The PlayStation Vita is the latest handheld console to be produced by Sony.

In today’s market the PlayStation Vita faces tough competition from Apple and Google devices. Smartphones are getting increasingly powerful, and having them on you all the time makes them the perfect option for gaming on the go. So how does something like the PSVita – designed specifically for gaming – measure up?

First off, the console itself is a nice looking device. It has a controller set-up that pretty much mimics the Sony PlayStation, it’s a relief as physical buttons are something I have missed when using the likes of the iPhone for gaming. It also has a touchscreen on the front and a touch panel on the back, as well as a gyroscope for tilt-based action.

The PSVita can connect to wireless internet, and some versions will be 3G enabled so you can be online on the move. A dedicated app store means that downloading games online is a breeze, although it’s worth bearing in mind that you will need a memory card or two since the Vita doesn’t have a huge amount of internal storage.

The operating system powering the Vita isn’t that great however – it looks a bit amateurish, with buttons on squashed 3D sphere icons. In this age of retina displays we have likely been spoiled, but things like this stand out as sub-par. The bundled software is also nothing remarkable – the maps app and web browser are two that stand out as being quite clunky and slow.

Having played Assassins Creed 3: Liberation on our PSVita, I was happy to note that it plays almost identically to the console version. As enjoyable as gaming on other mobiles, like Samsung’s GSII and Apple’s iPhone is, there’s something about having physical buttons that makes this sort of gaming much more fun. I don’t think a game like Assassins Creed would translate well to a touch only device.

So – the content is where it excels.

Currently the Vita is still quite young, but there are a handful of titles available that I plan to try in the coming months. So far I have only played Assassins Creed 3: Liberation – but I am tempted to get Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified.

Besides the exclusive content you can also purchase old PSOne games at a knock down price, along with some indie titles. Sony have also recently announced that they will be opening up to more indie developers to try and get some more creative content on the device.

In my opinion the PS Vita is still waiting for its killer app – the app that sells systems. All successful consoles have one, and I think it could be coming in the shape of Tearaway, from the developers behind Little Big Planet.

Thanks go to Dialaphone for sending me a PSVita to review.

Ben

A keen video gamer and web developer I have been making games and designing websites for many years. Binary Joy is the combination of my two passions.

You can also see me on my personal website, Binary Moon, and try my games from my online game store, Binary Sun

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