10th Jul 2012 4:57pm | By Editor
Playstation's PSVITA is surely the most impressive handheld games console ever built.
While it can do about a bajillion other things, music, movies etc, it's been unashamedly and rightly built with gaming in mind.
And though it can't compete in the 3D stakes with Nintendo's 3DS, that seems to me a bit like complaining that your lovely new flat hasn't come with a puppy, sure it might be nice, but after a while, there's the distinct possibility it might get pretty annoying and give you a headache.
Commentators were quick to question the release date of the Vita, to a post-Christmas West pretending to be loads less skint that they actually are, which in many ways is a shame, as it overshadows what is a substantial achievement.
Holding the Vita for the first time, I'm reminded of my very first games console, the Atari Lynx II; Vita, like the Lynx, are in one-way very similar: they are both sure to become gaming classics.
The first thing that strikes you about the Vita is its meagre weight. It sounds pedantic but at 260g the Vita isn't just comfortable for thick man-wrists, such as mine, ahem, but will be comfortable for pipe-cleaner children arms too.
It's an even more impressive feat when the size of the unit is taken into consideration: At 7.2 inches from end-to-end the Vita is the largest Sony handheld console to date.
Sony's ubiquitous controls will be familiar to anyone who has picked up a Sony controller since the late nineties.
The Vita sports the customary dual analogue sticks, a d-pad, shoulder buttons, Playstation's famous ⃞ △ ◯ ╳ buttons, start, select, PlayStation buttons, and a rear trackpad.
The Vita's 5-inch 640x960 OLED touchscreen may not be as sharp as Apple's retina display, but with a pixel density of 220ppi its still comfortably the best portable gaming console screen I've seen.
The screen isn't the only snazzy bit of hardware the Vita wields; it also has front and rear-facing 0.3 megapixel cameras and a microphone.
The bottom of the unit has a dual 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack and a memory card slot.
The top of the Vita is where to find the volume buttons, PS Vita card slot, power button, and a peripheral slot.
The organs of the beast are even more impressive, the Vita has 32-bit quad-core CPU, and 512MB RAM, in addition to a three-axis accelerometer and gyroscopes for movement-based gaming options.
Connectivity-wise the Vita has all the usual gubbings you'd expect, WiFi (natch), Bluetooth (that you'll never use), and optional 3G via micro-sim.
As for internal storage the Vita comes in 8GB and 16GB iterations.
The Vita's battery life doesn't compare favourably to the like of the iPad, although that comparison is slightly unfair, because while its five hours seem meagre in that company, they surpass the Nintendo 3DS's four(ish) hours.