahead and purchase a Vita, I decided to go for the newer “Slim” model since my local store didn’t have any new OLED models available.
The first game I picked up for my Vita was Persona 4 Golden. I heard so many people talking about it and saying it was the best RPG ever made, I never gave into the hype, but the game was 20 dollars so I decided to pick it up. When I got home with my Vita, I booted Persona 4 Golden up and started playing, 8 hours later and I couldn’t put the game down, it was then that I realized that the PlayStation Vita was an amazing gaming handheld. I have owned plenty of handheld systems over the years that includes almost every version of the Gameboy and Nintendo 3DS, and after playing with the PlayStation Vita for so long, I can honestly say that it’s the most comfortable handheld that I have ever had the pleasure of playing. I spent over 100 hours in Persona 4 Golden on my PlayStation Vita, and most of the time I would play for extended periods of time that just wouldn’t be possible for me on other handhelds, they simply get too uncomfortable. So if having a comfortable handheld is important to you, then the Vita is the system for you.
I do want to discuss the screen, specifically the display on the original Vita model. The display on the original vita is stunning, thanks to the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel. I started with the slim Vita, but soon after purchased the older model since I wanted to see the difference in screen quality for myself, and in my personal opinion, the difference is night and day. The display on the original model impressed me, the colors are vibrant and they truly pop, the colors on the newer model are more muted and lack color depth. If display quality is important to you, and you want the very best when you play a game on the Vita, then I can’t recommend the original model enough, trust me the OLED display makes the original a better choice. I do want to point out that the PlayStation Vita 2000 doesn’t have a terrible screen, it’s just a standard LCD, and it looks much of the detail found in the original, but it does have slightly better battery life, so that is something to take into consideration, personally I would go with the original.
In terms of control options for video games on the PlayStation Vita, it offers dual analog sticks, which at the time was new and unique to the Vita, no handheld before it has ever offered dual analog controls. The analog sticks themselves are on the small side, so if you have big fingers you may find them uncomfortable, but for me at least, I have found them to be excellent! They feel great when you’re playing first person shooters or the plentiful amounts of Role Playing games that the Vita has in its diverse library. I have absolutely no complaints when it comes to the control methods on the PlayStation Vita, the analog sticks, face and shoulder buttons all feel sturdy and are unlikely to break over time.
Another important aspects when it comes to handheld gaming is of course, the battery life. I’m happy to report that the battery life on my PlayStation Vita 1000 is superb! I average around five hours of constant play with my Vita and that’s with the brightness turned up to 100% I have seen people say that they get horrible battery life with the original model, but that simply hasn’t been the case for me. I do want to note that I get slightly more battery life with the slim model, but that’s to be expected since Sony downgraded its display. If you’re playing a game with simple graphics, you will probably be able to get a little more battery life out of the Vita per charge, so overall the battery performance is amazing and it beats other handhelds namely the Nintendo 3DS by far. If you leave your Vita in standby for long stretches of time, you will be happy to know that it has great standby time! I have left my Vita on standby for close to a month at a time, and when I finally decide to play it, it usually has around 50% battery remaining. All in all, you won’t find much to complain about battery wise with the Vita.
The PlayStation Vita also has one of the best gaming libraries of any handheld that I have ever owned. The Vita has something to offer to fans of any genre, from racing to role playing games, it’s all there. I also want to note that the PlayStation Vita is constantly getting brand new games released on it, most of them aren’t Triple A releases, but the third-party support on the Vita is strong, and it’s keeping it alive and strong. I also want to mention, if you’re a big Japanese role playing fan, you will be happy to know that the Vita has tons of great JRPGs on it, and new ones are being released regularly, so you will never run out of great games to enjoy. The only negative I can think of, is the lack of first party support for the Vita, Sony just doesn’t seem to care about it, and Sony doesn’t advertise the Vita at all, it’s like it doesn’t even exist for them. Thankfully this won’t affect most people since third-party support is strong and will keep the vita alive for years to come.
One more feature that makes the Vita a must buy is, Remote Play. Remote Play on the PlayStation Vita is amazing, you can play just about any game you have on your PlayStation 4 system on the Vita itself. Let’s say for example, someone wants to watch TV, usually you would have to quit playing your game, but thanks to Remote Play, you can continue your game right on your PlayStation Vita, and the best part about it is, it’s nearly lag free.
Sony has made the best handheld in history in my personal opinion, the graphics that the Vita is capable of producing are breathtaking and it’s very close to PS3 quality games in your hands. My final verdict on the PlayStation Vita is a 9.8/10