Why You Should Probably Buy A PlayStation Vita

February 22, 2012

Sony is drawing a serious line in the sand with their latest portable console, the PlayStation Vita. Taking the best of the PSP and improving on it has resulted in an amazing portable device that lets you play console quality games on the go. But, with the advent of smartphones, the 3DS, and tablets, do you really need another electronic device to lug around, just to play games? Let's see…

If You Own a PlayStation 3

The Vita and your PS3 play nicely together, so much so that you can even play games across platform. Launch title Wipeout 2048 is the first game to take advantage of the feature, so you no longer need to imagine playing against your friends as they sit on their couch while you're out and about. In addition to that, transferring media and games between systems is as easy as attaching a USB cord and launching the included Content Manager software. Remote play even makes a return, allowing for you to game on your PS3 over the internet using the Vita as the remote and display.

If You Spend More Time on the Road Than on Your Couch

The Vita was created to cover the many needs of the modern gamer. In addition to gaming, the Vita also has apps for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Foursquare and more. Sure your phone has those things as well, but with the Vita, you don't have to put down your game to update them.

If You Never Game Up the Dual Analog Dream on the PSP

If you were a PSP fan, but never thought the device really achieved its full potential without a second analog stick, then the Vita is for you. There's no compromises made for controls this time around, and all those new Vita games actually use two sticks, so you can finally play an FPS just like you would at home. Also, there's a bevy of PSP titles available for download, you'll be able to have your old favorites with you no matter where you are.

Why You Might Not Need A Vita…

If You Own a Smartphone

If you're even aware that the Vita is being released, then it's pretty likely that you are tech savvy enough to own a smartphone that does a lot of the same things as the Vita. Social networks, web browsers, apps, and messaging, all fall in the intersection of the Smartphone/Vita Venn diagram. If you've ever tried to play a serious game on a smartphone then you know just how difficult the controls can be, but if you ever try to make a non-Skype phone call with a Vita, you'll quickly figure out how impossible that is.

If You Don't Like Getting Burned by Sony

The PS Vita is at the most advanced portable gaming system ever released, but it's also one of the most expensive, especially when you take into consideration the additional costs. If you cringe at supporting Sony, but bite the bullet for their gaming hardware, you'll likely balk at the idea of shelling out up to an extra $100 for a Sony Memory Card, which is required by most games to even boot up. It's more than a little off-putting to find out that there are extra expenses just to play games on the Vita.

You're a "Casual" Gamer

The Vita is a gamers' device. It packs some serious kick when it comes to games, both retail and downloadable, but they comes at a price (as much as $50). If you're looking for $.99 App Store style games, then you're looking on the wrong device. Sure, PlayStation Minis (PSP/PS3/PS Vita compatible games in the $.99 - $2.99 price range) can scratch that itch, but that isn't what the Vita was designed for. Words With Friends has got nothing on a new BioShock.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you… well most likely you and your bank account. The low-end WiFi only model will run you $250 while the high-end 3G/WiFi model will set you back $300. The Vita is the most competent piece of portable gaming hardware ever released, but it's just been born. While no one knows what Sony has in store for the device down the road, one thing is for sure, there's probably going to be some really great games released for it, and that alone might make it worth the investment.