PS Vita 2: What the PS Vita is missing
22nd Feb 2012 | 11:50
Sony's handset of the distant future speculated
Sony's PS Vita has finally touched down in the UK, and it's everything we could have hoped for: an AMOLED touchscreen, proper analogue sticks, a blisteringly fast processor and a plenty of games at launch.
So, with the PlayStation Vita the subject of scrutiny for every tech blog and gadget site on the planet, it's time for T3's gaming boffins to look to the future, assemble round the font of knowledge (it's a coffee machine) and scry for information on the next iteration of Sony's Vita. What can be improved? What was missed altogether? We invite you on a wonderful journey of expert analysis and wild speculation. Strap in.
1. PlayStation Vita 2: True PlayStation 3 graphics
Make no mistake, everything we've seen played on the PlayStation Vita has been just gorgeous, but there's one word that's been cropping up on tech blogs from here to Los Angeles: "comparable". As in, "comparable to the PlayStation 3". With the next PS Vita, we'd want true, PS3 quality graphics. And there's plenty of time to do it in - the wisdom bouncing around the interweb is that the current console generation (meaning the PS3 and Xbox 360) is supposed to last a decade, which means no new consoles until around 2015. That's ample time to get all that graphical oomph condensed into the PS Vita's portly shell. Maybe they could even trim it down a bit, although we'd hate to sound greedy.
2. Playstation Vita 2: 3D
There's a strong opposition amongst gaming's hardcore to bringing 3D to gaming for the sake of it, and the Nintendo 3DS (the PS Vita's only real competitor) has been learning some hard lessons with what could at best be described as a lukewarm response to its parallax 3D technology. However, Sony has been pushing 3D gaming on its PlayStation for a while now, with games like Resident Evil 5 and Call of Duty: Black Ops getting the third dimensional treatment. Furthermore, Sony announced last year a 3D gaming package to try and snag new converts which includes a 3D telly, Resistance 3 and a pair of active shutter specs for a very reasonable $499 (£304). Depending on which way the 3D pendulum swings in the next year or so, a 3D option on the Vita 2 could be industry standard by the time it rolls around.
3. PS Vita 2: HD playback
The PS Vita has a screen with double the resolution of the PSP, but it's still not quite true HD. And yet, gadgets like the Samsung Galaxy S2 are capable of not just 720p, but full 1080p playback on their own AMOLED screens. With that 5-inch touchscreen (also bigger than mobiles that churn out HD video) and WiFi connectivity, the Vita sounds perfectly geared towards watching streaming TV and trailers - we're just after that slight resolution bump to get it spot on.
4. PS Vita 2: Internal storage
For all its graphical and hardware prowess, we were disappolinted to discover that the Vita lacked internal memory, leaving gamers heavily reliant on some of the smallest memory cards we've ever seen. We'd argue that most high end smartphones announced these days have a minimum of around 8GB onboard storage and while we appreciate the that the Vita does pack a lot into that small-ish body, we'd love to see more in the way of capacity to save games on the device itself.
5. PS Vita 2: 4G
The big question mark hanging over the PS Vita right now is the 3G connectivity. It'll set you back an extra £50 compared to the Wi-Fi version, for which you will receive... well, a SIM card, certainly. But what else? Phone manufacturers have already made the first forays into 3G gaming, but with mobile data charges what they are, we'd have thought any 3G gaming sessions on a proper gaming handheld would be equal parts lag-tastic and ruinously expensive. 4G speeds, however, might make mobile gaming on the Vita 2 more practicable, and while parts of the US are already enjoying super-speed mobile internet on handsets like the Evo 4G, we in Blighty are a little behind the curve in getting our own 4G networks up and running. This is set to change in the near-ish future, so it's just a question of whether 4G gets out the door in the UK before the next Vita does.