F1 2011 played on 360, 3DS and PlayStation Vita. It's the only preview you need

The PS Vita version

Interestingly, I was handed one of the old versions of the test unit – the one with the sliding screen. So my initial impression that it felt like a PSP Go is probably more to do with the fact this old design is based on that system and not to do with the quality of the game.

However, as the game's producer, Dean Scott, points out, the unit is not a handheld PlayStation 3. There is a difference in graphical quality, although there is a marked step up from PSP racers. Everything does look glossy and solid and the screen resolution puts the 3DS version to shame.

Vita handles Monaco well, too, with some gorgeous sun reflections in the surface of the road and gorgeously-detailed cars. Control with the left analogue nub doesn't feel best-suited to the streets of Monaco, but again, it's an old hardware design. That said, the handling itself does seem to share some characteristics of the decent PSP version of F1 2009, although as with the 3DS version, the car no longer slows down just because you're steering. Bonus.

Above: There aren't any offical screenshots of the Vita version yet, so here's a real F1 car instead

You'll probably be relieved to hear that there are currently no plans for tilt control, despite Sony pushing for its inclusion in any game possible. Also, the touch screen at the back is currently being examined for use as paddle shift, although this currently only seems to suit upshifts as the placement of the left-hand on the steering control makes interaction with the back of the device a little uncomfortable. It's good to know that these things aren't just being shoehorned in for the sake of it.

Like the 3DS version, the plan at present is for a four-player online mode. To be honest, the machine could probably handle more, but it's enough for a good scrap if everyone's equally-matched. The inclusion of the DRS (Drag Reduction Syetem) for boosting your car into an overtaking position should also make for some interesting action.

Overall impressions? Good, although it doesn't feel as good a fit for the handheld as some other racers probably would. You only have to play the 'big' version on a steering wheel and pedals set-up to see that a big part of the F1 experience is making you feel like you're actually driving a car.

Above: These VisionRacer seats are perfect for playing F1 2011. A handheld is bound to lose something

The handheld, impressive though it is, doesn't really offer that. So what Codies needs to do is just deliver a solid racing experience that's deep enough to satisfy hardcore fans, but accessible enough to work as a handheld title.

Perhaps the biggest question mark over the Vita version of F1 2011 is the release date of the hardware itself. In the UK, it probably won't even be 2011 when the machine actually comes out. So whether Codies will just wait until they can get in next year's license instead remains to be seen. Alternatively, it could just release this in the US, although that's hardly F1's biggest audience.

Fingers crossed we will get it at launch, though – if it's half as good as the early PSP game F1 '06, it'll while away many a commuting hour.

Of the three versions, the Xbox 360 game is clearly looking the best. The Vita version will be made or broken on how the controls fit into the final hardware's control scheme, but aside from that, it's looking very tasty. The 3DS version has potential but clearly has the least horsepower behind it. The game's out in September on 360 and PS3, so we should have much more on thsi one soon.

08 July, 2011



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  • bass88 - July 15, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    @GamesRadarJustinTowell LOL. Couldn't stop laughing when I saw that. Even though the mechanic was wearing a helmet, you could see and hear him going "Oh, fuck!"
  • Redox - July 11, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    Hey there! Since this is the only way I found to connect with Codemasters. I´ll try the upgrades many of us (or at least my bunch of friends that I play with) want to see in this sequel of the game. 1.- Is it possible to get out the pits on the correct time so we don´t have to wait for everybody to exit on career mode? 2.- I´ve read your post and really hope for an upgrade on penalization system By example, when the driver in front of you brakes too hard or on purpose. 3.- IS IT POSSIBLE TO DISPLAY WHO WAS THE FASTER DRIVER OF THE RACE? I´ve seen that despite you are not the winner (due to accidents or other players´ behavior) you can still profit of actually stay playing on the server because you are faster than the others and would feel pretty cool to show that. 4.- It would be really useful if we could be allowed to make a vote to kick someone spoiling our championships. Note that I know you can make your races private, but you can only make new friends by racing with them and when you are at the middle of a 10 race championship and find out a player that is pissed off or just AFK, sometimes that little democratic option could save the day. 5.- Having your country flag in the game is awesome. Could you include all the helmets like the flags? 6.- In-game voices (engineer, agent and interviewers) are really lousy. Spanish version is way more exiting to listen! That´s all for the moment. XBOX live Gamertag: Alf Redox
  • GR_JustinTowell - July 11, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    @Bass88 - he needs all four wheels for that, mate. @xxbrothawizxx I won't look any worse than the PSP version of F1 2009, but it's not much of a looker at the moment. Once it's optimised (code is very early right now), it should look good. TV Pod cam is already looking sweet.
  • Twonk - July 9, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    Do u want F1 to stay on Free to air TV? follow us to get the message out to the BBC.!/F1_For_Free
  • xxbrothawizxx - July 8, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    disregarding the low screen Res, how did the 3DS version look overall?
  • insertdisk - July 8, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    lolzorsz at the pointy finger present in the trailer. also loved 2010 and I am still playing it now but there are some issues with like how i finished fith in the championship on hard in a virgin racing car and was only offered a contract at lotus and hispania not even at virgin.
  • e1337prodigy - July 8, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    Sill playing F1 2010. Codemasters are brilliant at making Racers. They need to think about making GRID 2 or a Touring car game. Or at least something with regular cars to race on circuits.
  • fatguy19 - July 8, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    I hope they add a season mode this year instead of just carrer and single race. Its great starting from scratch with a lower team and building up but in my opinion nothing beats winning the world championship with your favourite driver.
  • CharlieFockstrot - July 8, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Will there be any DLC only achievements like Dirt3. Hmm, smells like moneyz. I lost faith in codies after their complete failure to patch F12010.
  • RareHero - July 8, 2011 1:58 p.m.

    Honestly I wanted to like F1 2010, but the game breaking bugs (not all of which were patched) really turned me off and I pretty much gave up on it. Hopefully 2011 will be just as glitch-free as Codies says it will...
  • tacehtselrahc - July 8, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    As for mechanical failures, how many have there been - particularly engine failures - in F1 this year? - not many. Most reirements have been due to accidents, so adding more failures for the sake of it won't really add to the "realism".
  • bass88 - July 8, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    So, it's likely that the PS3 will receive an inferior port again considering no PS3 test footage was available. Anyways, great preview Mr. Towell. It should be more exciting this year with the new rules. I'm hoping that somehow Jenson Button manages to pull his boots up and deliver us more cracking victories like he did in Canada.
  • GR_JustinTowell - July 8, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    @Austin_SJ My hands-on time with Vita was rather brief, and they were only showing the quick race mode. But I believe it's also currently lacking the 2-hour GP mode. 3DS version definitely is. Vita version does feel a bit more like the big version than the 3DS one does, but is still the handheld iteration of the game and so essentially different. Looks like you'll need the 360 version if you want the full 'live the life' experience. It's still reasonably early in development though, so anything can change.
  • tacehtselrahc - July 8, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    Have they fixed the Monaco pit exit? In F1 2010 cars come out of the pits straight onto the line for the first corner, instead of staying inside the yellow line which cuts the first corner and exits up the hill.
  • Austin_SJ - July 8, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    Brit isn't offensive. Also Justin, you didn't make it clear whether the Vita version is the same arcade style challenges as the 3DS or whether you'll get the full 2 hour Grand Prix like in the 360 version, can you clarify?
  • TheUsernameYouSelectedIsAvailable - July 8, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    Let me preface this with im a huge F1 fan and a huge racing game fan with all the kit. While I really enjoyed 2010 my biggest problem with it was you had to make your own excitement. To try explain, briefly, the game let u get away with too much off the track, restarting races, dropping settings, redoing quali etc. You had to force yourself into making a season fun you had to always be upping the difficulty so you just in the hunt, you had to stop yourself restarting cos you messed up and qualied 18th. But if you did that and then all your mates just restarted away and played it on easy with racing lines you ended up having to do 5 seasons to win the titles they had got in their first year in an HRT. The games def needs a pickup and play restart as often as you like arcade mode (like 2010 has in select a gp), maybe have an entire season option of that. But campaign mode should have a career to it, you should not be able to restart you should have extreme unexpected calamities, amazing new jumps in a teams abilities between races, you should have bias from the FIA, all the off track stuff that makes F1 great. Even if it is scripted to always keep you in the hunt but never let you walk away with it, build proper rivalry with another team and driver. The stuff they had there in the campaign was flat, it was a series of races which felt nothing more interesting than a cup challenge in gt5. The actual driving was amasing, but the racing and off track thrill and excitement was not, lets get it up to F1 standards (in campaign mode anyway, still must have a normal racing mode). Even if the campaign is staged give me a story full of drama.
  • screamingegg - July 8, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    The freeze bug better be fixed, it must be. I'm hoping this will be playable at Gamescom, the queue probably won't be as big as some other games.
  • WyldStalyon - July 8, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    Also.. in all non-idiocy.. Great write up. I enjoy your deep regard for the genre.
  • DarkSynopsis - July 8, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    Loved 2010 and with the addition of co-op and some tweaks I could imagine ending up with 2011 :D
  • WyldStalyon - July 8, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    Ack.. "Offensive" not "offense." I'm not talking about ballfoot Moses