So, what do we think? The future of handheld gaming or a load of old toss?
So... PlayStation Vita then.
Wonderful colour screen, twee Japanese interface, cartridges, specs to make 'proper' gamers drool. The PlayStation Vita thumbs its nose at smartphone-gaming and reveals itself as a long distant cousin to the Neo Geo Pocket Colour - it's the machine we gamers would make if given a playroom of parts and the special tech glue that makes those parts come together. Vita is a hardcore gamer's portable wet dream and it's almost doomed to indifferent and relative failure because of that. But what splendid failure!
It's an absolute gem of a machine, all that pre-launch hype about the 5" OLED screen is entirely justified, underplayed if anything. The quad-core A9 at its heart, the quad-core graphics and the half a gig of RAM do what they're supposed to do - drive stun...ning games at exhilarating pace, on top of which the controls are exceptional - truly exceptional. I liked the slider stick on the PSP but plenty didn't - Sony have listened, and chosen to compromise portability in favour of control, so you have proper analogue sticks that make the unit considerably thicker overall but that work supremely well. Battery life is piss-poor but to have improved on it would have meant either making the console uncomfortable to hold or cutting down the power, either would result in a gaming experience that was poorer.
In fact, the Vita is almost recklessly pro-gamer. It's a huge 'fuck you' to the smartphone and tablet gaming that has driven gaming growth over the last three years. It's Sony Computer Entertainment saying 'balls to the demographics, the trends, the casual pop-tart sugar snacking - let's put a breathtaking screen onto an incredible controller and strap on a battery and the best part of a full console's internals while we're at it'. This is a statement, perhaps a foolish one but a delightful and bold and rewarding one.
The biggest launch line-up supporting any console ever completes the picture - it's easy to find half a dozen games worth a punt without really trying especially hard. Despite some minor reductions in textures here and there, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a proper PS3 Uncharted game. Everybody's Golf 6 is every pixel the addictive, brilliant and glorious full game you'd expect, though it also reminds you how good the PSP version was. Motorstorm RC is daft, fun pick-up and play and with a bunch of first-person shooters on the way - these and every other gaming corner is covered. You will play games on the Vita. You will love playing games on the Vita and you'll smile your face off while you do so.
I'm waiting for the Vita Lite. That's right.
Sony's brave stand against the onslaught of awful touchscreen-only gaming.
Needs more cowbell.
Plus I am hoping to get through the weekend without buying one.
"I whole-heartedly endorse this product."
"Honestly, I fucking love it."
Undoubedly astonishing tech but I don't want to play big console games on a handheld with extortionately priced memcards. .
Looks lovely, but no money and I carry iPhone everywhere means me no buy (for now anyway).
My mate has bought one and said he's "using it as a second iPad". The gimp.
Fur coat, no knickers.
Potential nice emulation machine, one day.
The last console GAME will get to sell.
The best mobile gaming device ever created.
I'd quite like one, but I'm not sure why.
Absolutely sick of touch screen gaming so to have a proper control pad (with a great D pad for a change) is a godsend.
We've got every desired demographic represented in our house, yet nobody knew it was coming - except for me.. because of Rodent.
I like the idea you can tickle its backside :)
Every new thing SONY makes is farther from where I want to be.
Looks good, seems to have some sexy games. Makes as much business sense as a hairdryer made of dogshit. Will probably have a dreamcast style second life as a hardcore gamers dream.
So, there we have it. A pretty even mixture of opinions, some absolutely miserable, some loving it. Looks like a divider of opinions, but it's undeniably exciting times after what feels like a billion years since the last new console. What do you think?