January 27th 2011 1:52 am

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83

Easily the most advanced portable gaming device to date

83

Sony's latest contender is a little late to the game: It arrives nearly a year after the Nintendo 3DS. Still, the Vita is technically the stronger product. Sony's new portable outclasses the 3DS not only in graphical output, but also in touchscreen technology, controls, button layout, user interface design and, perhaps most importantly, game selection at launch. So is that enough for it to pull ahead of the competition? We can't be sure.

We will say, however, that the PlayStation Vita triumphs where it counts. It has its hiccups, sure, but web browsers can be updated, as can the PS3's remote play limitations. Still, no amount of software updates can undo the disappointing battery life. Without performance-enhancing peripherals, the PlayStation Vita won't be getting you through long flights or cross-country road trips. For gamers spoiled by the endurance of the original PSP and DS systems, it's a tough sell. In fact, the WiFi edition's $250 price tag might give gamers burned by the 3DS' price drop pause, to say nothing of the $50 premium they'll pay for the 3G model. Still, it's hard to shake the Vita's siren call: Adopt early, it says, I'm worth it. As seductive as that call from the souped-up PSP successor is, its real song is its games -- if none of them resonate for you, you'd better stay bound to your mast through these Uncharted waters.

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$243.76

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Critic reviews

8.1
16 reviews
  • Game library
    9.1
  • Graphics
    9.9
  • Battery life
    5.7
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.2
  • Durability
    8.1

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User reviews

8.4
86 reviews
8.0
Engadget Feb 13, 2012

Sony's new portable eclipses Nintendo's latest on more battlefields than ever before, outclassing it not only in graphical output, but in touchscreen technology, controls and button layout, user interface design and, perhaps most importantly, game selection at launch.

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8.0
CNET Feb 13, 2012

Overall, the PlayStation Vita is the most advanced portable gaming system ever made. While the price is deceiving because of a hidden cost, gamers are getting an impressively complete package right out of the gate.

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8.0
Wired Feb 13, 2012

While there is still more work to be done to make the Vita all that it can be, this is a much more impressive start than I had expected. In terms of ethos and delivery Sony have come a long way since the PSP launched back in 2005.

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8.0
PC World Feb 13, 2012

All told, the PlayStation Vita is an excellent handheld gaming console that’s worth paying for if you demand more from your mobile gaming experience than smartphone or tablet games can provide.

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8.0
Joystiq Feb 13, 2012

It offers the most power, the widest variety of input methods, and the most convenient method of getting new games, of any handheld system in history.

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7.0
Gizmodo Feb 13, 2012

With both phones and laptops creeping up on the traditional turf of the computer, the Vita feels uncomfortably without a place that makes sense, falling short of either side—it's not out-phoning your phone or out-consoling your console.

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7.0
TechCrunch Feb 17, 2012

I want to love this device and I suspect a dedicated gamer will find it far superior to any other device, the Nintendo 3DS included. But I feel this will be the last iteration of the “dedicated gaming” handheld we see.

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9.0
Time Feb 13, 2012

Why buy a Vita in what’s quickly become a smartphone/tablet world? Because you want to play serious, console-style games (with console-style controls) on the go. That’s the Vita’s exclusive promise at launch, anyway.

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9.0
Kotaku Feb 21, 2012

If the Vita is going to be an argument for the worth of dedicated handhelds, then it is a nearly perfect argument.

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9.0
Kotaku Jul 1, 2014

The Vita's got more than enough good games to make up for any unfulfilled promises or unmet potential, and it's more affordable than ever. In 2014, should you get a PlayStation Vita? Yes.

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9.0
IGN Feb 13, 2012

Right now, the PS Vita is an amazing piece of hardware with an impressive launch lineup and software that hints toward a bright future, but until Sony addresses concerns about the price, it is destined to appeal to only a niche audience.

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9.0
TrustedReviews Feb 21, 2012

PlayStation Vita excels with its excellent graphics, a superb 5in screen, dual-analogue and touch screen controls and a host of other goodies. The PlayStation Vita narrows the gap between console and handheld, and reminds you why a dedicated mobile gaming device is a good idea.

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8.0
The Escapist Feb 23, 2012

Most handhelds have had to offer altogether different types of experiences than you find on the traditional consoles, but the Vita takes the opposite approach, striving to take what works on the PS3 and make it work in a smaller, portable format.

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8.0
T3 Apr 30, 2012

For now, it's just a fantastic, if pricey portable games machine, and as fantastic, pricey portable gamers, that will certainly do us.

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9.0
adcustom adcustom

Putting all the "do I need this when I have a smartphone and/or tablet" aside – I can't say enough about how well Sony nailed the hardware on this bad boy. Holding a comfortable, beautifully built portable game system that actually "wows" me in 2012 is miraculous. The screen is the very...

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8.0
chayashida chayashida

I bought the US 3G/WiFi launch bundle, so I've only had the device for a day so far. I don't feel that's enough time to give a full review, but I think it's enough to give my first impressions. The first thing you notice when you take it out of the box, is that the Vita is huge . The unit looks...

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9.0
theEDJ theEDJ

Sony knows hardware. The handheld feels great, and I feel like I have large hands. The thumbsticks take a few minutes to adjust to, but work fine. Hardcore, console-esque titles work flawlessly, quick, simple titles are aided by real controls. The rear touch-pad keeps less precision based actions...

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8.0
frankspin frankspin

This is the first portable console I've owned since the battery killing GameGear (though I guess you can technically count a smartphone) and so far I've been happy with it. The battery life is right around 5 hours but this can largely depend on the game you're playing. With a game like Tearaway...

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9.0
nitehawk nitehawk

Awesome device. I've mainly used it so far to play demos, watch Netflix and play GoW: Ghost of Sparta (psp download). I have a 3G and was screwed out of the free game because I haven't purchased the month of 3G data yet, so I'm bitter about that. However the device is awesome and the game library...

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9.0
JWort93 JWort93

I was blown away for the first time when I turned it on and saw its beautiful screen, and even more when I popped in Uncharted: Golden Abyss. This is the portable gaming console I have always been waiting for. Controls are great, screen is amazing, you'll never want to put it down!

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10
agami agami

I love the PS Vita. Dual analog gaming on the go with top tier games. The Vita helped me learn to play console FPS games; something about the screen and the stick being right next to each other was what my brain needed.

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8.0
StriderNo9 StriderNo9

The Playstation Vita is a great product. The feature set doesn't feel forced and Sony seems to have made great strides in UI development. While the library isn't huge, it's quite robust for a system that's been out for less than a year. I see PSN sales going up in the coming years because of how...

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9.0
Kiteless Kiteless

As of this writing Sony has sold over 1.2 million units and over 2 million Vita games. Those who think dedicated handheld gaming is dead, is dead wrong. Over all I love the Vita. It has an amazing screen, touch controls (if your into that sort of thing), dual analog sticks, WiFi, 3G (What I...

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9.0
Motilac Motilac

The most stunning part about the Vita is the OS. Sony did an absolutely amazing job with this unit, from A-Z. I like how everything responds and interacts, like moving through pages of home screens, how the Sony Store interacts, and the intuitive interaction of Firmware and Software updates....

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