PlayStation Vita Holiday Buyer’s Guide

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The PlayStation Vita didn’t have the greatest launch. There are problems which stem from releasing new hardware that no company can avoid, but with a severe lack of launch titles, the system hit a rough patch from the get go. Since this initial launch, however, Sony has been hard at work making the Vita into something worth owning, and it’s done a pretty good job at it. With a range of bundles available this holiday season, and a catalogue of unique games that is slowly building into something awesome, the Vita has really started to develop into its own. If you have any interest in buying one for yourself, or perhaps as a gift for someone else, here are a few things you may want to take note of.

Retail Products

Bundles

 

In preparation for the holiday season, Sony has made sure to provide a few options when it comes to bundles, and they’re definitely worth it over the regular retail release. The first few, which have been on the market for a few months, are the Assassin’s Creed Liberation and Madden NFL 13 bundles. Both come with a Wi-Fi enabled Vita, a 4 GB memory card, and a copy of one of the previously listed games for $249.99. This is the same price the regular WiFi Vita sells for, so there’s no reason not to choose one of these sets, especially considering how important memory cards are. It’s also worth noting those who choose the Liberation bundle can differentiate themselves with a white console, as opposed to the normal black.

Depending on your personal tastes in games, either one of these packs could provide a worthwhile title, as well as a memory card for basic usage. The one warning I will give regarding these bundles is the size of the memory card included. 4 GB is not much considering the size of many downloadable games can be upwards of 3.5 GB, but we’ll get to those later.

For those looking to grab a 3G enabled Vita, there’s the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Bundle. In addition to the usual 4 GB memory card, the bundle comes with a black 3G Vita, one year of PlayStation Plus, and a voucher for Unit 13. The real bonus here comes with the Plus account, which itself will provide a number of free downloadable games. Specifics can be found in the next page, but just know that Plus comes with a bunch of free games. One need only look at what Sony has done with Plus on the PS3 to get an idea of what they’ve begun to do on the Vita. This bundle will run you a bit more than the others, sitting at $299,99, but the 3G Vita will allow you to connect to the internet whenever you want. Not to mention the Plus membership is a $50 value.

Retail Games

 Persona 4 Golden

It may sound a bit odd starting off this list with a re-release, but it’s still one of the best games for the system. Originally released on the PS2, Golden adds more than enough new content, and best of all, the RPG still holds up to modern scrutiny. You can check our review here for a more in-depth analysis. Even four years after the initial release, the combat is still satisfying, the story is still engaging, and it uses some of the Vita’s functionality in a non-obtrusive manner. Persona 4 is a great RPG to play on a handheld, and a great game in general. Persona 4 Golden is available now for $39.99.

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale

For something to scratch that multiplayer itch, the Vita is home to PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale. While it may be a mouthful to say, its still quite an enjoyable experience according to our own Christopher SheridanAll-Stars pits iconic Sony characters, against each other in a Smash Bros-esque fighter, complete with power-ups and bombastic stages. Connectivity issues exist, as will with any online multiplayer experience. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many worthwhile online games in the Vita’s current line-up. You can pick up All-Stars for $39.99, and keep in mind it takes advantage of Sony’s Cross-Buy promotion, so you’ll snag a the PS3 version as well with your purchase.

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Chris is an odd sort of thing from the wilds of central Pennsylvania. You can hit him up on Twitter under @chrishauge, PSN under faceless_page, or Xbox Live under teh sledge.