Playstation Vita, the next Gameboy?

I have been away from portable gaming since 2000. Yes 2000, 11 years ago when 'N Sync was popular and Pokemon cards ruled my 3rd grade class. It really has been that long since I have purchased a handheld, I skipped out on the Gameboy Advance, DS and even PSP but, that may change come next year. In my opinion the Gameboy was the pinnacle in handheld gaming, it was fun, simple and cheap. With the release of the Playstation Vita, Sony looks to breathe new life into handhelds and maybe capture what the Gameboy Color did and maybe even dethrone Nintendo and their DS as the number one handheld. While I don't think that may be plausible I'm excited nevertheless.

The transition for me from a Gameboy Color to a Playstation Vita is a big one to say the least. While I have kept up to date with consoles over the years, I lost interest in portables until maybe now. Now that tablets, portables and even cell phones can deliver a near console experience in your hand I'm particularly excited and intrigued. The Playstation Vita is no ordinary portable, I would not even call it a portable video game but, rather a multimedia device in the realm of an iphone. The PSV boasts a large amount of features and great hardware and seems like more than just a video game in your hand.

It seems Sony has completely improved on the PSP in every conceivable way from the way it looks to the hardware specs and even the elimination of the UMD media format for games. Everything has been changed and improved for the better and it looks promising. While I think the Vita will sell out quickly the first few weeks for early adopters it will need more than amazing looking games to earn my purchase. More or less the PSV has the potential to be a portable PS3 but, I already have a PS3 and enjoy playing at home so, it will need to provide more than just games. The Vita will definitely need an app store with free apps not just paid apps to keep me interested. As well as be able to use and play anything on the current Playstation Network Service like PSN games, Playstation Minis, PSP games, movies, TV shows, basically everything except the PS3 games. This will give it a large library of content already at launch and have an edge over the 3DS which has already been out for months.

I don't want to only use this to game, I want the Vita to have a good internet browser with compatibility with Youtube, flash websites, email even the ability to visit porn websites if I feel the need. The Vita in some degree may even compete with cell phones if a Skype option was to be added. Being able to call your could friends and family off your Vita or send texts would be awesome. Along with all these features a good music player would be great addition , I don't have an ipod so this could be used instead. I have very high hopes for the Vita and I hope it delivers since, it already has the great hardware behind it, many of the first and third party developers are on board with it and the price is reasonable, $250, 250 euros for the standard wifi model and $300, 300 euros for the 3g model. I want to make the leap from Pokemon Blue on the Gameboy Color to Uncharted on the Vita. Let's see if Sony can bring me the stun factor and enjoyment the Gameboy Color brought me those many years ago.

PSV Release Dates

Japan- Dec. 17, 2011

Americas/Europe- Feb. 22, 2012

Playstation Vita Specs



ARM® Cortex™- A9 core (4 core)





External Dimensions

Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth)
(tentative, excludes largest projection)


Screen (Touch Screen)

5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
Multi touch screen (capacitive type)


Rear Touch Pad

Multi touch pad (capacitive type)



Front camera, Rear camera



Built-in stereo speakers
Built-in microphone



Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope,
three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass



Built-in GPS
Wi-Fi location service support


Keys / Switches

PS button
Power button
Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
Shoulder buttons (Right/Left)
Right stick, Left stick
START button, SELECT button
Volume buttons (+/-)


Wireless Communications

Mobile network connectivity (3G)
IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1x1)(Wi-Fi)(Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)
Semblance's picture

The handheld industry is long gone. People can get an iPod touch that does arguably the same thing (games, browser, communication features) for a cheaper price and it comes with an App Store that's 3 years old with products.

Schnyder's picture

Agreeing with Semblance, hand held gaming is dead. Although, I don't think it is because of the iPhone or iPod touch. Personally i think it's because it's for such a small audience. The only time i had a hand held gaming platform was when I was a kid and that trend seems to continue, but beyond that small market what do you have. A device that is too expensive for casual gamers and has too crappy of games for actual gamers. 

MarioDragon's picture

You two should move to Japan, lol.

Now let's see really quickly:

Nintendo DS, worldwide, all models: 146.42 million sold as of March 31, 2011

Sony PSP, worldwide: 71.4 million as of September 14, 2011

3DS, Worldwide: 5.73 million as of October 8, 2011 (it was actually the best selling launch handheld for Nintendo of all time, but hasn't kept up to the others. I doubt he Vita will do much better)

For iPods/iPads/tablets/iPhones, I don't know a single person who has ever bought one only for the games, so I doubt those can even be counted. Still, iPhones/iPod touches are around 100 million, and I have no idea for all the tablets entering the market.

Of course, the DS and PSP have had years to reach to where they are, but I can't find a modern console that has hit 100 million units sold. If handheld gaming is dying, then so must modern console gaming. Oh wait, that is until the new generation comes out.......

I also decided to look up the definition of gamer, as a response to the person above me:

a person who plays games, especially computer or video games.

So you're saying games don't exist on handheld devices, and because of that actual gamers won't play them?

explicit_baron's picture

Is anyone here considering getting the PSV?

Razzler's picture

I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that handhelds are dying needs a bitch slap, not everyone wants to play crappy ports of flash games from around 2001 or wade through the endless shit that is the app store to find a game that has more depth than 'line up three coloured blocks' or 'toss X at Y'. Not to mention the battery life is even worse than that of the 3DS on iPhones and iPods, which is something that's a very big deal for a portable gaming device.

As for the Vita, I don't think it will see much success outside of japan, based on the fact that I don't see much running on it that can't exist on the PS3 and from what Sony have stated on the battery life, Nintendo will just laugh at their futile effort of obtaining a decent battery life and run straight to the bank with glee when they unleash the beast known only as Mario Kart in november.

John Tarr's picture

Nice writeup EB, but you didn't mention a single game for the Vita in your post. That's not your fault, but it makes a pretty big statement about what I see as the biggest hurdle for the Vita.

I haven't owned a handheld gaming system since the GBA, so why should I spend $250 on a system that has very few quality titles, when I could buy a DS and literally dozens of used games for that same price?

explicit_baron's picture

I think since you already have an iphone you don't need a PSV unless you really want the playstation exclusives and linkage to PS3. I think it's a good alternative to the iphone IF they provide what I wrote about, if not it's just a cooler looking PSP. The iphone already gets great game releases on it like FIFA and Final Fantasy so, you can't go wrong with it.

Razzler's picture

Wow, Fifa must be a complete pain to control correctly using solely a touch screen :S

MarioDragon's picture

And that's another thing, nobody likes only touchscreen controls. Nobody.

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