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CNET Takes A Gander At The Vita

Portable gamers have only seven weeks to wait for the PlayStation Vita to launch in North America on February 22.

But if you want an all-encompassing look at the unit, check out CNET's breakdown, which is both simple and somewhat detailed; the basics we've known for a while, but it's nice to see the unit in action.

The reviewer in question seems to like the device, although he says it's "ridiculous" that Sony doesn't include a memory card in the box. We have to agree with that one, especially considering the cost of those cards. That being said, it remains a slick, highly competent little unit that seems plenty capable of delivering countless hours of entertainment for on-the-go gamers. He says the graphics are "absolutely breathtaking," and the various kinds of control options (tilt, touch, Augmented Reality inputs, etc.) should make for awesome portable experiences. Handheld aficionados ought to be satisfied.

Many are worried the mobile gaming explosion will hurt the Vita, while others are worried about the price. But at the very least, we're looking at 25 launch titles and that's a huge bonus right off the bat.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita video, cnet

1/1/2012 8:35:33 PM John Shepard

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Comments (30 posts)

Qubex
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 9:33:26 PM
Reply

Ben, no doubts the Vita looks strong, both from a technical and software perspective. I would say the software is actually the most important part of the package whilst the hardware seals the units longevity for the foreseeable future.

There is no doubt in my mind however, that the initial purchases will be more the hardcore gamers. I say initial because there will be people on the sidelines waiting and watching. Some will be impulse buys, however if (and when) the price is adjusted accordingly over the next 12 to 24 months we will probably see a new wave of entries taking up the Vita mantel.

Latest rafts of Android tablets using the Tegra3 Quad Core chipset will make some of those potential Vita purchases think twice. I am sure the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will also keep some people on the side lines for a while anyways.

What Sony has is a very strong platform for the hardcore gamer, with more coming into the fray when the price adjusts a little, as it always does down the road.

I think for all of us it will be very interesting to see sales uptake of the unit within the first 6 months of its life. The first 6 months will lay the ground for what is to come; even though, admittedly, with the right software titles coming through, an old unit, such as the PSP for example, can still have sales spikes in the latter years of its life; as seens recently in Japan with a slew of RPG releases for the PSP.

Anyway time will tell. I think Vita for some will be a god send, whilst for others waiting may be the best strategy for the time being. Either way it is an exciting time to be a gamer across multiple platforms, whichever one is of most important to you at the time.

I am just happy to be able to enjoy my PS3, Android and PC Laptop platforms all under one roof - with enough gaming goodness to keep me busy all year around...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 1/1/2012 9:35:25 PM

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Shams
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 11:38:36 PM

It's John, actually.

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Qubex
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 11:47:35 PM

Very true Shams. My apologies John!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 10:36:26 PM
Reply

I agree with what Qubex says, except for one aspect, the Vita is a quad core CPU, quad core GPU device here now, those other devices are future devices, so the Vita has an advantage - for now. It remains to be seen whether Sony has any performance tricks up their sleeve like they did with the PSP.

The one thing I would like to Sony Sony do is put a 2GB memory card in the box as standard. Since the unit essentially depends on a memory card for it's function, shipping it without one is really close to shipping a product unfit for it's purpose.

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Qubex
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 11:18:36 PM

Very valid point Highlander, the unit should come with a memory card shipped... otherwise what gives.

On the point about the Quad Core CPU and GPU, yes indeed it does. I did know this about the Vita, however I was merely pointing out that most phone and tablet hardware coming out in 2012 will be Quad Core based as well. Expect a particular big ramp up to Apple hardware, as Apple increasingly looks at the game market for its profits.

The Asus Transformer Prime (the tablet I have pre-ordered) is the first to boast of having the Tegra3 Quad Core unit built-in and does look mighty impressive.

Just for your interest, do have a gander across to uTubby (YouTube), and do a search for "Glowball" I and II demo's, to see what Tegra3 can do. I would like to read what you think of those tech demo's. I think the Prime is quite a capable unit. Lets not mention the fact that Samsung and HTC are probably going Quad Core this year.

M$ has a multi-prong attack on the market with its Quad Core Windows 8 tablets with the new Metro interface, due out second half of 2012. It could be quite a nice setup, and who knows; if these M$ table are powerful enough you may get XB Live games being ported across to be played on them. It is nothing new now to see that Sony, and her rivals, are all in trying to create an ecosystem of sorts in order to "keep" their loyal customers well within their borders... it is a strategy that seemed to have worked for Apple specifically and the iTunes store.

The point I am making generally, is the landscape will be vastly different for tech come the end of 2012; and it will be very interesting to see, at that stage, where Vita fits in and what the sales have been like - now that consumers have so much more choice...

I guess it comes back down to that age old cyclical statement...

It is all about the games! (But is it?)

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 1/1/2012 11:20:55 PM

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CrusaderForever
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 8:52:35 AM

I agree, shipping without a memory card is going to hurt the Vita. 2GB memory card in the box sounds like a great idea.

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Neo_Aeon666
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:21:29 AM

Yeah but a Tablet is a Tablet. It stinks for games. It's merely a good in-house pc extension/book reader. I hate the *simulated* analog patterns. And don't go around saying *buy a bluetooth remote to play games* Don't see myself taking all that crap around in the bus/subway. Plus I love the gaming community that is Steam/PSN/XBL I do not have any attachment to android/apple market.

Well my comment should just have been: Gaming + tablets = EW

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 1/2/2012 11:23:11 AM

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:50:59 AM

4GB in my opinion than 2 cause they started naming the 4gigs the HC cards. Yah, without a memory card included in the box I can see the vita getting hurt a little by this.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 10:43:54 PM
Reply

Since even some of the games need the memory card, Sony should've included at least a 4GB card with each core Vita.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:59:49 AM

I didn't see ur comment before I made mine. 4GB should be the standard size memory card and included with a Vita.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/2/2012 12:00:05 PM

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Excelsior1
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 11:19:56 PM
Reply

I have no doubt the Vita is an impressive device on a technical level. Sony has always been one of leaders in terms of advancing tecnology. My first reaction to concerns about the penetration of mobile gaming devices and tablets is where are the buttons and analog sticks? The games on those devices are limited by their controls. The Vita is a true gaming device that has an advantage because it features great controls. That will help attract serious and hardcore gamers.

Having said that, this has been a rough week for the Vita in terms of headlines. If we were to believe the so called experts like Forbes the Vita is already in "big trouble". It's probably premature to base that off of a two week snapshot, but there does seem to be some concerns about the Vita's price point now. I guess those concerns have arose out of Japan's response to the Vita which started off good in its first two days then declined sharply(78%) in the following full week.

I have given this a lot of thought, and have tried to come up with reasons for the sharp decline. The first thing that occured to me was the old rule that games drive sustained sales. Looking through the Japanese launch line up I don't really see anything that is a true system seller. It's a large and diverse line up but I am really not so sure how strong it is. The next thing I thought of was maybe the fall off could be just a natural drop off after Christmas but that does not work either since Nintendo sold 483k 3DS consoles in that same week. That got me to thinking about just how big the Japanese market is for handhelds. If the Nintendo 3DS swallows up 483k in sales in one week how much of the handheld gaming market is left over for Sony? I don't know the answer that. I have read that the Japanese gaming industry in on pace for double didgit declines in 2011.

I don't believe it's all doom and gloom for the Vita however. Nintendo themselves stumbled badly after the 3DS's launch. Naysayers chimed in just as quickly as they have with Sony but in the end they were wrong about Nintendo's fate. Nintendo lost a lot of money but was able to turn the 3DS around with a price drop and a steady stream of key titles. There is no reason Sony can't do the same. If the Vita runs into real trouble then Sony could just simply follow Nintendo's strategy.

I'm not that familar with what's on the Vita's horizon in terms of games in Japan, but I do believe Kojima is working on something, and I think there is a Kingdom Hearts game coming as well. I have one simple word of advice for Sony in regards to sales in Japan...MONSTER HUNTER.

I don't think it's a coincidence 3DS sales exploded when a Monster Hunter game arrived on the system. Speaking of Capcom. What happened to Resident Evil PSP? Games like that really could help the Vita. Great games can even entice gamers who might be sensitive to the Vita's price point.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/1/2012 11:23:12 PM

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Qubex
Sunday, January 01, 2012 @ 11:32:52 PM

I very interesting read!

Briefly, I think if Sony had to suddenly cut the Vita price as knee jerk reaction to poor sales that had been completely miscalculated by the higher ups, it would be nasty and distasteful - "I told you so moment" for Sony.

With tech becoming an ever more competitive field consumers can punish companies very quickly. Forget about Facebook and Twitter being used to bring down despotic regimes around the world. Wait until consumers band together and start "revolting" against companies who don't want to play nicely. They can destroy a sales strategy for said company over night.

Sony has heard murmurs about the pricing of the hardware and games being high for the average Joe Soap during a time of economic austerity. Surely it would be better to sell the hardware cheap and get volume.

Get the Vita into as many hands as possible early on its life, even at a loss, and then let it mature into profit...

Anyway, we don't know yet how the Vita will start life in the USA and Europe, but I am sure the hard core gamers will get it soon after launch and get stuck in. The hope is that sales numbers are sustained... that is the big question mark that will be answered more clearly 6 months into its young life...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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bebestorm
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:12:09 AM

Excelsior1
Monster 4 has already been announced for the 3DS and Kingdom Hearts 3D releases in march for the 3DS too.

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Excelsior1
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 1:03:59 AM

@Qubex

I sure hope there is no revolt by gamers on the Vita's price point. That sounds eerily similar to what Sony went through with the PS3.

@bebestorm

Monter Hunter 3G went on sale Dec 10th in Japan for the 3DS. Capcom shipped 1 million copies and Media Create reports 780,000 copies sold through.

I also saw a headline on Joystiq that said Monter Hunter propels 3DS to biggest week ever in Japan.

I guess you are saying there is another Monster Hunter game inbound for the 3DS. There is no doubt the MH series is a system seller in Japan.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/2/2012 1:06:52 AM

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CrusaderForever
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 8:54:52 AM

@Excelsior

Uncharted Golden Abyss is a system seller.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:26:26 AM
Reply

The Vita is getting outsold by the PSP in Japan. This concerns me...

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Excelsior1
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:39:09 AM

I agree. That surprised me as well, and it seemed to surprise analysts as well. The consensus was the Vita was on pace to sell 200k units or more in its second full week. It missed that forecast badly with only 72k consoles sold. Possible reasons? Price point of the system, memory cards, and games. At least that's what analysts are saying.

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Qubex
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 4:08:18 AM

Wow, the PsP outselling the Vita. I never knew that... astounding! How can that be?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Oxvial
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 1:14:36 PM

PSP also outsold the 3DS for a while, this doesn't surprise me.

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___________
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:29:17 AM
Reply

as i said the other day $ony have not done themselves any favours with this!
theres a smaller market out there for dedicated gaming devices then there ever was, so they really needed to go in strong.
ridiculous high price, no decent games, ridiculously overpriced games and accessories, and silly restrictions like 1 PSN account per unit, or no running 2 games at once, are not what i would call going in strong.
they have brought a knife to a gun fight, and as if that was not enough of a disadvantage they have chopped one of their arms off and blindfolded themselves!
i really really want the vita to do well, just to prove to developers there is still a market for these type of these things.
but there not exactly making it easy!
why do $ony love making things so hard for themselves?

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daus26
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 2:53:07 AM
Reply

I had plans on getting the Vita day one, but as mentioned before, there were several factors that changed my mind into rather just saving up for a brand new laptop, which I really need anyway.

For one, the apps and functions are not impressive for me at the moment. Yes, it's powerful with great specs, but with an unworking internet browser, inability to go to the android store, it's downing me quiet a bit. I was hoping it'd be a smartphone and gaming machine into one. Other than that, the memory card thing is a big deal for me. Sure propriety cards are welcomed if its gonna help prevent piracy, but the costs? Add that into account of only one account per card, it's a lot of investment outside the core machine.

So yeah, I'm one of those that's just gonna sit back and see how the Vita grows. And definitely, hope for those memory card prices to go down.

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Qubex
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 4:11:00 AM

Similarly for me at this stage of my life; I have other priorities hence my purchase of the Transformer Prime tablet. I can just do so much more with it and it is more useful.

I do see the Vita as a luxury really. For people who only want to be portable with their gaming it makes sense for them to have a PS3 in their hands, but I don't need that right now.

With the right price I could be tempted... and the right price will be forthcoming... just wait for it... be patient and you will be the winner...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 1/2/2012 4:11:37 AM

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___________
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 7:36:15 AM

its not 1 account per card, its 1 account per vita.
your account is tied to your card and your vita, that way it stops people using 1 card for multiple systems and vice versa.

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Looking Glass
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 8:40:29 AM
Reply

In some ways the Vita situation does seem to bear somewhat of a resemblance to the what happened with the PS3. But then again that might not necessarily be a bad thing. The PS3 also got off to a rough start and many people dismissed it as a failure but eventually Sony managed to turn that around in a BIG way. Can you say Gabe Newell?


And software is EXTREMELY important in Japan. Possibly more so than anywhere else. Why is the PSP selling better than the Vita? I'm sure that price is a factor but the biggest factor is most likely THE GAMES. One of the main factors in the phenomenal early success of the DS was the fact that Dragon Quest 9 was a DS exclusive.

And I wouldn't take anything Forbes or anyone like them thinks or says too seriously. Why? Because I think it's safe to say that the mainstream media generally knows and understands little, if anything, about popular culture (especially niche popular culture).

Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/2/2012 8:40:44 AM

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:06:06 PM

I for one definalety didn't see PS3 as a failure, to me what was holding me back was the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. I guess if Blu-Ray lost then I guess u can call the PS3 a failure.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/2/2012 12:09:19 PM

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Excelsior1
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:24:03 PM

@looking glass

To be fair, if you read the whole Forbes piece it does mention the importance of games and cites that as one of the main reasons Nintendo was able to turn things around. It mentions the key titles that helped Ninendo like Monster Hunter and Nintendo's franchises so I would not say Forbes is clueless about the importance of software.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/2/2012 12:28:56 PM

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Looking Glass
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 2:53:11 PM

@Excelsior1

I didn't say that Forbes and other similar establishments are clueless. It's just that popular culture isn't their forte so I wouldn't put TOO MUCH stock in what they say or think.

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FullmetalX10
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 8:41:29 AM
Reply

I'm not liking the fact that it doesn't have internal storage. They could have definitely put that in.
It was a D1P for me, but now I'm starting to think I should wait for a second model, one which has a couple kinks ironed out.

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BikerSaint
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 10:54:22 AM

I'm starting to think the same as you, or at least getting my pre-paid money back until Sony starts shipping Vita's with some kind of GB memory card.

Or, hopefully some retailer will step up their own Vita sales program by adding a free memory card included in their store's Vita core bundle.

Well, the good thing for me is that I've still got about about 5-6 more weeks to make any decision.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 12:13:27 PM

I'm thinking the same thing. What, no internel memory, that's weak right there. Well, in my opinion it's good to wait off for a while.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/2/2012 12:13:55 PM

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