Today, folks from Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (SCEH) came down to Singapore with their next generation portable gaming system. They call it the PlayStation Vita or PS Vita in short, media folks had a quick hands-on trying out some games such as Uncharted : Golden Abyss and Little Big Planet, titles confirmed for the PS Vita.

Granted, most of the folks are aware of the technologies and specifications powering the PlayStation Vita but how does it feel in reality ? I had a quick hands-on and this is what I feel.

My first impression with the PS Vita is that it is comparatively lighter than the PSP and the glossy overlook with its awesomely good 5-inch OLED display thrilled my senses. Like it or not, this is the innovation of Sony’s next gen portable gaming with a combination of social connectivity and rich content.

At the first glance, the PS Vita looks sleek and slim. The controls on the front are almost the same with your old PSP but sports dual analogue sticks and a touchscreen at the front and touchpad at the back.  The Home button (PS logo) is located below the left analogue stick while the select and start buttons are at the right. The analogue sticks feels comfortable, a step up from the PSP’s analogue stick.

Think of it as mini PS3 analogue sticks with a harder touch. It is a improvement, the days of wrangling your thumb on the PSP’s analogue stick will be over soon once the PS Vita goes into retail.

It might not be clear but a front camera with a QVGA sensor and capable of recording up to 120fps is located near the buttons.

At the top, you will see the volume buttons, two “flaps” which probably houses the memory card, the PS Vita game card and SIM slot (3G model). Of course, the power button and L R shoulder buttons are found there.

At the bottom, you have a multi-purpose port for data communications, charging and audio. There is also a accessory port, most likely for future accessories of the PS Vita.

The sides are bare but its smooth round edges make it nice to hold and has a good grip.

Here is the interesting thing about the PS Vita, the back comes with a rectangular multi-touch capacitive pad and serves as navigation or different gaming purposes. It is up to the developer to decide how it is going to be utilized in the game. A rear VGA camera (60fps) is also located at the rear and supports titles that uses augmented reality.

Playing games on the PlayStation Vita opens up more possibilities with the touchscreen, gryoscope and a rear touchpad operating in a blend of perfect harmony. A quick hands-on session with Uncharted: Golden Abyss was a surprise when you can navigate your character with the touchscreen by dragging and “painting” a path. You can also aim your sniper’s scope and navigate with the gyroscope and fire.  And the very fact that Uncharted can be made on the PS Vita is a perfect showcase of its strengths.

The upcoming PlayStation Vita uses a new game medium, a proprietary memory card for game titles and will also fully support old PSP titles via PlayStation Network. PlayStation trophies are also supported and cross-platform allows selected titles to work in both PS3 and PSVita together.

The PS Vita is unquestionably impressive, a strong competition against the likes of Nintendo’s 3DS. It is however up to the developers to fully leverage on the technologies at the end of the day and buyers to choose the games they like.

some eye candies

The World is in Play

Unfortunately, there were no specific date and price for the Asia region yet. The closest we can get is that the PS Vita will be selling in Japan and US. The prices for the US region is confirmed at US$249 for the Wifi only version and US$299 for the 3G+Wifi model. Availability begins this holiday season.

More information of the PS Vita can be found on the official website here

Gallery of photos found below!


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