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The PS Vita has finally been released in Europe and I’ve spent the day analysing it. With a long list of games already available, the Vita will probably be the highlight of the gaming world these next few weeks. There is a lot to say about the Vita  so to make it easier to explain it will be cut into sections:

1) Appearance:  Well, remember when the PS2 was released? The controller looked nearly identical to the PS1. When the PS3 came out, it became wireless… but still identical. Sony seems to like the idea of ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’, these controllers may have looked identical but the consoles were on a whole different level to each other.

The PS Vita also follows this pattern, it has a similar appearance to the PSP but it is on a whole other level. Don’t judge or think of the PS Vita as a little improvement to the PSP, the graphics and gaming possibilities are the best that a portable gamer would have ever seen.

2) Economical: If there is one fault to the PS Vita it would have to be the price. Sony can really drain a gamer’s wallet. The price of the Vita itself is very high (between £230-£280, depending on where and which model you buy) but if you love gaming, you can take the blow.

The real slap in the face is that you WILL have to spend more money. Excluding the price of games, a Vita owner will have to buy a Vita memory card (specifically designed for the Vita) which can cost quite a bit,  and with no internal memory there really isn’t a choice. The screen on the Vita also seems to be very easy to damage so one might also feel inclined to buy a case set or at the very least a screen protector. Trying to judge a console by its gaming quality rather than its price range is hard to do when Sony seems desperate to squeeze money out of every little thing, you can’t even play PSP games on it (so you will have to buy  PSP games you already may own over Sony Entertainment Network).

3) Gameplay: Obviously, we cannot say whether or not gameplay is good or bad since every game on the Vita is different. However the Vita looks amazing. The first time I heard about a portable looking like the PS3, I was doubtful, but I’ve been proven wrong. It is crisp clear and even with the demos, one can feel the potential in this large-screened portable. It is so good that a gamer can even look past the fact that the PS Vita seems unplayable in strong sunlight.

Overall:  The PS Vita is definitely a great portable. Sadly, the timing of its release is a little unfortunate. With money troubles growing and smartphones claiming to be the best form of casual gaming, the PS Vita will have a harder time to shine through. It offers both casual gaming and hardcore gaming compared to smartphones but only serious gamers will notice or give it a chance. Many casual gamers will not have a chance to try the Vita out of curiosity because of the price tag, making it hard to draw in new gamers instead of only hardcore gamers or loyal Sony fans (which seem fewer in number compared to casual gamers).

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