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PS Vita Review Roundup: Future of Gaming or Just Another Gadget?

Sony's much-anticipated follow-up to the PlayStation Portable comes to North America on February 22, but reviews of the company's response to the Nintendo 3DS are already cropping up all over the internet.

When it arrives, the Vita will level up mobile gaming with better-than-ever joystick controls, a 5-inch, 960 x 544-pixel touchscreen, front -and rear-facing cameras, Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi--all for $249. For $50 bucks more, trigger-happy gamers can connect to 3G data networks if a Wi-Fi network isn't convenient.

If you think the specs are there, so's the software: the Vita not only works exclusively with downloadable games that play at frames rates nearly identical to consoles, it also includes apps to help you load up music and video, surf the web, or find your way with Google Maps. So, with all that, what does the internet have to say about it -- is Vita the next generation of gaming or just another gimmicky gadget? Find out below.

CNET: "Should you buy a PlayStation Vita? If you want the best overall portable gaming experience, yes. Sure, the cost of getting started is probably more than you thought, but the Vita's fantastic launch lineup, laundry-list of features, cool apps, silky smooth OS, and promising future definitely make a great case for owning one. Will Sony restyle the Vita at some point? Almost certainly. But in terms of a first effort, the Vita is a complete package." Read More.

Engadget: "Sony's latest contender is a little late to the game, nearly a year following the 3DS' debut. Still, the Vita is technically a stronger player. 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." Read More.

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." Read More.

Kotaku: "If there was a Western on the Vita, and if your character in the game found himself on horseback deep in a canyon, walking into a target, you'd be able to back that horse up. Or turn it. Or something. The Vita has the sticks for it, and the Sony people making games for it? They have that kind of sense." Read More.

Pocket-Lint: "God bless Gameloft, but playing an action game on a mobile phone touchscreen, with no tangible physical feedback, is no substitute for Uncharted. Where’s My Water? is fun, WipEout 2048 is on a different planet. That’s why it costs more and that’s why we’d be happy to pay. So happy, in fact, that in terms of score, we did consider giving the PS Vita 5 out of 5. But that would assume that there isn’t room to grow. We already know that Sony will be adding new features and expanding many of the PS Vita’s aspects, especially its non-gaming ones, over time, so our final opinion reflects that. This is only the beginning." Read More.

TheVerge: "The PlayStation Vita is quite simply the most desirable handheld gaming device yet released. From the beautiful display to the horsepower behind it, from the well-executed traditional controls to the new touch inputs, Sony has thought of almost everything and the result is a portable system that should be able to handle virtually any kind of game you care to mention." Read More.

Image Credit: Pocket-Lint