Just a couple pointless random thoughts. My little town has one department/grocery store. The downside is, we don’t have a lot of selection of anything. The upside is, when we have things like Black Friday or some massive film opening, we have no crowds and it’s easy to get the thing you went looking for. We have people coming here from cities nearby because there’s no lines.
My store got six of the Vita/Call of Duty bundle packs. They sold immediately. I got there late, the guy behind the counter discovered that they had forgotten to put one out and I bought it on impulse.
I was not impressed by the Vita, was not really interested. I think the handheld market seems to be dying. Sony’s problems with the Vita, the relative failure of the 3ds, it just seems people don’t want to carry these things around with them when they already have game-playing phones and ipads.
So I bought it, and I thought I might give it away to someone. But instead, I opened it up and took it for a test run, and I have to say, I might have been wrong.
It’s actually a pretty nifty little system. I haven’t put it down much since I got it.
Okay, the first objection I had was that it LOOKED like a PSP II, and I have never really used my PSP. I have one, have lots of games, never really enjoyed it. The games were mostly mediocre, the UMD storage system blew, it just wasn’t a great system.
But there’s a lot more under the hood. The Vita is playing full-on console games, for one thing. I’m told there are games that you can play on your PS3 and move them to your Vita but I haven’t tried that yet.
Let me list why I am changing my mind.
First, the video and audio seem dead on. And the control system is really comfortable and functional. I was surprised, I forgot I was using a handheld set up after a while, which I never got over on the PSP.
Second, it has apps, lots of free apps like Netflix, Skype, Twitter, and facebook, and they actually work very well.
And third, this is the coolest bit to me, as soon as I got home I realized I had a big library of games to play on the Vita without buying any of them.
It turns out that, if you buy now and have a Playstation Plus account, you get a thing called INSTANT GAME COLLECTION, which means you can download a bunch of high-quality games, the same exact ones that are in the stores right now for 40 bucks each or more. The games include UNCHARTED, WIPEOUT, and GRAVITY RUSH, as well as very cool downloadable games like JET SET RADIO, TALES FROM SPACE: MUTANT BLOCK ATTACK, and FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, all free as soon as you dl them from the story.
It also turns out that most any game or mini-game that you have downloaded from your Playstation Plus account that was PSP compatible is ALSO available for you to download for free.
I have to say, that is pretty impressive, to get a system home and have a ton of games ready to play that I didn’t have to pay for at all.
Finally, it actually FEELS like a game handheld, it doesn’t feel like a delivery system to try to get you to buy stuff (like the Kindle Fire does) and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be a smart phone with no phone.
I forgot how much more fun a dedicated handheld is at playing most action and adventure games. I love the Ipad for puzzle games and the like, but few ipad games provide a decent twitch response.
There is at least one downside, the memory cards are proprietary and overpriced, which is a little ridiculous.
Other than that, this may be a truly under-rated little system. It’s light, well-designed, plays great, and actually ends up being a good value (if you have Playstation Plus) almost the second you open the box.
Surprised. Didn’t think I’d like it, kinda love it!