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CES 2012: Hands on with the Sony PlayStation Vita

Sections: CES, Gaming, Portable, Trade Shows

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Sony PlayStation VitaThe moment we walked into the Pepcom Digital Experience event I told Gadgetell Editor Robert Nelson that I was going to check out the Vita while the booth was still empty. I spent the next 30 minutes playing with the new Sony handheld system before I finally had to tear myself away from it to find other products to cover.

Picking up the Vita was surprising for two reasons: (1) despite the five-inch screen I didn’t think the device would be a big as it was and (2) it was a lot lighter than I expected it to be. It even felt lighter than the 3DS (it’s actually a few grams heavier, but the lack of the second screen makes the difference). The 5-inch screen did make the Vita pretty wide, but it was definitely a beautiful display. The OLED display really pops, and every game I played looks amazing on it.

Over the course of the 30 minutes I played Little Deviants, Super Stardust Delta, and Hot Shots Golf. Little Deviants was a great game to show off the back-touch on the Vita. The mini-game I played was essentially whack-a-mole using both the touchscreen and rear touchpad, which took some getting used to but was easy and far too addicting once I got the hang of it. Super Stardust Delta was just like the PS3 version of the game, but showed off the Sixaxis gyro in the Vita, titling the handheld would show different areas of the planet, which was a nice touch. Hot Shots Golf was a great golf game, and could easily be a game that you turn on the Vita to play for five to ten minutes then put it away.

Tearing myself away from the Vita was tough, which has to say something about how great I thought the handheld was. From just my few minutes playing with it I’d have no problem dropping the $250 for it when it comes out on February 22. For now we’ll all just have to deal with the photos I took before I tore myself away.

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