Despite how it may sound, PlayStation Vita is not Sony's foray into the multivitamin market. Are you as disappoint as I? My current multivitamin always makes me feel nauseas, I was looking forward to a powerful and perhaps poorly designed supplement to give my body what it needs. Instead, we get an incredibly powerful handheld device with heavy developer support and a bevy of very cool control options, priced fairly to boot. Bah!
Info on PlayStation's newest portable beast has been readily available for some time, but seeing it all come together during last night's PlayStation press conference was a heart warming moment. Okay, maybe not, but it was pretty neat. Aside from the games looking absolutely magnificent graphically, the press conference did very well to flaunt the new device's myriad of controls. Dual analogs, directional pad, SixAxis, touch screen, and back facing touch pad. Overkill? Maybe a little, as so many control options seem a little repetitive, but they're implemented so damn well!
For instance, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which may look better than big brother PS3's Uncharted 2, but I digress. You can use the typical control of analog, directional, and face buttons to handle shootouts and platforming. Perfectly LAST GEN! Get with the new school, bitches. When platforming, touch the screen where you want to jump, or slide your finger across a path of surfaces and have a drink of water as Drake handles business and platforms for you. It's a new world of gaming!
Platforming-shatforming, how can you use these controls in new and innovative ways? Mod Nation Racers Vita illustrates this perfectly. Drag your finger across the touch screen to draw your own track, tap the screen to dig depressions for lakes, tap on the back-facing touch pad to sprout mountain ranges, and use SixAxis to create track tilts and such. These are just some of the clever ideas developers can implement when getting busy with PlayStation Vita.
More impressive than controls though, is the ability to go back and forth between the PlayStation Vita and your PlayStation 3. Ruin appears to be a 3/4 dungeon crawling lootfest in the vein of Diablo, which is what it is. It looks cool, but honestly, I'd rather play Diablo. What makes Ruin stand out is the fact that you can switch between PS3 and PSV seamlessly, and pick up where you left off. So if you're locked in an intense session of Ruin before a roadtrip to Grandma's house, grab your PSV and continue where you stopped on your PS3. Play to your heart's content, and when you get back home, load up your PS3 with every-damn-thing you accomplished on your handheld reflected on your home console. While Diablo is busy staying a while to listen, Ruin and PSV will be kicking ass on the go.
The handheld will be priced at a very reasonable $249 if you don't need 3G service. And if you absolutely must have 3G, you'll pay $299 and suffer through the terrible service of AT&T, PlayStation Vita's official 3G partner, an announcement which was met by a hearty chorus of groans from the E3 crowd. Smart people, them.
With an impressive list of developers already on board, PS Vita is trying to prove handheld gaming is still worth a lick, even if your name isn't iOS or Android. To be honest, I don't know if I can be bothered with adding yet another device to my ever-growing man-purse o' technology, but it's hard to argue with Vita's potential. It is, however, easy to argue that supplementastic name.