PlayStation Vita: What's the verdict on Sony's new games console?

From the man, woman and child who walked off the street to try out the console in Sony‘s Vita Rooms in Central London to the industry experts themselves, Yahoo! presents their views:

Chris Adar, sales assistant

“I think it is a good console, a step up from the PSP, definitely. It’s
very ergonomic. It’s entertainment all round. It’s like a shrunk version
of the iPad. I could lose hours, I’ll probably miss my train stop!”

Russell Forrest, student

“It’s quite futuristic, very updated and new.”

Charlotte Sanderson, civil servant

“It’s quite girl friendly. I’m not very good with the controls so for the screen on the back, to be able to use that with your fingers, that’s quite useful for me.”

“I could be stuck in a queue and it would be fine [laughs]”

James Thompson, games reviewer

“It’s fantastic. Definitely better than PSP.”

“It’s like taking your PS3 in your pocket.”

Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer

“More than ever, this is a device that fits Sony‘s marketing slug: ‘It only does everything.’”

[Related feature: What’s the lowdown on the new PlayStation Vita?]

Scott Lowe, IGN

“Right now, the PS Vita is an amazing piece of hardware with an impressive launch line-up and software that hints toward a bright future, but until Sony addresses concerns about the price, it is destined to appeal to only a niche audience.”

Sean Buckley, Endgadget

Sony‘s new portable eclipses Nintendo’s latest on more battlefields than ever before, outclassing it not only in graphical output, but in touchscreen technology, controls and button layout, user interface design and, perhaps most importantly, game selection at launch. So is that enough for it to pull ahead of the competition? We can’t be sure.”

Matt Hill, T3

Sony has really surprised us with the PS Vita, a dedicated gaming portable at supposedly the wrong time that could be so much more…. For now, it’s just a fantastic, if pricey portable games machine, and as fantastic, pricey portable gamers, that will certainly do us.”

Sam Biddle, Gizmodo

“With both phones and laptops creeping up on the traditional turf of the computer, the Vita feels uncomfortably without a place that makes sense, falling short of either side – it’s not out-phoning your phone or out-consoling your console. It claims portents of the future, but really, the whole notion of the Vita feels strangely antique.”

Mark Walton, Gamespot

“(Sony) has completely failed to respond to where the market is going and where consumers are spending their money. It has resulted in an overpriced, gargantuan piece of hardware that – while impressive at a technical level – just incites anger at every turn.”

Now, for what our Yahoo! reviewers think

There’s no mistaking PS Vita as anything other than a pure gaming platform. As such it has arrived with a lorryload of polished software from which most gamers could select a handful of favourites. The price-point is only marginally more demanding on your wallet than an 8GB iPod yet PS Vita has so much more under the bonnet that you may as well compare prices of a Kia Cee’d with a Audi TT.

No doubt PS Vita is capable of performance in a very specific area, but there is a concern that the audience to which it most appeals is already perfectly happy with the console under the TV. Given £40+ to spend on the next ‘Call Of Duty’ or ‘FIFA’ aren’t you more likely to invest this on the platform you’ll be spending most hours of the week?

Game-obsessed business travellers and those with money to burn should lap this up. The rest of us can be content with cheap snacks on the move and banquets when we get home.

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