Will Gamers Prefer Vita's Touchscreen Over The Analogs?
Now, I find this to be an interesting question, and it's primarily because - as far as I can tell - the answer is obvious.
Most people who grew up with the PlayStation brand love the Dual Shock controller, and all gamers these days are familiar with the dual analog sticks, which can also be found on competing controllers. Therefore, the PlayStation Vita offers the crucial familiarity of those sticks along with the trademark PlayStation buttons.
But in this new "touchscreen" age, and with the Vita attempting to present itself as a next-generation portable device, wouldn't it stand to reason that gamers intend to use the touchscreen just as often, if not more often, than the analog sticks? Shouldn't this be a new experience in more ways than one? Granted, the idea of having a portable PS3 in your hands (and the Vita is darn close) might make this question irrelevant, but the software involved obviously takes advantage of the touchscreen technology. And we're obviously supposed to want to use it.
And yet, whenever I ask someone, the response has always been the same- "I'll definitely try the touchscreen, but I'll probably end up playing most of the game with the analogs." I've never heard anyone say the reverse and in fact, some say they don't care about the touchscreen at all. Then you've got some early game reviews out there (check the reviews for Uncharted: Golden Abyss) that say the touchscreen can be erratic, which follows up on Japanese reports that said the touchscreen doesn't always read your finger. The result? Well...we'll have to see.
You know, I just got a smartphone (late to the party, I know) and the whole touchscreen thing seems to work fine, even if I find it a little finicky. But that "little finicky" part really can't be there when I'm playing a hardcore game; I require - we all require - absolute precision for our command inputs. And we've come to expect that over the years. So I'm not sure what place touchscreens have in gaming, although I admit I'm intrigued by the idea. I'll just have to get used to a new element.
2/13/2012 10:20:11 AM Ben Dutka