Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sony PlayStation Vita vs. PS3, a game of two eras

Having had a PS Vita since day one, my recent decision to snap up a PS3 to take advantage of all the free PlayStation Plus titles on offer is going pretty well. But having devolved (as it were) in system terms, I can see pretty clearly where the Vita is a big step up on the PS3.

The most obvious point is that in no way is the world ready for a digital-only console market. You can just about do it on the Vita with three-or-four gigabyte games, but downloading 15GB+ of a title, then a bunch of patches means you can not actually do any gaming for much of your day (And I have 30mbit broadband, typically 15mbits). Now we know why the PS4 is sticking with a BD drive. The Vita is also better and slicker at downloading and integrating games and patches. I'm still stunned at how old-hat it feels on the PS3 and surprised Sony hasn't updated things.

The crossbar memory system looks antiquated when you load up on digital games, and are used to happy pages full of round icons for apps and games on the Vita. I'd hope the PlayStation 4 has a more open look to its front end, given the typical gamer could have game collections in the hundreds.

The PS2 line up is rubbish. I love the PS1 and other retro-gaming opportunities on my Vita and thought the PS3 would have a decent line-up of PS2 titles to play by now, many of which I missed due to hectic work commitments during much of the PS2 era. Nope, all I see is wave after wave of Disney crud and obscure titles. If Sony brings this rubbish to Gaikai, that service could sink faster than Sony's stock price.

In retrospect, Sony learnt a hell of a lot from the mobile industry and did pretty well putting that knowledge into the Vita, without copying those styles verbatim. It leaves the PS3 looking like a rigid, frigid, cold-hearted brick of a machine. What that means for the PS4, I guess it'll act a lot more like the Vita than the PS3.

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