The Playstation Vita by far has one of the best looking launch setups ever seen. You get a triple A title from day one (Uncharted: Golden Abyss), backwards compatibility with all PSP games via the Playstation Network, great social networking features, and the list goes on. Even still, there's always a couple of negatives to be found with any new system release. The Playstation Vita had it's share of a few boos at E3. So let's go in depth and take a look at all there is to love about Vita, and some things we could have done without.
When the price of $249 for the Wifi-only version was announced at E3, it was immediately met with huge applause. Compared to other current devices like the Nintendo 3DS and iPod Touches, that's an extremely competitive price point. The 3G version is priced at $299, but at the moment it just doesn't seem like there's much need for it especially if you already have a phone with a data plan. If the system price wasn't shocking enough, the price of the games blew everyone away. As of the moment they still remain priced at $39. Which essentially means you're getting a Playstation 3 quality game for the price of a PSP or Nintendo DS game. It's hard to argue that as of the moment Vita has some of the best pricing ever seen.
It's difficult to imagine carrying a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 around in your pocket, but that's just what the Vita does. Some games, like Street Fighter X Tekken, have already been said to be identical to their console versions. There are plently of screen shots and videos of Vita games in action and it's easy to see the graphics are already comparable to early Playstation 3 games, if not already treading on the heels of more current ones. With no TV connectivity announced at them moment, these graphics would be pretty meaningless without a high resolution screen to show them. The Vita comes well equipped with a 5 inch, 960 x 544 OLED screen. That's a sub-HD quality device in your pocket, just imagine when TV connectivity does finally come around.
If the PSP and Nintendo DS met up over dinner and decided to hook up. Then, with a sudden knock on the door, a Playstation 3 showed up wanting to join in. The resulting child would be a Playstation Vita. With the 5 inch front screen being touch sensitive and the rear touch panel, there are a lot of possibilities for developers. Modnation Racers for example, uses the rear touch pad for changing the topography (like adding mountains and such) of your custom made tracks. While using the front touch screen to actually draw the track and design the level. Another good example of the touch functionality is Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Say your climbing the side of a building, instead of using the face buttons you can simply paint a path up the ledges with your finger and the character will follow it up. The tilt sensors could also lead to some cool possibilities as well. Little Big Planet showed off some interesting uses of it at E3 as you can see in the video below. One thing is for sure, games will only continue to get more interactive and intuitive.
I often have Vietnam-like flashbacks of my childhood, trying to compress videos enough to make them fit on my crappy 256MB Memory Stick Pro Duo. Then finding them so blurry and pixelated to continue the process until I would just give up. The Memory stick Pro Duo was PSP's proprietary memory format and costed a lot more than a simple SD card. If you could afford a 2GB SD card, chances are a 512MB Pro Duo would be about the best you could do on the PSP. When it was announced the Vita would have it's own memory format, the flashbacks began. We can only hope that history is not doomed to repeat itself, and I don't have to walk into a store ready to load up a memory card with PSP games, only to find they cost a million dollars for a 1GB.
This won't affect me very much as I could care less about having 3G, but for some it was an outrage. Watching E3 live was pretty entertaining as the crowd began booing the second they announced AT&T was the exclusive data provider. This could go one of two ways, and I'm leaning towards the second. AT&T could wow us all with a very affordable unlimited data plan, or they could charge an insane price and put stupid data caps on everything. If they do use data caps I imagine they will be used up rather quickly with how advanced the Vita is. Lets cross our fingers and hope for the best on this one.
I was actually slightly bothered by this, seeing my shiny new Playstation Vita on my lovely 47 inch 1080p tv was going to be great. Still, it has been said if they didn't cut video out features the system price might have been higher. I'll stick with that $250 price tag for that, especially if this strange port turns out to be a perhiprial port. Then at least sometime in future we can expect a TV connection of some sort to come along.