The PlayStation Vita was officially released today. If you have been wondering what this handheld is all about, you can expect a great deal from Sony this time around. In fact, Sony has added a lot to the Vita that might make this handheld a lot more appealing to consumers than other handheld gaming devices on the current market. Only, one has to wonder: has Sony added enough features to the Vita to keep handhelds from dying out?
What To Expect From the PS Vita
The PS Vita now comes with its own app store, 3G connectivity, and lots of great gaming controls. Since the Vita has a large and colorful screen that was built for gaming, looing at videos or watching videos on the Vita is really quite mesmerizing. If you want a handheld gaming system that doubles as a tablet (almost), the Vita might be worth the $249. Then again, there are some very good reasons why the Vita is not a tablet. Quite simply, the Vita doesn’t have web browser, which, obviously, makes it impossible to use the Vita as a browsing tool. So, even though Sony has tried in every manner to make the Vita appealing to non-gamers and gamers alike, I’m not sure that the company will succeed.
Is the Death of Handhelds Near?
Judging from Nintendo’s recent DS sales, it seems as though the world is turning away from handheld gaming systems. Really, disregarding handheld systems makes a lot of sense given the fact that gaming on tablets and smartphones is an adequate way (if not better way) to play games of the handheld sort. This puts companies like Sony in a bit of a fix. While Sony wants to produce a device that is meant for handheld gaming (the Vita), the fact of the matter is that Sony must compete with tablets, apps, app stores, and smartphones if the company wants to attract any kind of current consumer.
Thus, the result of such pressure is an app store created by Sony for the Vita (a new addition to the Vita that now includes apps similar to those offered via Android and iPhone), and other features that push the Vita closer to a tablet or smartphone. Will this be enough to keep consumers who are seeking a tablet interested? Seemingly no; most consumers who want a tablet will just buy a tablet and not mess around with the Vita. Some would suggest that Sony stick to handheld gaming systems and not try to turn the Vita into a tablet, but, then again, this would be a losing battle for Sony – a company that’s now stuck in a tough situation.
Don’t Disregard the Vita
If you are, in fact, looking for a handheld gaming system, the Vita is certainly a good option. This handheld has beautiful imagery, is fun to play with, comes with Sony’s new app store, and is priced reasonably (though I have to wonder if that price will drop in a few months). Also, keep in mind that the Vita did very well in Japan when it was first introduced. To check out the Vita for yourself, head to your local electronics store today.