Everything you Need to Know about the PlayStation Vita

6.07.2013 Benjamin Gubler



There is just a bit to go for Sony’s U.S. PlayStation Vita launch, so now is a good time to tell you what it is, give it a review, tell you how it works, what it will cost, what it has packed under its case and what you’ll probably have to buy off the menu.



What exactly is a ‘PS Vita’?

The PS Vita is a device that formerly had the codename “NGP” or “Next Generation Portable”. Sony announced this successor of the PSP gaming handheld device, on January 27, 2011, finally verifying rumors that had been around for months. The codename was hated by many and six months later at E3 2011, the company revealed the much smoother, more playful name “PlayStation Vita”. Vita is the Latin counterpart of the word “life”.


What’s So Special About Its Design?

The Vita keeps the PlayStation Portable’s rounded rectangle shape, but it’s just a bit wider and taller. That’s so that the super-sized 5-inch, 960 x 544 pixel, OLED capacitive multi-touch screen capable of displaying up to 16.7 million colors, can fit on the device.

So if we wanted to compare this to anything, the closest things would be the Nintendo 3DS’s top screen, which is 3.53 inches, the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which is 4.65 inches and the PSP’s screen is 3.8 inches.



The thing that we need to focus on here is the OLED (organic light-emitting diode), which is an awesome feature because it means the Vita won’t need a backlight. This way the contrast ratios will improve and the display will be able to fitted in a thinner, lighter design. The Vita weighs 260g so if you thought the original PSP was light, the Vita is 20g lighter.

Sony is abandoning features that are associated with the 3DS, such as stereoscopic 3D and dual screens. The only thing they have added innovation-wise is the read capacitative multi-pad, a panel in the back wallpapered in Sony’s trademark face button symbols. Your fingers can tap these while you are gripping the handheld device.

You can use this rear pad to “shoot” the ball in FIFA Soccer, for example. You can “zoom” the sniper rifle in Uncharted: Golden Abyss. And also, the unit boasts Sony’s six-axis motion-sensing system (a three-axis gyroscope plus a three-axis accelerometer).

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