Playstation Vita Review & Launch Event

This past Friday I got the opportunity to attend the Playstation Vita launch party in Toronto. I have had practically every single gaming system that Sony has produced, be it the original Playstation, PSP, PS2 and now the PS3, so I was very excited to see how the developers at Sony would top it off with their new entry into the hand held gaming segment. Sony has had a lot of success with gaming consoles and hand helds, but with mobile gaming seemingly taking over, Sony has a tall task ahead of it. The event gave us the opportunity to play with the Vita hands on, and these are my first impressions of it.

At the event, I got to test out the system and see what all the fuss is about. Sony had many Vitas set up with different games. At first glance the Vita looks very similar to the old Playstation Portable (PSP). In comparison to the PSP, the Vita has added an additional analog stick so its controls are similar to a PS3 controller. With the new wave of touch screen gaming being a hit, Sony has added touch screen capabilities not only in the front of the unit, but at the back of the console too. The Vita also has a gyroscopic accelerometer so you can do things like shaking and tilting the console for unique added elements to the systems game play. Personally I think the system is built very well. It is solid and it feels great in your hands. The new user interface is nice and slick and easy to use for both hardcore gamers, and newbies alike. Sony did a great job building a piece of hardware that is a portable powerhouse and they did a great job with the software and game support.

I had the chance to play the Uncharted demo on the Vita. Needless to say, it ran flawlessly. The load times were decent and the graphics were as good as if I was playing it on my ps3. The game controls are just like those on PS3, but with the added elements that the touch screens and gyroscope add. There are points where I needed to wipe the screen off, and others where I had to tilt and shake the console to advance in the game.

I also got to try out Marvel Vs Capcom 3 on the Vita. Being a huge fan of the series I am really glad they decided to port it to this system. It was identical to the Ps3 version in both controls and graphics. As a big fan of the fighting genre, I can’t wait for Tekken to come out on the Vita.

For me, the personal highlight of the event was seeing all of the representatives from the game developer community. I spotted Ed Boon. For those of you who don’t know who he is. He is the person who influenced almost every single mans childhood. How you ask? His video games have brought great joy and thrills to millions and millions of people around the world. He is the man who’s head pops out of the corner of the screen and screams “TOASTY.” He is the one the only co-creator of Mortal Kombat. I got so excited when I saw him that I screamed like a teenage Justin Bieber fan, almost disrupting his interview. I got so embarrassed that I ended up walking away and never got a chance to interview him. Maybe one day I’ll get to meet him again and have the guts to say, “Get over here!”

From my limited use of the system, I definitely recommend the new Vita. It’s made for gaming, it was made to last and it will have amazing software support for many years to come. Many people say that handheld gaming systems are dying due to the rise of cell phone gaming. The vita is a system for real hardcore gamers who appreciate gaming with proper controls and high production value. For those of you who are sick of shooting cartoon birds into pigs and are looking for a high quality hardcore gaming experience on the go, the Vita is for you. We look forward to bringing you and in depth review in the future!

Check out our video of the gaming experience on the Vita!