PlayStation Vita (PSV), the latest handheld from Sony, was released on December 17, 2011. I managed to get my hands on one since I still live here in Japan although I got mine from Amazon and it just arrived earlier today. Got my hands to play around on LivePlay, the new UI from Sony, which I think is a lot user-friendly than XMB.
My review isn’t going to be too long and I won’t cover much about hardware, nor will I have much photos of it here. If you want to have a look at the hardware photos, you can go here.
So this is the lock screen. Whenever your PSV go to standby mode or you press the power button to turn on your PSV, this screen will appear. This works just like smart phones, so you need to swipe from the top-right corner of the screen to the left-bottom corner. To change the home screen background image, you just need to go to your pile of images in your images folder, open an image that you want, then click the settings button on the bottom-right corner of the screen and press “Set as Start Screen”.
This is the new UI of the PSV and it’s called LivePlay. As I’ve said above, it’s more user-friendly and I love it for some reason I don’t know. It feels kind of similar to a smart phone since you can install apps that are available in the PS Store such as the LiveTweet for Twitter, NicoNico to stream movies from their place, and some other that might be added in the future.
This is the screen that you will get whenever you try to open an app and this is also the screen when you minimize your app by pressing the PS button. You can close them by swiping that little fold on the upper-right corner. You can also see what apps are open at the top of the screen and you can switch apps by swiping left or right.
This is the tutorial named “Welcome Park” by Sony. It let’s you try out all the new things and let’s forget all those boring tutorials in texts as this tutorial lets you play a mini-game to try them out. It also comes with a record time so you can try and beat it to earn trophies. As for what games are they, I’m not going to spoil you on it. If you’re bored, you can also flick those balls and they’ll circle around the mini-globe and hit each other.
A little hardware review from here. As I’ve played around with the PSV, the speaker that looks like it’ll be covered by your hand when you hold the PSV, actually won’t be covered. The sound will still go through and you can still hear it properly. As for sound quality, it’s in the sub par level even with the equalizer enabled. I don’t know what’s wrong with Sony but I guess they did this on purpose to reduce production cost. Another sub par quality that you will get is the camera, both front and rear.
Well, I don’t expect the PSV to be my one-stop multimedia gadget so I don’t really mind the bad camera and the sound quality. They are there to be used in game. I haven’t played the Uncharted game yet, but I won’t be reviewing that. There are tons of them out there and as a gamer, you should know how good Uncharted is.
All in all, the PSV is worth buying even if you are not going to play them every day. Just don’t forget to get the protective film for your PSV since everything is controlled with touch screen now. The buttons are just for playing games and some other functions but not for selecting apps. Another thing not to forget is the pouch so grab them when they’re available in the neck of your country or if you can’t wait, you can just import it from Japan but be prepared to pay a premium price to get the accessories you need.