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.

Buy It:

$248.99
$439.95

90-Day Price History

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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
85 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
njspy njspy

Even if its not portable, the OS feels messy, the battery its so-so o have a little game library, this console its a great gaming machine, have a gorgeous screen, fluid multitasking, great sound, great gameplay, the sticks feels solid. Its a great experience.

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10
Satusk Satusk

Certainly the MOST underrated gaming asset in the history of games. Its got everything ! Trust me. It did lag in the number of games at first but now a lot has changed and with the attention its getting from sony things are definitely looking a lot better. Not to mention the Ps4 is only going to...

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7.0
ducttapeburns ducttapeburns

Game Library : I waited almost two years to get a Vita and the tipping point wasn't exactly the game library, but how it functions alongside a PlayStation 4. Don't get me wrong, I'm not disappointed with what the Vita has to offer as far as games are concerned, but I'm not exactly impressed...

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