Review-Sony Playstation Vita (PS Vita): The Best in Handheld Gaming?

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January 18, 2012


Graphics Quality

Uncharted Golden Abyss

One the most exciting aspects about PS Vita has to be the console’s ability to display awesome-looking graphics. Sony even claims that PS Vita’s graphics quality is comparable to that of the Playstation 3’s. Well, after seeing the graphics ourselves, we do think that Sony might be telling the truth. The two games that we tried, Uncharted – Golden Abyss dan Dynasty Warriors NEXT, really proved that graphics quality is one of PS Vita’s strong points.

Dynasty Warriors NEXT
Comparable to PS3’s graphics? Almost, but not quite

So, does it match the graphics quality of the mighty Playstation 3? We would say that PS Vita manages to “get close”, but its graphics quality isn’t really on equal terms with the PS3. The graphics are impressively good for a handheld console though. It’s like shrinking the PS3 and putting it inside the shell of a 5-inch mobile device. The colors, lighting effects, and graphical details all look amazing.
In a glimpse, the differences between PS Vita’s and Playstation’s 3 graphics rendering are almost indiscernible. A closer look reveals the rough edges, literally. 3D objects appear less smooth with borders that don’t look as good. Some scenes in Uncharted, especially those that involve apl, display blurred pixels that show the limitation of PS Vita’s graphics processing. Even then, Sony still manages to prove one thing: when it comes to graphics quality, PS Vita is the king of handheld consoles.


ps vita multi tasking
Multi tasking ability is arguably the best innovation on PS Vita

Stuck in games? Need a walkthrough? Want to take a break and listen to some music? Before PS Vita, you would need to exit the game before doing anything else. Not anymore! The multi-tasking ability on PS Vita changes this by allowing you to run multiple applications simultaneously. You can browse the internet and listen to music, while running a game on the background. This is made possible by the console’s hardware and OS optimization. To switch from one application to the other, you only need to press the PS Home button to minimize the current running program, thus enabling you to run or switch to another. To check what applications are currently active, sweep your finger across the screen or press and hold the PS Home button.

Battery Life

Playstation Vita Value Pack 19
For such a powerful handheld console, PS Vita has remarkably long battery life

A true portable gaming device must be able to sustain itself long enough for players to actually enjoy playing with it. Now, given PS Vitas’s powerful nature, we were initially skeptical about its battery performance. So, we did what every gamer would do to see how long a handheld console will last: we played games! As soon as it’s fully charged, we began playing Uncharted: Golden Abyss, while turning on 3G and WiFi connections to add some drains. Shockingly enough, the PS Vita lasted for around three and a half hours before we saw the “Battery is Low” warning on screen. Turning off 3G connection and lowering the screen brightness down a notch further extend that time to 4 hours, which is fairly close to Sony’s claim of 5 straight hours of active gaming. Such battery life is good indeed, especially for a powerful handheld console like PS Vita. To fully re-charge this portable console, you will need around 2,5 hours in stand-by mode.

GSM Network Connectivity in Indonesia

User Interface 11
3G is available for Indonesia GSM provider

When the PS Vita was first released in Japan, only few Indonesian distributors bothered to import the console’s 3G variant. Why? Because this particular functionality (3G connection) is region-locked, making it virtually impossible for use outside Japan. Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to the PS Vita Asia Value Pack, which was released later. This version of the PS Vita has a fully-functioning, fully-open GSM connectivity. We can connect it to the GSM networks here in Indonesia.
For our GSM connectivity testing purposes, we used one of the operators, XL. PS Vita got connected, and we could use 3G connection to access the PS Store and browse the internet. Speed is dependent upon your current location, but in several places, it could be nearly as fast as HSDPA.

There are two downsides to consider if you’re interested in the 3G version of the PS Vita. First, the 3G connectivity, while undoubtedly useful, will increase overall consumption, resulting in shorter battery life. Secondly, Sony has set a download limit of 20 MB so that you cannot download files larger than that from your 3G network. This restriction does not apply to WiFi, but it’s worth remembering that 3G connectivity allows you to access the internet practically anywhere. Of course, the download size limitation won’t get in your way when playing online.

Sound and Speaker Quality

Playstation Vita Value Pack 251
For maximum enjoyment, plug your headset

While capable of producing clear sounds (enough to allow you to listen to game dialogs and such), PS Vita’s integrated stereo speaker unit is fairly ordinary. For optimum sound experience, we recommend plugging a pair of good headset into the audio output connector. Doing so will also give you some extra battery life.

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