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Feb 26 2012
By: xccezz First Son 13 posts
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Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

60 replies 4753 views Edited Feb 26, 2012

Just got the PS Vita, there's a lot of good and bad things about it. So before you buy Check out my Review of the Pros and Cons about it:

PSV Review (WiFi):

Rough Draft Copy, just to jot some points down. It will be organized and revised later. 
Also, please keep in mind, this is a forum post, so formatting options are limited.

Currently, it's mostly about Vita Pros and Cons. This is not a game experience review

Pros:
- Great HW quality, solid feeling dual joy-sticks, better than its predecessor

- Quality screen OLED 5” 960x544 (I think OLED has become common place going forward since 2011, where the prices of OLED have fallen enough to be affordable on sub ~5” screens.)


- Responsive touch screen (Capacitive) (Popularized by the iPhone, Capacitive touch screens have become common place for brand name devices for the past 2-3 years)

- Responsive Gaming action: No lag felt during game play in all games including Wipeout, StarDust Delta.
Comment: (it’s the least you can expect from a custom tailored Software (game) and Hardware solution. This is in contrast to generic solutions like Windows and Android systems where hardware resources available on any given device are unknown to the Software developer)


- Lots of hardware controls (Gyro, Accel, and your regular HW buttons)

- Light Weight  -  easy to hold for extend periods of time (on the flip side, this could mean small battery, and explain the 3-5 hr battery life, since the battery is almost always the most physically dense thus heavy component of a system)

- Loud enough speaker (when not covered by finger)

-CONs:

- Hardware: The SGX543 GPU is from 2009 (probably reasonable for a $250 device)

- Hardware: No GPS (probably reasonable for a $250 device)


- Packaging: Typical Sony package, bare essentials, no free bonuses like cheap sleeve common with other manufacturers

- Hardware: Backtouch screen is not 1:1 with the front.  Due to the Sony sticker offsetting the back touch screen by a couple millimeters up, it is smaller than the front touch screen.  So when you compare by touching the front and back touch screen together with your fingers clamped to approx the same place, you’ll notice the back touch is offset by a few millimeters above the front touch screen. This means the backtouch is not exactly intuitive when used in reference to what you see in the front.  For example, in Escape Plan, this can lead to a lot of unintended deaths by touching the wrong levers.

- Game: Wipeout: In Wipeout control mode, moving right finger, to access X, O, etc at many times accidentally hits the right d-pad up, reversing the ship unexpectedly,  This means the Right D-PAD to a little too close to the action buttons.

- OS: BUG: instability on OS screens, ie: settings, power down

- OS: BUG: Poor automatic WiFi Access Point selection. Vita will automatically erroneously pick the access point with worse signal.  This means, if you have more than 1 AP in your house or office by the same SSID, the PSV will frequently pick the one further away with a weaker signal causing disconnects.  The WiFi standard mandates the device to connect to the AP with the strongest signal with the same SSID, not the weakest. 

- Hardware: speaker placement, causes sound to go in and out every time the finger moves to hit different buttons, inadvertently covering the speaker. Many recommend bottom placement of the speaker to avoid accidental covering

- OS: BUG: Bluetooth Stereo a2dp doesn’t reconnect upon device resume
----- poor game sound quality when Party voice is enabled
------have to manually reconnect to Stereo Bluetooth headphones every time you resume / turn on the screen after a timeout (this is not the correct behavior by Bluetooth Standards)


- OS: Interface: interface is very touch dependent. This was the same as Sony’s other newly converted touch devices, they tend to abandon all hardware button controls and force touch screen navigation as if the developers got too carried away by its discovery one day. There are many GUI instances where HW buttons still make more sense even in the presence of a touch screen. For example, when there is only 1 button available to press (ie: ok) that should be equally accessible by our familiar X button, practically speaking it’s silly to completely abandon the HW interface. Lazy interface programming

- OS: Interface: Double tapping apps. In all apps/games, to access them, you first have to click on the icon on the app drawer, and then again click on the start button of the program to start the program.. I understand that some gaming information (ie: website, addons) is put in front but given the rarity of usage, couldn’t they be put into the main game screen? Other apps such as settings, friends, party, where there isn’t any other options on the front screen, what is the point in forcing the user to double tap?  This multi-step inconvenience caused many mobile OS their dominance in the mobile market.  But currently, Sony has no competition in this niche.

- OS: Integration: Party, group apps, Friends, trophies, I’m still confused as to which app to launch for what purpose. These separate programs could have been integrated into one social app, where you can see your friends, select them to text or group chat or trophies.

This gated unintegrated experience forces a lot of guesswork and wasted load times between related apps that otherwise should have been an easy all-in-one integrated experience like other mobile social apps.


- OS: Interface: Lack of quick program switch. By not allowing the top bar swipe gesture to pull down the list of open apps was a missed opportunity for quick app switch and WiFi on/off switching. There is currently a list of icons of currently running programs, but the icons have no interaction.  The PSV seems to force the Playstation button on users to switch out of apps. Unfortunately, Sony is forcing the touch screen when it makes sense to allow HW buttons and forcing HW buttons, when it makes more sense to use the touch screen.

- OS: Interface: Cut and Paste: Again it seems pretty inconvenient whenever you want to move type something you’ve painstakingly typed on the touch keyboard to a different location, there is no way to do it. You are forced to retype what is already in front of you again. I would have accepted it even if the Copy clipboard was confined to pasting from the same program. For example, if you just see a non hyperlinked URL on the webpage that you’d want to go to in the browser, you’d literally have to manually type it in the address bar yourself. Or in the chat program if you want to refer to some text previously typed by copying the quote, again, you’d have to retype the whole passage manually. This might not be as big of an issue with an HW keyboard but when the device is dependent on a small touch screen keyboard, you’d want to make every effort to minimize any unnecessary typing.
By the year 2012, I would have expected Copy and Paste to be the most basic function across all text enabled devices.

- OS: Interface: Text cursor: The Text cursor is not movable by d-pad.  This forces touch access on users that want to move the text cursor from one part of the passage to another. Also there is no text cursor handle like on Android and iPhone that allows easy cursor movement between characters. By the year 2012, I would have expected cursor control to have become a basic best practice across all touch enabled devices that have text cursors. (edit: cursor control is actually hidden, you have to press and hold the cursor for a second and the text field will magnify allowing you to drag and move the cursor back and forth. So this is good, but if only it wasn’t hidden to be found by accident.)

- Browser:
----------Double tap zoom is broken on many sites
----------No copy and paste
----------poor compatibility, even simple javascripts that are necessary to open certain webpages properly don’t work, for example I was unable to load the flyer from a simple futureshop webpage at all.   Can not scroll down in GMAIL.

- OS: Interface: App Management:
There seems no way to organize the apps into folders. For example, Action games into one folder, puzzle games into other. On my android OS, I have 50 programs and games, none for which would be manageable if they were all just together in the app drawer. Thankfully with folders on the home screen, I was able to categorize them into their respective folders by functionality.

- OS: BUG:
Flight mode: with flight mode enabled, if you grant an app request for WiFi connection, the WiFi turns on, and the game proceeds. But BOTH the flight mode and WiFi icon remains active on the top bar even when the app has been closed. It appears the apps have no way of telling the OS what its done with the WiFi or that the OS should return the WiFi to its original state. In fact, after checking the Network settings, OS indicates flight mode is still enabled even though WiFi is also active. The redeeming factor is that upon closing the app, the WiFi icon does disappear (sometimes). But upon subsequent launch of the app, it no longer requests to enable the WiFi, it just does it automatically. The proper behavior should have been to ALWAYS ask for permission when Flight Mode is enabled, this could have serious implications for hospital settings where the WiFi gets inadvertently enabled without the user’s notice and permission. This is fairly poor hardware handling by the software

- OS: Functionality: Multitasking: The browser can not run without first closing the game. This means it's pretty hard to quickly reference for Walk-Throughs or cheat codes while you're playing a game without either first quitting or having a second device handy. It's completely understandable if games won't multi-task amongst other games. But when even the web browser doesn't multi-task, there is essentially no multi-tasking, besides on built-in programs like Party, that needs it to be on for the Party Voice to work in game.


-OS: Functionality: Throttling: Forced WiFi and Brightness Throttling: - in some games like Wipeout / Little Deviants / Uncharted, the system enforces brightness throttling to 80% or forcefully turns off the WiFi.  The user is unable to modify these settings during the game.  This means for example, when you are playing somewhere close to a window, let alone outside, it is hard to see all the track paths clearly in WipeOut. 

(PROOF: DURING WipeOut race, HOLD the PS Button until the settings menu pops up, and see the brightness slider stuck at 80%)

Wipeout has the Brightness problem http://community.eu....s/td-p/15196217

Uncharted has the WiFi problem http://www.community...i/td-p/15199029

If battery runtime is a concern, then Sony should have allowed the settings to be changed after informing the user with a text warning.

-Reviewer:
Last mobile console: NDS, last played 1 year ago, causal player of mobile games. Occasional PC gamer who enjoys some causal tablet gaming when bored.

Owned Sony devices:
Cameras: DSC-T9
Laptops: Vaio P
e-Readers: PRS-505, PRS-650, PRS-950
Gaming: PS2, PSV

Comments:  This review concurs with a lot of the concerns other users have listed in various forums and reputable reviews.  Feel free to disagree with it.  But if you do post your disagreement, please state the point you are disagreeing with and your own counteracting proof.

Also, please keep in mind, this is a forum post, so formatting options are limited.

Please be considerate. Just because you don't mind the problem does not diminish the significance of it for the general public.

Before you reply, remember of the story of the mice and the snake in the cage?

5 little mice in the cage with a snake. First the snake came for my brother, but it wasn't me, so I did nothing cuz it wasn't me, then it came for my sister, and I did nothing cuz it wasn't me, then came for my mother and I did nothing cuz it wasn't me, then came for my father and I did nothing cuz it wasn't me, then it came for me, and no one was left to save me.

The purpose of this review is to spread awareness so that more people can be in the know.  There is power in numbers.  With enough power, we will motivate improvements from Sony.

Thanks for reading this review

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Monster Hunter
Registered: 02/16/2012
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

1.The SGX543MP4+ @200MHz,Max 400MHz(QUAD config) in Vita, is a GPU; imagination doesn't make CPUs

2.CPU are A9(Quad config), capable of upto 2GHz max

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

Jeesh bro u really crapped all over the vita I guessing ur not a fan?

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First Son
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

am I a fan?  I like some of the games, others not so much.   But speaking strictly of the Vita System by itself, there are a lot of issues to say the least.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

Well that's ur opinion I'm sure there a lot of people that are perfectly happy with what the vita does and is capable of, I'm one of those happy consumers but hey everybody is entitled to their own review.. And u had good details u def put time into it

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Gaming Beast
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

A lot of issues? never had any of the ones you did......... Wifi works flawlessly as did the controls, its getting great reviews, I don't put much credibility into this post.

Yes there are issues and improvements, but tis hardly as bad as chicken little here makes it sound.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

Yeh I haven't had one issue yet either...... Wait I did have to return my first one but my new one works flawlessly.. And I don't live in a mansion or an apt building so I only have one access point for wifi

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First Son
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

@Bricklayer, I'm happy you are enjoying your Vita, but I'm curious,

Out of the dozens there which issue have you not had?

Does your Vita do copy and paste? Brightness throttling? Multitasking? Browser compatibility? Does your A2DP bluetooth headset automatically reconnect?  Can it create folders for categorization?

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

Yeh the name calling is not needed but I think some of ur cons are more or less things that wouldn't nessecarily bother everybody like the interface being completely touch doesn't bother me at all.. I mean I'm typing on an iPad right now

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First Son
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Re: Playstation PS Vita Review (Pros and Cons)

Feb 24, 2012

how many access points do you have?

I have two access points with the same SSID, one at either ends of my house, I can garranty that if you had two access points, you Vita would frequently connect to the one thats farther away. 

And what do you mean, by "hardly as bad"? 

Are you claiming 10% of those points are untrue?

Are you claiming 30% of those points are untrue?

Are you claiming 50% of those points are untrue?

Are you claiming 70% of those points are untrue?

Are you claiming 90% of those points are untrue?

If so, then counter them, point by point.

It sounds like someone stepped on your tail, it's too bad you can't accept facts with balance view points and feel offended enough to defend a commercial product by resorting to ad hominems like someone forcefully slept with your mom.

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