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The Ultimate Interactive Vita Buyer's Guide

Written By: E. Thomas

01/27/2012

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Basic Facts:

Media: PS Vita Card
CPU: 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
Memory: 512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM
Display: 5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, 24-bit color, 960 × 544 qHD @ 220 ppi
Graphics: 4 core SGX543MP4+
Input: Touchscreen, Rear touchpad, Sixaxis motion sensing, Three-axis electronic compass, D-pad, 12 × Buttons (4 Face Buttons, L + R Triggers, Start, Select, Home, Volume, Power), 2 × Analog sticks
Camera: Front and back VGA cameras 0.3 MP @ 60 fps/320×240 @ 120 fps
Connectivity: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Online services: PlayStation Network
Dimensions: 83.55 mm (3.289 in) (h), 182 mm (7.2 in) (w), 18.6 mm (0.73 in) (d)
Weight: Wifi:260 grams (9.2 oz), 3G: 279 grams (9.8 oz)

Cost of Entry:

The Budget Gamer: Minimum Cost of Entry

  • PlayStation Vita Wi-Fi $250
  • 4GB Memory Stick $20
  • One Game: $30

=$300 (*sales tax not included)

The Smart Shopper: Get More For Your Money

  • PlayStation Vita Wi-Fi $250
  • 8GB Memory Card $30 (*a better investment in the long run.)
  • PS Vita Starter Kit $40 (System Pouch, 4GB Memory Stick, Screen Protector, Screen Wipe, Game Case)
  • One Game: $30

=$350 (*sales tax not included)

The High Roller: Money Is No Object

  • PlayStation Vita Early Bundle Wi-Fi + 3G $350
  • 32GB Memory Stick $100
  • PS Vita Crade $20
  • PS Vita Headphones $20
  • PS Vita Car Adapter $18
  • PS Vita Portable Charger $50
  • One Game $30

=$588 (*sales tax not included)

BONUS: Let's say that you are a real high roller and you want to go beyond the "cost of entry" and buy all 24 Vita launch games. Well that will cost you another $860. (not including sales tax and the cost of "Little Deviants" which comes with the 1st Edition bundle.)

FAQs:

Q: Is the Vita region free?

A: Yes. Games and memory cards are all region free. 

Q: Is the UMD Trade In program coming to America or the EU?

A: No. For now that program is only limited to Japan. 

Q: Can I get a discount if I purchase Vita games through the PSN Store?

A: Yes. There will be a discount on digital games. Of course you will need a bigger memory card if you plan to purchase all your games online.

Q: Can I play PSP games on PS Vita?

A: Obviously the PS Vita does not support the UMD format. However, we do know that PSP games will be made available for download, along with many games from the PlayStation Network.

Q: Will the Vita's dual analog sticks work with PSP games?

A: It depends on the game. So far we have seen video showing a demo of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker using the Vita analog sticks. [VIDEO] We imagine more titles will follow, especially titles made available over the PSN network.

Q: Can I play Angry Birds on PS Vita? (editor's note: youtube viewers constantly ask us this question.)

A: Short answer is Yes. Now we must say there is no official word on a PS Vita version, but the title is already available on the PSN network, and can be played on both PSP and PlayStation 3. Its a safe bet to assume it will eventually be available for play on the PlayStation Vita.

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What's In The Box?

  • PlayStation Vita System (Wi-Fi Only or Wi-Fi+3G)
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • SIM Card (3G Model Only)
  • Printed Materials

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PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle

  • Available One Week Early
  • 3G+Wifi PS Vita System
  • Little Deviants Game
  • 4GB Memory Card
  • Limited Edition Case
  • SIM Card
  • USB Cable
  • AC Adapter
  • Printed Materials

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The Importance of Control:

The single most important factor in any gaming device is control. This is where the Vita truly shines. The d-pad on the PS Vita is amazing. It's the best d-ad in PlayStation history. The Vita Analog Sticks are a miracle in portable gaming. They are positioned well on the face of the device, comfortable to use, and provide a high degree of control.  

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Size Matters:

They say bigger is better, and in the case of the PS Vita, they're right. The Vita has an amazing 5" OLED screen that puts the display on other systems to shame. You also get dual analog sticks and a system with a truly comfortable, ergonomic design.

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PlayStation Vita Launch Games

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[BOX ART GALLERY]

1st Party Launch Games:

Gravity Rush [VIDEO]
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational [VIDEO]
Little Deviants [VIDEO]
ModNation Racers: Road Trip [VIDEO]
Reality Fighters [VIDEO]
Uncharted: Golden Abyss [VIDEO]
wipeEout 2048 [VIDEO]

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3rd Party Launch Games:

Army Corps (Square Enix) [VIDEO]
Asphalt: Injection (Ubisoft) [VIDEO]
Ben 10: Galactic Racing (D3) [VIDEO]
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend (Aksys) [VIDEO]
Dungeon Hunter Alliance (Ubisoft) [VIDEO]
Dynasty Warriors Next (Tecmo Koei) [VIDEO]
F1 2011 (Codemasters) [VIDEO]
FIFA Soccer (EA Sports) [VIDEO]
Lumines Electronic Symphony (Ubisoft) [VIDEO]
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus (Tecmo) [VIDEO]
Michael Jackson: The Experience (Ubisoft) [VIDEO]
Rayman Origins (Ubisoft) [VIDEO]
Ridge Racer (Namco Bandai) [VIDEO]
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen (Namco Bandai) [VIDEO]
Touch My Katamari (Namco Bandai) [VIDEO]
Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 (Capcom) [VIDEO]
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition (Sega) [VIDEO]

PSN Only Launch Games:

Escape Plan (SCEA) [VIDEO]
Hustle Kings (SCEA) [VIDEO]
Mutant Blobs Attack (Drinkbox Studios) [VIDEO]
Plants Vs Zombies (SOE) [VIDEO]
StarDrone Exteme (Beatshapers) [VIDEO]
Super Star Dust Portable (SCEA) [VIDEO]
Top Darts (XDev) [VIDEO]

Japanese Import Games:

AR Combat DigiQ (Konami) [VIDEO]
Lord of Apocalypse (Acess Games) [VIDEO]
Mahjong Fight Club (Konami) [VIDEO]
Monster Radar (SCEJ) [VIDEO]
Ragnarok Odyssey (Game Arts) [VIDEO]
Tales of Innocence R (Alfa Systems) [VIDEO]

PlayStation Vita Accessories

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PlayStation Vita Memory Cards:

4 GB Memory Card $19.99
8 GB Memory Card $29.99
16 GB Memory Card $59.99
32 GB Memory Card $99.99

*Wondering what size memory card to buy? Just check out our handy game install size chart posted below. And don't forget, many games will have their own DLC, so you might want to factor that in your decision. There will also be demos, apps, and other content. So choose wisely!

**Special thanks to /v/, neoGAF, and GameFAQs users for helping compile this list. If you helped contribute to this list, please visit our contact page and we'll send you a 'token' of our appreciation.

Vita Game Chart:

AR Combat DigiQ
Army Corps
Asphalt Injection
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention
Dream Club Zero
Dungeon Hunter
Dynasty Warriors VS
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
F1 Racing
Kyoukugen Dasshutsu: Zennin Shiboudesu
Little Deviants
Lord of Apocalypse
Michael Jackson: The Experience 
Minna to Issho
Mojohng Fight Club
Monster Radar
Ridge Racer 
Shinobido 2
Touch my Katamari
Twitter App
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Uncharted: Golden Abyss 
Virtua Tennis 4 

Install Size:

220 MB
598 MB
724 MB
3180 MB
1699 MB
2835 MB
1057 MB
1485 MB
1100 MB
1435 MB
693 MB
869 MB
1427 MB
1225 MB
168 MB
793 MB
1640 MB
561 MB
1057 MB
744 MB
5760 KB
1350 MB
2777 MB
1241 MB

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PlayStation Vita Starter Kit:

Price: $39.99
Manufacturer: Sony

  • Pocket Pouch Carry Case
  • 4GB Memory Card
  • Screen Protective Film
  • Game Card Case
  • Headphones
  • Cleaning Cloth

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PlayStation Vita In-Ear Headset:

Price: $19.99
Manufacturer: Sony

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PlayStation Vita Cradle:

Price: $19.99
Manufacturer: Sony

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PlayStation Vita Game Case:

Price: $7.99
Manufacturer: Sony
*Holds Up to 5 Games

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PlayStation Vita Screen Protector:

Price: $12.99
Manufacturer: Sony

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PlayStation Vita Car Adapter:

Price: $17.99
Manufacturer: Sony

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PlayStation Portable Charger:

Price: $49.99
Manufacturer: Sony

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PlayStation Vita Assist Grip:

Price: $17.99
Manufacturer: Datel

PSP Game Compatibility List:

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Our friends on the Official PlayStation Blog have created THIS LIST of PSP games that are compatible with the PS Vita. However, the eagle eyed folks over at the neoGAF community have added the games you see below. Special thanks to everyone who helped contribute to this important list.

Ape Escape on the Loose
Burnout Legends
Capcom Classic Collection: Reloaded
Capcom Classic Collection: Remixed
Capcom Puzzle World
Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles
Crush
Field Commander
Gradius Collection
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Gran Turismo
Hammerin' Hero
Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee
Jeanne d'Arc
Killzone Liberation
Kururin Fusion
LittleBigPlanet
LocoRoco: Midnight Carnival
Locoroco 2
Mercury Meltdown
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Patchwork Heroes
Persuit Force
PQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient
Puzzle Quest
R-Type Command
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Rock Band Unplugged
Sega Genesis Collection
Silent Hill: Origins
Sonic Rivals
Sonic Rivals 2
Valkyria Chronicles II
Wipeout Pulse
Ys I & II Chronicles

PSP Games: Better on Vita:

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*The Vita has a special filtering option for original PSP games. Here we see an example of this amazing feature. As you can clearly see, PSP games simply look better on PlayStation Vita.

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PlayStation Vita Apps:

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The Friends App allows you to connect with other PS Vita owners, whether they are nearby or around the world. Check your status or the status of your friends. View the profiles of your friends, view their activity and leave messages on their profile.

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The Messaging App lets you exchange messages with your friends and other users on the PSN Network. Send invites as well as sending messages from your Vita to a PlayStation 3 console.

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The Music App gives you access to all your music. This app also supports music playlists. The PS Vita supports mp3, AAC, and WAV files.

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Near is a unique app that helps you find PS Vita owners in your area. Share gameplay data and see what your fellow Vita owners are playing on their systems. This app even allows you to exchange and share in-game items.

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The Photo App allows you to take photos and videos with your PS Vita camera. Share your photos with your friends and view your Vita photo collection. The photo app supports JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, and TIFF images. The front camera of the PS Vita can record video at 120fps (320x240 Resolution). Still images have a resolution of 640x480.

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Remote Play allows gives you access and control of your PlayStation 3 console. Use your Vita as a super powered PS3 controller! 

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The Trophies App lets you view your trophy collection. You can also compare trophies with your friends.

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The Video App lets you watch all your MPEG-4 format videos. This also includes videos you have transferred to your system and videos you have downloaded from the PSN Store. 

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The PSN Store App lets Vita users purchase full games, demos, videos and more all from the PSN Store. Full Vita games will be available for purchase with a 10% discount off the retail price!

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The Web Browser lets you visit all your favorite web sites.

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The Welcome Park is a great way to get to know all the new features of your PS Vita.

Vita Social Apps:

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Social networking is an important part of the PlayStation Vita. The Vita will help gamers connect and share with apps like Facebook, Flickr, Four Square, and Twitter.

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Make Free Phone Calls on Vita:

The Skype App turns your PlayStation Vita into a phone. Make free phone calls to any other Skype user, around the world. A free Skype account is required to use this feature.

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Netflix on PS Vita:

The Netflix App lets you watch all your favorite videos on the go. A Netflix subscription is required for use. 

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Google Maps on Vita:

Never get lost again with the Google Maps App.

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Cloud Based Apps:

Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited and PlayMemories Online are three cloud based media sharing apps provided by Sony. The first two focus on music and videos, and PlayMemories is a photo sharing app.  

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Attack of the Clones!!

The anticipation for the PS Vita is so great that unscrupulous Chinese manufacturers are already cashing in on the craze. During the reign of the PSP, the Chinese market was flooded with PSP clones. Now one company has created a device called the Yinlips G18 (top), which as you can see is clearly inspired by the design of the PS Vita. Not to be outdone, another company has created a similar device that looks even more like the PS Vita. This one even has dual analog sticks. Of course these shoddy clones don't come close to the quality of the PS Vita. But it just goes to show, imitation truly is the most sincere form of flattery!