The PS Vita is the newest games console on the block. The little Sony wonder is by far the most powerful handheld on the market today, putting both the Nintendo 3DS and Apple iPhone 4S in the shade. But is now the time to buy one? Or should you wait?
Here’s 5 reasons why it may be better to save your money and not buy a PS Vita (just) yet…
5. No Playing Games on the Big Screen
There’s no doubt that the 5-inch OLED screen on the PS Vita is a thing of beauty but don’t you sometimes want something a little bigger? Unlike later versions of the PSP, Sony have decided not to bless the Vita with a Video Out port. With a screen resolution of 960 x 544 pixels. this is a handheld that really needs HDMI Out so you can enjoy games on the big screen if you choose.
Expect HDMI to feature on the next version of the PS Vita, giving you your first reason to wait.
4. Expensive Games and Memory Cards
At $250 for the WiFi version and $300 for the 3G. the PS Vita isn’t exactly an impulse purchase for most people. But of course, like with any console, that’s just where the fun begins.
In these days of people used to spending no more than a few cents to play games on their iPhone, the price of Vita games is steep. Most games will set you back 40 bucks and some, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, add another ten dollars onto that. The 3DS has plenty of games near to $40 as well but it also has plenty costing a lot less.
And then there’s the expensive memory cards. If you want to save your game position, or even download a new game from the PlayStation Store, you’re going to need a memory card. A 4GB card costs $20 alone and that won’t get you far with full retail games usually weighing in at over 1GB a time, with Uncharted: Golden Abyss a massive 3.4GB.
Want a bigger memory card? 32GB of storage will cost you a whopping $100.
Expect the price of both games and memory cards to fall when Sony realise they’ve priced them too high to attract more people to buy a PS Vita.
3. Games, Games, Games
On the one hand, the PS Vita has launched with a very strong line-up of games, with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Super Stardust Delta, WipEout 2048, Motorstorm RC, FIFA and others all attracting good reviews. For early adopters, there seems to be plenty to keep them entertained for the first few weeks.
But then what? Well, there’s Resistance: Burning Skies and LittleBigPlanet to look forward to within a few months, plus a relatively poor Ridge Racer game, but then things go quiet until the end of the year when Call of Duty comes to the Vita. Sure, Bioshock and Killzone games have been announced as well but there’s no release date for them yet.
Is the PS Vita heading for a shortage of games for the rest of this year? Will God of War, Need for Speed, GTA and other top franchises make it to the Vita?
2. Does the World Need a New Handheld?
The world has moved on. The Nintendo DS and PSP, and the Gameboy before them, were born into a world before the advent of the iPhone, iPod Touch, etc. The 3DS stumbled upon launch and so has the PS Vita, selling far less at launch than expected, and selling dwindling numbers since.
Is there room in people’s pockets for both a Vita and a smartphone? For the masses, no, and Sony are certainly aiming their new handheld at the hardcore audience. But is that enough to achieve success and give the Vita a long life?
Remember that outside of Japan, the PSP struggled for a long time and the PS Vita isn’t even doing well there.
1. Look Out for a Price Cut
The top reason not to buy a PS Vita yet? The price. The Nintendo 3DS dropped a whopping $80 within a few months of launch due to poor sales and if the Vita’s fortunes don’t quickly improve, expect the Vita to drop in price as well.
A $50 price drop before Christmas seems almost a certainty. With few PS Vita games out between now and then, can you wait?
Find out how the PS Vita compares to the PSP 3000 and PSP Go.