February 22, 2012, 8:30 AM —
Last week I shared my 'out of the box' hands-on thoughts about the Playstation Vita, Sony's new handheld gaming device which is launching today (an early bundled package has been available since last week). Today I wanted to update those thoughts based on a week of ownership.
There's no getting around it, the biggest issue with the Vita is the cost. The Vita itself will set you back $250 (WiFi only) or $300 (3G/WiFi). These prices seem reasonable considering all the features stuffed into the Vita, but you're not getting out of the store until you spend more. At the very least you're going to need a memory card, which will set you back at least another $20. That's for a 4 GB card and it should be OK if all you want to do is have a place for your save game files, but if you want to download digital software and carry around media with you, you'll want to spend more. $30 gets you 8 GB, $60 gets you 16 GB and $100 gets you 32 GB. They aren't cheap.
(It's worth noting that there's a launch bundle that includes a 3G/WiFi Vita and and 8 GB memory card for $300, so you're getting the memory card for free. But supplies are limited. Some retailers are also putting together their own bundles, so do your research before buying. I believe Amazon is giving away a 4 GB card with the WiFi Vita, for instance.)
Of course you're probably going to want a game to play, and that'll cost you $15-$50. A case will cost you $20 or so, though I know folks who've improvised on that. One guy says he's using a sock and it works great!