: Vita: Sorry, Smartphones Can't Do This

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Vita: Sorry, Smartphones Can't Do This

I've spent about four full days with the PlayStation Vita; if you haven't already, feel free to read up on my early impressions.

A full report card will be issued for Sony's new portable a little after the official launch, but here are a few points of interest for my fellow gamers:

Firstly, how the Vita fits into my gaming life. Initially, I was fairly certain it wouldn't have much of a position at all; as indicated in my impressions piece, I've never really been into handheld entertainment. But I've realized that, contrary to when the PSP came out, I actually want to sit down and play some games on the Vita. Not for work purposes, not because I'm trying out a gimmick, and not because I don't have anything to play on the PS3 (which I do).

No, for the first time in a long time, I'm actually playing games on a handheld because I want to play those games. It has nothing to do with being bored; it has nothing to do with being out of options. And that leads me to my second and possibly most important point-

Last month, I got a smartphone for the first time. Now, at no point have I passed on playing real games on the PS3 to sit down and fiddle with apps on my phone. I'd rather do a lot of things than sit down and play those little games on my phone. It's true that when I leave the house, I'm probably only going to bring the phone with me, but that's mostly because I never have far to go and I'm usually driving. It's also true that the phone is more of a necessity (although smartphones can be classified as luxury, certainly).

But that's exactly my point. You may note I used the term "real games" above; that was not to insult the fun little experiences on a phone, it was to indicate a very clear difference between that form of entertainment and what we have on our consoles. But there are such games on the Vita. That's entirely the point. I'm a gamer, not a gadget freak. It seems stupidly simple but I'm only just realizing now that I really like the Vita because I like video games, and that's what the Vita has. My smartphone does not.

Sure, technology advances rapidly and perhaps at some point down the road, a smartphone will have something like Uncharted: Golden Abyss or Wipeout 2048. But as of right now, it's not even close. Those who have seen the Vita already will tell you it's not even in the same universe. And that's exactly the angle Sony needs to take when marketing this thing; they have to convince the general public that no, this isn't really competition for smartphones or tablets, it's the top portable gaming device on the market.

And that's why the Vita will probably be in frequent rotation in my gaming habits...something I really, really didn't expect.

2/17/2012 Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (45 posts)

Highlander
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 9:35:53 PM
Reply

Excellent. I think you have arrived at the conclusion that a lot of gamers got to with the PSP. The truth is that a smartphone *can't* do what Vita does, because it is a smartphone, not a console. I don't believe that will change because the thing is, all the buttons, analog sticks and rear touch surfaces and other control tricks are things that no smartphone will ever feature.

Not to mention the fact that I might burn through my Vita's battery playing Uncharted, but I can still use my phone afterwards. Play Angry birds on your smartphone for the same time, bye bye battery, bye bye phone calls.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

FatherSun
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 11:32:15 PM

See you on the Black Market on the 22nd!

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 5:23:53 AM

Highlander, do a search for Nvidia Tegra3 games for tablets and mobile phones that have the Tegra3 Quad Core CPU/GPU in them. Zen Pinball, GTA3, Shadow Gun... etc. I can also use a controller to play them with Asus Tablet if I wanted too.

I can also run a host console emulators on my tablet including a psx emulator that would permit me to play all those psx classics on the go too. So what gives?

Between my PS3, Laptop and Asus tablet, I am pretty much covered!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 2/18/2012 5:25:45 AM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 5:38:46 AM

Tablets are not smartphones Qubex...

The comparison made was smartphones. You know me well enough to know I am aware that the computational power in a semi-decent tablet is good enough and that controllers can be interfaced.

But that's not really the point of a comparison between Vita and a smartphone.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Ludicrous_Liam
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 7:21:53 AM

...not to mention tablets have RIDICULOUS price-tags...atleast in the UK.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Axe99
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 3:47:48 PM

@ Qubex, the big problem that tablets have, that smartphones also have, is that they're all touch based. You can't have the same number of controls at your fingertips, they're less precise, they can be inconsistent in their registering, I could go on.....

Dead Space on Android (or whatever touch-based platform) is probably the best argument for dedicated handhelds I've ever seen. When I was playing that (out of curiousity), it was abundantly clear that the control system was a 'well, we have to make do with this touch interface', because you just can't get the same control with a touchscreen as you do with buttons and sticks. If you could, then the Wii U would have just launched with a touchscreen, eh ;).

Of course, you can use a controller if they're supported (which for most games they're not), but then you're packing a tablet and a controller on the road with you. Given that decent tablet's cost around twice the amount of a Vita (and laptops far more), and a Vita doesn't take up much more room than a controller, the best option for gaming (beyond stuff like Epic Astro Story or Little Big Wargame, which by their nature are fine on a touchscreen), then for a broad range of quality gaming on the go a Vita is clearly the best option, by some margin. That's not to say that some won't be happy with what a tablet or smartphone can provide, but the experience of touchscreen only gaming (again, beyond turn-based strategy and management simulators, which are generally alright on them - although they'll work far better on your laptop if you've got that on the go) is far inferior to that of a dedicated handheld. Sure, not everyone will want the best service, but I'm a gaming enthusiast and I sure as hell do :).

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Neo_Aeon666
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @ 9:30:47 AM

Tablet + controller = too big to be called portable device XD I don't see myself asking random people in the subway if they can hold my tablet while I play with my controller :P

Might as well just bring a 14inch alienware laptop and you'll get even better performance and access to WAY more games.

Vita is just perfect for transport though :D Play it in subway/train/bus/break time and even at home when I am not done with a hotshotgolf tournament lol.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Riku994
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 9:51:32 PM
Reply

You wrote "you're smartphones" in the article description. Just saying.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:28:23 PM

*phew*

Glad we got that sorted out! That could have been catastrophic.

Agree with this comment 10 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Riku994
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:43:18 PM

I'm here to serve and protect.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Palpatations911
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 1:32:13 AM

Lol..Good one

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:09:41 PM
Reply

I'm pretty sure I read a statement by Nintendo recently that stated smartphones weren't nearly the threat they thought they'd be and the handheld market will exist just fine together with the phones.

I think it was easy to see the threat because of the similarity shared from being mobile devices.
But really, to create an analogy, I see smart phones as something as more of a swiss-army knife, where dedicated gaming handhelds are more liked a katana when it comes to games.

Agree with this comment 10 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FatherSun
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 11:29:51 PM

Katana reference totally trumps my White Castle Hamburger meat to Fillet Mignon.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 5:39:53 AM

Smartphones are the jack of all trades, but master of none. Vita is a master of gaming and media payback.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

cLoudou
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:46:24 PM
Reply

OT but anyone notice a PS4 section on the sidebar. Uh oh someone let the cat out of the bag.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 12:23:07 AM

That's been there for a WHILE.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

cLoudou
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 2:27:18 AM

I should really visit more often on a computer..

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 2:43:37 AM

Hehe yeah every time I visit this site via a computer I discover articles I've never seen before. :D

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FatherSun
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 11:25:00 PM
Reply

Are there even any smartphones can provide the same experience that the PSP has for all these years? Let alone the VITA? It is not even a competition. The mobile phone industry would love for the public to believe that it is. The difference in quality is absurd. Sony should do a TASTE TEST like the old Coke versus Pepsi days. Side by Side. Smartphone versus VITA for the Gaming Crown. We know the truth.

The VITAs worse enemy is it's public image. The general public simply does not understand what the VITA is capable of. It is really up to Sony whether this machine fails or not. If they choose to the VITA can go toe to toe with the more advanced features that smartphones provide. Upgrade all the multimedia features to the level of its gameplay capabilities and people would be buying these things like crazy. The more Vitas out there the more us "REAL GAMERS" will get the games we Love. Update to a full featured browser. Nurture its App Market. Video Out and it's over. It is a Portable Entertainment Center.

Ben, The term "real games" opens the argument that smartphones do indeed play "real games" but can they play games as good and as advanced as a dedicated handheld? "Real Gamers" know!

Last edited by FatherSun on 2/17/2012 11:28:15 PM

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SmokeyPSD
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 12:27:07 AM

I completely agree, my smartphone can't even compete with my psp in my opinion in terms of gaming. I would rather read on kindle on my phone.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BorrowedTime
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 12:45:29 AM

I agree with you SmokeyPSD. My favourite PSP game was easily Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and there is no way any Smartphone could handle that game. The precision and timing needed for MHFU required physical controls to begin with.

P.S. I am posting this from my Vita's web-browser.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dancemachine55
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 1:02:29 AM
Reply

The moment they roll out the PSone classics playback update, I am DEFINITELY getting me one of these!!!!

Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX, Vagrant Story, Metal Gear Solid, Driver, Rayman, Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3, Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Parasite Eve 2 are fan-freaking-tastic to play on the go, and completely trump Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies anyday!!!!

Must be patient..... must not give in!!!!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 5:41:33 AM

Does anyone else find it amusing that so many people are predicating their purchase of a Vita on it's ability to play 15 year old PS1 games?

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 5:47:08 AM

theres no greater emotion then nostalgia!
i love next gen games, but give me crash bandicoot over uncharted any day of the week!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

SmokeyPSD
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 6:46:38 AM

I don't find it amusing at all. The psp can do it, it's an expected feature from launch. It's not there therefor people are asking questions.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 4:07:36 AM

Also, games already owned = free games.

If they announce that the PSN games I bought for my PS3 will work on Vita, I buy one the next day, because I'll have an instant library of games.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 10:52:27 AM

Fane, they'll never announce that because the Vita isn't a pS3, nor is it's hardware PS3 class hardware. There's no way on earth that the Vita is going to be able to software emulate a PS3, so don't wait for that. On the flipside, Vita is capable of emulating a PSP in software so every downloadable PSP and PSP Mini title is compatible with Vita.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PAKINIPS
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 2:58:33 AM
Reply

My smartphone can play GTA3
And probably Vice city in the future

If only there were an accessory that gave me two analog sticks....

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 10:55:40 AM

It supports controllers, ps3 controller works to play it on a tablet

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Axe99
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 3:50:15 PM

Yup, your smartphone can play decade-old games with imprecise touchscreen controls. The PSP and PSV, on the other hand, can play GTA: Liberty City and Vice City Stories, and GTA:Chinatown wars - more up-to-date GTAs designed for dedicated handheld systems, with more accurate and responsive controles :).

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 5:45:36 AM
Reply

then in that case you need to do a little more research.
im REALLY starting to get sick of this mobile games are for quick 2 minute blasts BS!
mobile games can be just as "console quality" as dedicated handheld games!
hell, id say modern combat 3 is more of a console quality game then freaking MW3 is!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 12 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 7:21:54 AM

You should really consider a few shots of oxygen and less reading.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 9:38:25 AM

And we're REALLY starting to get sick of your insanity.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Axe99
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 3:52:24 PM

I got a Galaxy Nexus a few weeks ago, and have tried out the 'top' games on the system out of curiousity, and my experience suggests you're in some kind of alternate reality where the most recent handheld is the Gameboy. The range of games on Android can't match the quality of the PSP, niggly analog nub and all, and has _nothing_ on the capacity of the PSV.

For sure, I'm happy that people can have fun on their smartphones - it's like people can have fun playing on a PSOne, even today. But that doesn't mean a Vita/PS3 isn't oodles better ;).

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 10:54:49 AM
Reply

Tablets are certainly checking up

The new Tegra 3 is quite a powerful mobile processor and even now, i can plug in my ps3 controller and play games on my tablet.


But the Vita is designed for games, its way more portable than a tablet and a phone won't be practical with a ps3 controller attacked to it.

Vita also has games...

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SmokeyPSD
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 2:22:27 PM

Yeah, we kinda should be able to pair a ps3 controller to the vita...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BorrowedTime
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 3:49:05 PM

As Highlander has mentioned, Tablets =/= Smartphones. This isn't a comparison of Tablets vs. The Vita.

@SmokeyPSD

Why would we need to pair a PS3 controller to the Vita? The Vita is basically a PS3 controller. On other forums I'm involved in someone was bemoaning the fact that the Vita doesn't have the L2/R2 buttons. As I pointed out there, if a developer needs that additional functionality they can map the L2/R2 to the rear touchpad, or the touchscreen, which Uncharted: Golden Abyss does to some extent. So, other than missing the vibration element, pairing a PS3 controller to the Vita is kinda redundant.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @ 11:51:05 AM

There is no point of differentiating between tablets and smartphones anymore ...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 10:54:28 AM

Considering that I can put a smartphone in my pocket and carry it anywhere, but can't do the same with a table, I think you're entirely wrong in that regard Firesoul, the devices themselves would also appear to disagree with you since their very physicality is a clear differential.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 5:55:37 PM

There are plenty of tablets that fit nicely in my pockets and there are some phones just as big. Both are portable and both have the same abilities when it comes to comparing to what the vita can do.

Only real difference is that phones have a phone antenna, but the vita doesn't so that doesn't make a difference anyway.


When comparing gaming abilities with the vita and a tablet/smartphone, there is no reason at all to different because all arguments are relevant for both.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mr_Sterg
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 7:15:17 PM
Reply

... for a premium price

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PSTan
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 7:16:03 PM
Reply

Play ALL the video games! Infinity blade on the iPhone, Uncharted on the vita! Never limit yourself, portable gaming is wonderful :)

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ookami-san
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @ 9:02:38 PM
Reply

The thing with Smartphones..or even the ipod Touch as I have that is the screen or maybe just ipod, not sure? but its too small.. especially for some Skateboarding game, could be fun but my fingers are always in the way..

App Store Games for 69p or to £2.99 can't and won't be better than what I've played on the 3DS and PSP

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

shadowpal2
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @ 10:44:18 AM
Reply

I certainly will get a VITA sometime or another...I'm just waiting for the games I guess. GRAVITY DAZE is the one I'm waiting for, because it seems to truly use the PS Vita for what its meant for.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @ 11:54:02 AM
Reply

i have an ipod touch and it's great for music and angry birds thats it, i at first wanted an ipad but the more i use my moms i find myself getting bored quickly just not for me.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

So, how's Far Cry 4?
Terrific, one of the best in 2014!
Good game but not amazing.
Okay; nothing special.
Eh, I'm disappointed.

Previous Poll Results