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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.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita touch screen, vita features

2/13/2012 10:20:11 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (23 posts)

Highlander
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 10:34:59 AM
Reply

I think that the touch screen and panel will be great for certain games you can't easily do with the sticks. But the sticks will never be replaced by the touch controls. If anything the ability to use the touch controls or the sticks might transition some smartphone game fans to a real gaming device by showing the benefit of real controls as opposed to touch ones.

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Cpt_Geez
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 10:44:53 AM
Reply

I like the traditional analog sticks, but I will use whatever control scheme works the best for the game that I play on the vita. It all comes down to the games some games might work better with the touch screen, others will fair better with the physical buttons.

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Beamboom
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 11:13:54 AM
Reply

The way I see it it's simply two different kind of controls, just like the mouse is very different from an analogue stick.
Like Highlander say above, it will be great for the kind of controls you can't easily do with sticks. And vice versa.

One of the worst things the touchscreen/smartphone games can do is try to emulate analogue sticks. That's a dead end. They need to utilise the touchscreens advantages.

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Excelsior1
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 11:38:17 AM
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Sticks all the way. Who wants to be smudging up that nice screen? I know I wouldn't. I have read some people complaining that the Vita forces you to use the touch screen to use the browser and other functions. I don't know if that is true but it would be nice if you could use the manual controls to avoid wear and tear on the screen. I'm not getting a Vita yet, but I would have to say the Analog sticks will be the way to go for the most part.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 12:06:47 PM

Well, all smartphones have you interacting with the menus and everything via touch, and the screen is designed to be durable enough for that. I'm assuming the Vita's is, too.

And after using my phone for a while, I actually think touchscreen menu options are faster and more preferable than using the directional buttons or analogs.

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Beamboom
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 12:26:38 PM

Don't you have a smartphone, Excel? The screens are built to handle it. Most smudge don't stick to it and it's very easy to clean.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2012 12:29:02 PM

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Excelsior1
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 2:11:03 PM

Yeah, I got one and over the years the screen did to where down in one spot. It's like a permanent cloudy/dirty spot that won't come off. It took 3 years for that to happen and it is an older Nokia but I would hate for that to see that happpen to a Vita screen. Nasty smudgemarks/fingerprints accross expensive elctronics make me want to cringe. I don't know if a stylus would solve that problem or what, The DS had one. This is actually something Jawk and I talked about once. We both hated the idea of using just your fingers on the touchscreen of a Vita because it might turn the screen nasty over time.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 2/13/2012 2:11:59 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 3:46:52 PM

I bet the Vita will come with one of those plastic cover sticky things that you stick to the screen that saves it from scratches and that is replaceable. The Sony phones comes with that. At least it should be an accessory for the Vita. I'm pretty sure it will be offered either by Sony themselves or some of those accessory companies, eventually.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2012 3:48:01 PM

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Highlander
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 4:00:16 PM

PS Vita screen protectors from Sony are already available on Amazon.

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___________
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 1:36:35 AM

dont need one, the screens coated in a special film so prints cant stick to it.
easiest thing to clean, however it gathers a sh*t load of dust!

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 2:11:30 AM

There can still be scratches, underline. I'd use a screen protector (thanks High) if I were you guys.

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___________
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 7:31:30 AM

gotta be pretty rough with the thing to get scratches on it.
ive never used a screen protector in my life, never needed one!
all they do is ruin the sensitivity of the screen, my friend has one on is 4S and every time he swipes to unlock the phone the slider only goes half way drives him insane!
they make the screen look really muddy too.
put the vita in a pouch a much better solution to a screen protector.

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gumbi
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 11:52:25 AM
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For me. It really depends on the games and how they're designed to be played.

Although, for the type of games I like to play I'm inclined to think I'll be spending a lot more time with my thumbs on the analog sticks than my finger tips on the screen. You just can't emulate or improve upon that kind of control scheme for most games.

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Highlander
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 12:59:56 PM

Well, as the DS showed, touch screen is a worthy addition to the control options of a hand held device. I'm not convinced that 3D is needed in a hand held unit, but touch pad/screen is. There are a lot of games that 'hardcore' gamers might not want to play that work well for touch interfaces - yes I'm thinking of the "Cookin' Mama'" and similar games that make a virtue of the Touch screen. That was a trick that the PSP missed, it also made text entry on the PSP tedious. The touch interface solves those two issues at a stroke.

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gumbi
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 1:18:12 PM

Very good point on text entry. Not quite so important with games. But for the browser and any social media/messaging services having a touch qwerty board will be an absolute must.

As for games. I am, admittedly, quite looking forward to playing Little Deviants.

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Highlander
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 4:03:15 PM

Got Uncharted and Wipeout ordered for Vita, gonna get HSG, but not decided yet if I want DL or physical copy.

I decided to max out the memory card, so I'm not getting one of the early bird bundles. Sadly that means waiting until Thursday/Friday (23rd/24th) for my Vita to arrive. On the flipside, it also means that I will be able to DL almost all of my PSP games and PS1 classics to it when it get's here.

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FullmetalX10
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 1:38:35 PM
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The problem with the touch screen thing with the Vita is that the Vita home screen is controlled solely by using the touch screen, so if it ever ceases to work, you won't be able to navigate it with the analogs, so no fail safe for that -_-

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kevinater321
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 2:26:49 PM
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"I'll definitely try the touchscreen, but I'll probably end up playing most of the game with the analogs." I think that's what pretty much all hardcore gamers would say. Unless, of course, if they the touchscreen used in a way that can actually benefit the player. For example, maybe a top down control-your-army type game where the touchscreen would actually be more beneficial and accurate than the analog sticks.

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AbsoluteZer0
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 8:21:04 PM
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God, I hope not, though mostly because I hope that physical controls don't just disappear. Though touchscreens are sometimes nice, I almost always prefer physical controls. Also, there's something about that lovely screen that just screams "smudge-magnet."

Last edited by AbsoluteZer0 on 2/13/2012 8:21:58 PM

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___________
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 1:39:29 AM
Reply

not only sticks but buttons too.
not saying it will replace them, i thank every day $ony came to their senses and realized touch controls on the screen just dont work you need buttons too.
ask every IOS developer, touch screen joysticks just dont work!
i love using the touch screen and gyroscope in golden abyss though, so much more fun aiming with the gyro and performing melee attacks with the screen then using the sticks and buttons.
allot more accurate too, the intui aim they added in golden abyss is amazing!
makes adjusting your aim just that tiny bit oh so much easier with the gyro then sticks.
far prefer drawing a path on the screen for drake to follow then using the sticks too.
in fact when i read gameinformers review and they called them gimmicky i felt like flying over, rolling the magazine up and smacking them over the head with it!
gimmicky my A$$!


Last edited by ___________ on 2/14/2012 1:40:57 AM

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Robochic
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 8:58:39 AM
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I think it will depend on the game you are playing i think it'll be 50/50 with gamers.
I wish i could get a vita but no go this time for me, I have to wait a bit for one as i'm serverly poor with repairs for the car and the house but I was thinking of selling my Wii to afriend so i can get a vita so thats an option.

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 4:23:26 PM
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I actually love the look of games using both interfaces at once. Doesn't have to be one or the other.

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playSTATION
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 12:16:04 AM
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been playing my first edition ps vita and so far the touchscreen gets the job done. is it as responsive as my samsung galaxy 2? i'd say close.

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