Sony have sucked the Vita out of me…

Very much unlike Jeremy Kyle, really.

The Tokyo Gaming Show occurred last week and with it came even more news about the Playstation Vita. I’ll say it now; like the unemployed to Jeremy Kyle, I got sucked in by the Vita hype when I first heard about it – portable PS3 quality graphics, some core apps to challenge the current competition and a very impressive looking roster of games.

This, combined with some very good feedback from the gaming world was sweeping me away on a very stupidly named train (but still not as stupid sounding as the Wii-U).

The Sony presentation started well, giving us some nice announcements of HD PS2 remakes of Final Fantasy X and the Metal Gear Solid collection coming to the Vita, followed by the Japanese launch line-up of 26 games. Impressive. Then, like a shit in a cake factory, Sony dropped the trapdoor on and hit us with some not so sleek and attractive news.

Firstly, the battery life. While I could hope and dream for a mobile phone-esque duration, we knew it would be nearer the 3DS end of things. And as it turns out at 3-5 hours it’s spot on that. Compared to the 3DS, it’s a slight winner as you can do more with the Vita, but that’s like saying that one member of Jersey Shore is less annoying than the rest; at the end of the day, the battery life is lousy.

The resemblance is uncanny

Also, as we know, the price for the machine is £249 which is at the high end of reasonable already and as Nintendo found out, this can be unworkable with drastic loss-making price reductions following. However, I thought the Vita could have handled the price tag with all it’s gadgets, gizmos and games. Not any more though; for it seems while you can get 8GB USB sticks for little under £10 and a PS3 with a 160GB hard drive for £180, Sony have decided to include no storage on the console.

Instead they’re going down the PSP route and having memory sticks. But if you thought you’d be able to use an old PSP memory stick you’d be out of luck. The Vita will have another new propriety format that nothing else uses and the cheapest of these, a 4GB card will set you back around £20 (¥2200).

This picture costs £10 shy of a Vita. Depressing.

£20 for 4GB. That’s pitiful by anyone’s standards, especially considering how big game downloads can be (for example, Modnation PSP is 1.7GBs). The biggest size is only 32GB and that’s going to cost closer to £80 (¥9500). This is obviously where Sony are intending to make their money back and quite frankly it stinks. Even the 3DS came with a free (albeit small) memory card but the Vita isn’t even doing that. Prices may change for territories outside Japan, but considering the pricing so far, Europe and especially the UK looks set to hit the hardest.

It’s a basic money-grabbing stunt, and I feel cheated. Cheated because the console shows so much promise; handheld Uncharted looks fantastic, while games like Sound Shapes, Little Deviants and Escape Plan make me think the system can be innovative and do very well. But without decent storage solutions, I don’t think it’ll be able to compete properly. I hope I’m wrong but I’m definitely not going to be a day 1 adopter any more – I need to wait and see.


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