14/12/2013

consumer frenzy impulse purchase

As you may know I temporarily lost my mind to insanity whilst purchasing my PS4 and in my moment of fleeting madness I found myself purchasing a PlayStation Vita as well. Presumably I was acting on some latent urge to own one but that's probably rationalising my thought process to an absurd degree, assuming of course there was a thought process involved and not a mindless impulse to own more stuff. After owning one for the past few weeks I think I can now form my thoughts about it into an easy to digest blog format. Here goes.

Overall I'm thinking happy thoughts. The way it looks, feels and plays are all spot on. Its a well designed and a well powered piece of kit. It makes good on transplanting the PlayStation 3 experience to a handheld device and in that respect its an absolute win for its makers. That said the game back catalogue is full of quirky titles that don't necessarily need all that power but the ones that do look like they would be just at home on the big screen as they are on the small. On that note, the AMOLED screen on this thing is a beaut, giving some very nice visuals a glossy sheen of wow that I wasn't expecting from it.

It's not all good news, the Vita pretty much requires its own special Vita memory cards and won't take your standard microSD's. This raises the barrier to entry somewhat because its not exactly pick up and play when you open the box, find no memory card in there and have to acquire one before you can play any games on it. Curious, awkward and needless it's the one area where Sony almost undermine the device from the get-go. For those willing to persevere and pay for the card though, it really is a marvellous machine that's really has hit the sweet spot in its game selection.

Hotline Miami and Retro City Rampage were the first two titles I tested out as they were cross-buy titles. That is I bought them for my PS3 earlier this year and the Vita versions were thrown in as well for no extra cost. As previous blog entries may suggest, its rekindled some happy times with these games. They just feel right on the small screen. Apart from that I've been taking advantage of the PS+ membership and the free games and discounts it offers to play Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Guacamelee! and Velocity Ultra and I am yet to find an experience that scuppers my enjoyment of the device.

So there you go a dose of positivity after my recent bitchfests. When it comes to ripping it to shreds and bringing it to tears I have very little to work with thus far with my Vita. The memory card issue is the big one, and the dual touchscreens on the front and back feel a tad gimmicky and underused but their a novel idea nonetheless. As a concept its not set the world of gaming alight but given Sony's renewed push for the Vita as a complementary device to the PS4, I'm hopeful it will see a resurgence. Nonetheless as random consumer frenzy impulse purchases go, I'm happy with this one.