Hardware Review: PlayStation Vita Console

AR Games

There’s also three free games to download from the PlayStation Store to use with your AR cards that came from your machine box. These are Cliff Diving, Fireworks and Table Football and are all pretty obvious what they are. Using the AR cards the action is based in the area which you viewing through the Vita’s rear camera. They use either the touch screen, or buttons and are fun little diversions, if a bit insubstantial. But then again… they’re free! Reviews of all three will no doubt make an appearance on the site in due course.

Discovery Apps & Games

Further to the limited fun to be had with Welcome Park, Sony have also made a series of other “discovery app” games available, all for free. The first one made available to those who pre-ordered their machine was Frobisher Says! A kind of updated Simon Says, that also gets you used to the Vita machine, again it’s worth a play, and there is a full review elsewhere on the site.

Paint Park is a very basic little paint program where you can paint alone or with others in a shared room, but a play with this makes me want Deluxe Paint back! Treasure Park on the other hand is a cross between a game of Battleships and Long John Silver’s treasure map…

Using the 3G Vita’s GPS, t@g basically allows you to virtually tag your surroundings with spray paint, for other t@g users to find, while Ecolibrium allows you to create a new Ecosystem on a new planet from scratch.

Travel Bug encourages you to create a little insect character you then send off on his merry travels running into other users and giving them a message from you. The newest addition is Imaginstruments, a fun little music making tool, but kinda makes me want ProTracker on the system!

A nice array of free downloads to get you started with the machine once you have it online. In fact you can get a little preview in the official trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7HjbY7ocA

Pre-Vita Compatibility

Sony have made a large number of games for the Vita’s predecessor available as downloads from the PlayStation Store, all of which can be used on the Vita. This is a massive library well into three figures of titles, many of which were overlooked on the PSP, including some of the more innovative titles such as Invizimals and classics such as Final Fantasy I – IV. I must admit to sneaking in a little Split Second from time to time! It is worth noting that of the titles I have tried out, I have yet to have a single issue, but it may be worth checking Vita Player reviews as time goes on.

Pinball Fantasies PSP Mini 02

There is also a plethora of “minis” (formerly known as PSP minis) to enjoy that not only work on the PSP but also the PS3 (in fact only Tetris from EA isn’t functional on PS3 and Vita, as far as I know, as it has been locked due to rights issues). (At present, no Electronic Arts titles have been made available from their back catalogue on any format for the PS Vita – Ed) Minis are literally that, small titles that don’t take up more than a couple of hundred megabytes at the most and my favourites include the Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies ports from the Amiga (and the graphics are more AGA than original Amiga) and A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks which is a laugh. There are absolutely loads of them to check out with prices usually around £2-4.

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