Sony's spanking new handheld and PSP successor the PlayStation Vita is a bit sexy. No. Scrub that. It's a LOT sexy. Just look at it:
Above: Straight to the sexy
The vast majority of my gaming time in 2012 has been spent with this magnificent techno slab of black power cradled in my hands like a delicate electronic baby. This is handheld gaming at its most powerful and most impressive. A portable portal to playing very nearly console quality games on the toilet, in bed, aboard a train, down a mine etc. Our dreams. They have come true.
So I should be ready to shout from the highest mountaintop that VITA IS GOING TO BE A SUCCESS AND WILL CRUSH ITS OPPONENTS INTO DUST. A bit like this:
Above: Like this
But I'm not. Because even though I'm blown away by Sony's freshest gaming invention I still have my doubts about how well it's actually going to sell. Why the dithering indecisiveness? We'll get on to that later. First, let me tell you exactly why I love the Vita in five easy-to-digest points...
1. It's mega-comfortable to hold
I've had some pretty lengthy sessions on Vita and at no point have I experienced any hand discomfort. This is important because hands are precious. Vita's edges are lovely and curvy and perfectly fit the shape of my fleshy paws, with my middle fingers resting nicely in the dedicated recesses on the machine's underside. My kids - with their small children hands - do struggle to hold the machine and use the touch-screen at the same time, but for my superior adult man hands the Vita is effortlessly ergonomic.
2. The screen is mmmmmmmmmmm sexy
We live in an age when sexy screens are the norm. Just a regular everyday thing. But the Vita screen is noticeably sexy. Anyone casting their eyes over it for the first time will say "Nice screen" or "Ooh, the screen looks nice". I know this because I've heard them say it. The picture looks crisp and sharp and crystal clear and the colours are vivid and beautiful. I don't need to say that Vita's screen makes the games look amazing. That should be pretty obvious. But I'm going to say it anyway. Vita's screen makes the games look amazing.
Above: What a screen
3. Two sticks. It's got two sticks
At last. Two sticks. And not just any sticks. I suffer with sweaty thumbs and prolonged play often results in moist, slippy sticks. But not these sticks. They are convex with a rubberised dome for minimum sweatage and maximum grippage. The Vita's analog sticks feel wonderful under the thumb and an absolute pleasure to manipulate. The sensation is not entirely unlike manipulating a pair of generously proportioned nipples. Sexy. But they're not nipples. They're TWO STICKS. On a handheld.
4. The interface is super slick and easy to use
Touch-screen finger swooshing is no new thing and it instantly feels perfectly at home on Vita. All the front-end screens of icons (which look like lovely, wobbly, shiny buttons) are simple to understand, clearly laid out and an absolute doddle to navigate with flicks and swipes and presses from your digits on the mmmmmmm sexy screen. Compared to the XMB, it's a far superior interface experience. The PS Vita is as easy to use as it is comfortable to hold.
5. Playing sexy games in exciting places
This is what really matters. The games. Not quite PS3 quality, but undoubtedly stunning on the ocular inputs all the same. On our first night together, I had a very special moment with Vita. I was in bed playing Uncharted and I thought to myself "I'm in bed playing Uncharted and it's brilliant". Because it was. And with that simply observed mental affirmation, it hit me that life as a gamer with a love for handheld gaming was going to be much more lovely than it had previously been. Then I had a rush of endorphins and had to have a lie-down. Which was not a problem because I was already in bed.
Above: A reconstruction of my special moment in bed with Vita
So after such an utterly shameless display of gratuitous Vita ball-licking, surely I'd be willing to wager a fairly considerable bet that Sony has got a handheld winner on its hands and is going to be laughing all the way to the piggy-bank to slip some considerable coinage inside its porcelain porky. You'd think that. But in actual reality there's no way I'm going to make that call because I don't want to look like a stupid idiot that knows nothing when Vita dies on its ass. Because that outcome too is a very real possibility for Sony's brave little next-gen console.
Check the following page to see why Vita could completely fail...