The PlayStation Vita will be released in the US market on February 22, but one has landed in our office, and we gave it the unboxing and hands-on treatment.  The packaging is classic, nothing new there, but the PlayStation Vita, or PS Vita, is a beautifully crafted device. In my opinion, it looks more “polished” then the PSP ever was.

The device fits rather comfortably in my hands and all the controls fall right under my fingers. I will have to use it for a period of time to see if the first-impression sticks in terms of ergonomics. As you may be aware, there are two memory slots: one for a small card with the permanent user storage, and another one (larger) for games and purchased apps. You may also download most if not all the apps and save a bit of money.The display, which is the main point of focus of the console, has a resolution of 960×544, which is not the highest pixel density out there (far from it), but it looks surprisingly sharp. I think that Sony and the game developers did a good job of getting the best of this screen. I haven’t had time to try all the games yet, but so far titles like Wipeout 2048 do have a quality and speed that is beyond most of the smartphone games that I have seen. The responsiveness of the general user interface is also excellent. You can tell that PlayStation developers try to live by the 60FPS rule.

Although the PS Vita competes for the same dollars than a smartphone, it clearly doesn’t address the same need. Chances are that PS Vita users will also own a smartphone, so can Sony still turn this into a good business? The numbers will tell us, but in the meantime, the productivity at the office just came to a halt. Stay tuned for a complete review! [PS Vita specifications]

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