My First Day With The Vita
It’s been a little over two weeks since that fateful day I went to my local Gamestop and bought a PlayStation Vita, and even as I write this article I can’t help but be sidetracked from all that it has to offer. This is my first day with the Vita.
After opening up the Vita, blacking out from excitement, and installing a firmware update, I was ushered into “Welcome Park,” a fun tutorial application designed to help new users get accustomed to the Vita’s technology through a series of timed mini games. It was a lot of fun racing against the clock, and earning trophies but it was time to spread my wings and explore what the Vita had to offer on my own.
As I skimmed through the home screen I couldn’t help but notice how perfect the Vita felt in my hands; the back touch-pad had indentations where my fingers where supposed to sit, the screen was large and bright, and the right analog stick wasn’t non-existent. The buttons felt small, but not too small, and the entire system was eerily light-weight; but it couldn’t just feel awesome, it needed to play awesome, and Super Stardust Delta was the perfect game to issue that test.
While the game loaded I felt my pulse racing; if one of my favorite PS3 franchises wasn’t fun, then what hope did the Vita have? Luckily I wasn’t disappointed; throughout my hours of meteor-melting game-play, the back touch-pad never got in my way even once, the front touch screen was responsive, and the Sixaxis functionality made controlling camera angles interesting. Satisfied with my high score, I decided to make the transition to the “Near” app.
After synching your location, Near lets you see how many Vita owners are in your area, exchange messages, and see what they’re playing. Though my favorite part of Near is the ability to send your friends “gifts,” which are downloadables that unlock in-game content, like soundtracks in Super Stardust Delta. Once I had “unwrapped” every gift, I opened up the “Voice Chat” app and proceeded to taunt some of my Network friends with my new toy, while pondering the all the money I had spent that day.
I had spent simply too much money at that point, but I was too far gone to stop now, and that was when I found myself on the PlayStation Store, waiting for the PSP port: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite to finish downloading. It felt good to get my hands on a PSP game I had wanted to play for a while, but it felt even better on the Vita because I was able to assign control of the camera to the right analog stick, a feature that I did not know about beforehand. Finally I rounded out a nice day by loading up the Netflix app, and streaming a random TV show just to kill some time.
The Vita is certainly not without its flaws; the cost of memory space is too high, and I’m sure that there are technical issues that I am unaware of. The bottom line is that I don’t regret buying the Vita, not because I’m a fanboy, but because the hand-held has so much to offer right out of the box. The design is sleek, the applications are fun, the games are great, and Sony has made some bold promises for what’s to come. If you have the money, and want an amazing portable experience, invest in the Vita, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.