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Thread: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Not even considering it. When im mobile gaming im happy with the basic £2-5 android games. Infact, because a lot of these focus on making the gameplay as interesting as possible and dont focus too desperately on the graphics, a lot of the cheap mobile games are actually better than expensive fully priced games.
    As for the hardware, who cares if its one or two steps ahead of mobiles and tablets? When are Sony likely to update this platform? 3 years? 5 years?
    Phones will have overtaken the hardware capabilities within a year

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noli View Post
    As a friend of mine said - one of the strangest things that they think Apple did *not* do is design an official controller pad add on for the iphone. [snipped]
    It could have seriously eaten in to Nintendo (and Sony's) market share for portable gaming. Yes the dedicated gaming machines would always have been better for the hardcore but I love gaming and touchscreen only controls can be frustrating/limiting. I have android anyway where a million different models exacerbates the issue. Yes I know there are some universal attaching android controller pads but again the problem is lack of games/supported games. I don't particularly care for apple but by espousing the elegance of only using a touchscreen, I think they've missed a huge opportunity.
    Good points you raise - but I've got to wonder whether time has come for Google to put up some form of "game" API into Android, so that game designers could more easily support sticks, gamepads, etc. Kind of similar to the way Windows does it (DirectX?). If the OS provided some measure of support then that removes the need for umpteen different drivers to be included in games, in which case it's going to be a more attractive option.

    As pointed out by others on this thread - the availability (along with widespread app support) of decent game controllers would allow phones to eat into a good portion of both 3DS and Vita's user base. Doing a brief comparison of specs show that phones such as Galaxy S2, Xperia Arc S, Atrix, etc all have baseline specs well in advance of the PSP - so if a decent controller was available for these, then surely it must be possible to at least get to the level of quality of games that the PSP had?

    What I'd like to see is some cheap "gaming dock" come out from the manufacturers for their new phones. This dock would connect to the existing power/transfer port; contain a backup battery (to keep the phone charged whilst gaming); have decent buttons/sticks (at least as good as the PSP/3DS); and be inexpensive (£50-60 would be a reasonable price). So when you fancy an extended gaming session you merely dock your phone into the peripheral and use the buttons/sticks instead of having to waste screen real estate on controls. What I'm envisioning is a bit like a cross between the Xperia Play's bottom half and the keyboard dock for the Asus Transformer.
    Last edited by crossy; 23-01-2012 at 11:00 AM.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Can't see myself buying one. I remember when the PSP came out; I got over excited and imported one from Japan on launch. It's got a few decent games, but I hardly ever play it.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Not on release, ...but maybe a bit later.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    As pointed out by others on this thread - the availability (along with widespread app support) of decent game controllers would allow phones to eat into a good portion of both 3DS and Vita's user base. Doing a brief comparison of specs show that phones such as Galaxy S2, Xperia Arc S, Atrix, etc all have baseline specs well in advance of the PSP - so if a decent controller was available for these, then surely it must be possible to at least get to the level of quality of games that the PSP had?
    I have no doubt that modern phones are capable of the type of games found on the PSP, but to me, it's not so much of whether it is capable of, but whether they will be made at all. The same applies to PC vs consoles - I have no doubt that PCs can run everything made for PS3/Xbox 360, but that doesn't mean I will find fighting games that enjoy such as Soul Calibur / Marvel vs Capcom series (though I am glad to see SSF4AE available on PCs).

    As opposed to Biscuit, I do not feel that portable console games, on average, sacrifice gameplay for graphics. I'd say that the genre of games tend to be different, and some of the genres that I enjoy particularly are better on consoles than on phones. To each their own though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    "Meh" is all I can say about the Vita - it's pretty boring and run of the mill to be honest. Where are the gimmicks that make a geek want to buy it? There is absolutely nothing new here worth looking at. Quad core cpu? Who cares..powerful gpu? same again, graphics do not make a good game.

    Touchscreen? Got a DS, a smartphone and a tablet..moving on..motion sensing? Same again.

    I think that a dedicated playstation fan may be interested, but in reality..I think that the market has moved on.

    I bought a 3DS purely for the fact it was 3D (gimmick!) and that I could play my favourite old video games on it wherever I go (Zelda, Starfox, MK etc) - things I just can't do on a phone. I imagine that the Vita would have a similar appeal to playstation fans, when you start to get Final Fantasy/Tekken/Fifa XXXX on it, but most traditional gamers won't go near it.

    In Short - good for die hard PSX fans, but for the rest of us it's too expensive, too boring and lacking in a killer feature.
    Graphics do not make a game, but gimmicks do not make a game either. I am not anti-gimmick. I've unexpectedly picked up a 3DS a couple hours ago, even though having demoed the 3DS a number of time, I am still not sure if 3D is something I'll constantly use, and whether it will enhance my gaming experience. Still, for 5000 yen I went for it over a number of options I had (I had 10,000 yen off any consoles - including the Vita, music players, and tablets from signing up to a wireless internet connection that I was going to do anyway).

    But I do not think that a gimmicks necessarily make a more desirable console *for me*. The XBox360 and PS3 both initially lacked the gimmicks from the Wii. The mass market, including myself voted with their wallet and bought Wii. And while contested, I still think it's a fine console. But I have no less enjoyment out of my PS3 (which is my first "PS" actually). It has good games that the Wii didn't, enough that I do not regret owning one. Will the Vita have good games that the 3DS/mobile platforms do not have? Probably. Will there be enough to make me want one? Too early for me to say.

    I do not consider myself a die hard PSX fan, but as a gaming fan of old and new, I'll be watching the Vita with interest. I *do* however agree that the device is more than I'd like to pay, so short of running into a special offer with 20,000 yen off on the next contract I sign up (e.g. mobile phone - it can happen - though I will not be picking a network on *basis* of such offers), I'll just enjoy some Japanese exclusives games on my recently purchased toys [Well, when I can find the time anyway]

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Doing a brief comparison of specs show that phones such as Galaxy S2, Xperia Arc S, Atrix, etc all have baseline specs well in advance of the PSP - so if a decent controller was available for these, then surely it must be possible to at least get to the level of quality of games that the PSP had?
    Long post ahead, key points:
    1) Java says no to performance
    2) Low life-span of devices
    3) Short average play-time
    4) It's a phone, you need your battery power for emergencies.

    1) Simply not possible I'm afraid, in trying to make their platforms 'easy to create apps for' every company has had to make their software very high level which is great for quickly making an app but not for performance. The PSP and in fact most games consoles at the start use generic high-performance languages but then developers start coding direct to metal, getting every last drop of juice they can from a system to make things shinier. Ever had to use Java on a desktop? If you've played Minecraft you have, and you know that it's not particularly shiny but it has the potential to chug on quite powerful systems. A friend of mine plays Trine and Minecraft on his laptop, despite Trine looking gorgeous it's Minecraft that runs more slowly simply because Java's rubbish for performance and Java co-incidentally is used for most Android apps.

    To get the same performance as a PSP, well, we're not there yet but we're getting closer on the AAA (by comparison) titles for tablets (but not phones). Your 2012 ultra-smartphone still can't play games as well as an 8 year old games console? Boo-hoo. When will smartphones beat the Vita? Over 5 years away I'm betting.

    2) How often do you swap your phone out, is it at the same rate as your average 2 year contract? Then why should a company bother spending 2 years on development if the phone they optimised their new game for will no-longer be in use by the time they release it? No instead they'll code in a high level language that works on everything, but works well on nothing, just so they'll have revenue coming from newer phones.

    3) Ever played with your phone for long periods of time? It's tedious isn't it? I know I certainly never put up with more than 10 minutes of game playing on my phone (heck, with the battery life of modern smart phones I'd only ever really play when running off the mains).

    4) Battery life! The issue with all smartphones! Get a phone powerful enough to run decent games and it'll run them for an hour tops, when you then break your leg in the middle of nowhere and need to call for help, you'll be doomed as you used your battery up playing COD Mobile Warfare 4 or whatever it'll be called. A phone is intended for calls and so you do worry about the battery if you actually use your phone, a separate and completely unnecessary device though? It's fine to drain the battery on that!

    /ramble

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    ^ that last point is one that I wanted to highlight earlier - battery life on these smart phones isn't the greatest as it is, let alone having long gaming sessions! Unless all you're after and are happy with is short sessions. Then comes back to the point Vita probably isn't for that person.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by CampGareth View Post
    Long post ahead, key points:
    1) Java says no to performance
    2) Low life-span of devices
    3) Short average play-time
    4) It's a phone, you need your battery power for emergencies.
    [snipped]
    Sorry, I'm going to totally disagree.

    1. Sure Java - like all of it's ilk - isn't a performance daemon. That said, Google is focussed on getting Dalvik as good as it can be because (obviously) a 5% speed up in it means a corresponding speed up for most/all apps - and it's good bragging rights. Secondly, PSP was a 333MHz processor - modern phones are 3-4x that, so I would politely suggest that this could very well make up for Dalvik's overhead. (Sorry iOS fans, I'm sure a similar argument is true for that platform)

    2. Slightly spurious argument - surely you could say some of the same about PC graphics cards - I bought a "state of the art" GF460 January last year and that's been superceded nearly twice over. And if you're targetting for a wide range of devices (see your point #1) then I fail to see this being an issue. Oh and your concern here hasn't stopped NVidia - they have the "Tegra Zone" on Android for devices using their Tegra2 and Tegra3 chipsets. Note, these apps purport to be optimized for those platforms, but run on a variety of devices using those chipsets.

    3. Again, if people were happy to spend "hours" looking at a PSP's screen then - excluding stupid touch controls - why should a phone with a larger screen be an issue. Note the exclusion - serious phone gaming imho requires something other than screen controls - Xperia Play is a good first step, but I much prefer the idea of a dedicated gaming dock.

    4. Battery life - granted. Again, this is a reason why the secondary-battery equipped "gaming dock" is a necessity. The same way that folks (me included) use the battery sapping "sat nav" features of their phones, but in a car use a car charger - because that makes sense.

    Note I'm talking about semi-serious portable gamers here - some of the folks that Sony want to buy Vita. The casual gamer is now well catered for by their phones and tablets, which is bad news for Nintendo. And it's obvious that the "hardcore" money-little-object dude or dudette is going to flock to Vita.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?


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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    1. Sure Java - like all of it's ilk - isn't a performance daemon. That said, Google is focussed on getting Dalvik as good as it can be because (obviously) a 5% speed up in it means a corresponding speed up for most/all apps - and it's good bragging rights. Secondly, PSP was a 333MHz processor - modern phones are 3-4x that, so I would politely suggest that this could very well make up for Dalvik's overhead. (Sorry iOS fans, I'm sure a similar argument is true for that platform)

    2. Slightly spurious argument - surely you could say some of the same about PC graphics cards - I bought a "state of the art" GF460 January last year and that's been superceded nearly twice over. And if you're targetting for a wide range of devices (see your point #1) then I fail to see this being an issue. Oh and your concern here hasn't stopped NVidia - they have the "Tegra Zone" on Android for devices using their Tegra2 and Tegra3 chipsets. Note, these apps purport to be optimized for those platforms, but run on a variety of devices using those chipsets.

    3. Again, if people were happy to spend "hours" looking at a PSP's screen then - excluding stupid touch controls - why should a phone with a larger screen be an issue. Note the exclusion - serious phone gaming imho requires something other than screen controls - Xperia Play is a good first step, but I much prefer the idea of a dedicated gaming dock.
    Let's get a back and forth going

    1) 1.2Ghz dual core ARM manages to beat 8 year old 333Mhz MIPS single core. The key part there is 8 years. Yes the two may be on par now (I kinda stopped playing after Gameloft's Modern Combat 2, which wasn't up to something like Ratchet and Clank on the PSP imo but getting very close) but it took so long purely because of language choices. By comparison you'd have to have an octo-core at 4Ghz in your phone to match the Vita (crummy comparison I know but I can't predict mobile phone chips). How long will it take us to build something like that? A long time, probably long enough for the console to be replaced.

    2) There was a time when Nvidia Tegra was the only platform with decent guaranteed graphical capabilities, if you check the number of smartphones using that platform or a successor I'm confident that it would be a high proportion of all smartphones. Samsung have always ignored Tegra and are instead trying to push ARM's Mali GPU series. Broadcom want their VideoCore line pushed too, let's not forget PowerVR from Imagination (used for some Intel GPUs and most TI stuff, I can see it being used in Atom based phones). I don't see Broadcom as a serious threat atm but should Malis or PowerVRs with Intel's backing become popular all the Tegra games are gonna struggle, unless of course they're not optimised at all and just use OpenGL as they should. But that's slow, see point number 1.

    Point being optimisation for Tegra (and for AMD/Nvidia GPUs) only works because the platform's sticking around and there's no guarantee that'll be the case for any phone platform, at least not right now. A console sticks around and doesn't change, perfect for heavy optimisation.

    3) I actually always wanted a phone with a bigger screen or dedicated controls but 5" phones are a bit too big to fit into any pocket as a phone needs to, and dedicated controls usually include bulky hand grips (try fitting an xbox controller and your phone into the tightest jean pockets you have). I've had to default to a phone with a keyboard. Games consoles have different expectations, you're not gonna slip em in your jeans but maybe a bag or a massive pocket so it's ok for them to be bigger and so nicer to use for long periods.

    Maybe I'm bitter, I owned an SGS for games (had to strap on a massive battery but meh) and then ended up using it only for emulators because all the high end games had five different versions for each modern smart phone and it became too much bother to track. Couldn't really emulate anything either as even a PS1 was tough on 1Ghz (PS1 = 33Mhz MIPS). Tegra kinda swept in and took over over too. Swapped down to an N900 and suddenly I'm back in C territory where everything runs smoothly despite a slower processor.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    To me, the big question is whether we will see mobile phone games with production value matching that of modern portable console games for each genre, even if every hardware requirements (including physical controller are met. Would the big software developers decide to make exclusive flagship titles for mobile phones then?

    A modern PC can, from a hardware perspective best a modern console. Excluding motion sensors (and even that's debatable with Kinect), PCs support consoles input devices (or have similar alternatives). And yet many enjoyable games remain console exclusives. Mobile phone games have their own exclusivities, but between portable consoles and mobile phones, I am going to favour the console exclusives at the moment.

    This can change but I wonder if it will.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by CampGareth View Post
    Let's get a back and forth going
    Fair enough - reasoned debate is enjoyable, vitriol-throwing less so.
    Quote Originally Posted by CampGareth View Post
    1) [snipped] By comparison you'd have to have an octo-core at 4Ghz in your phone to match the Vita (crummy comparison I know but I can't predict mobile phone chips). How long will it take us to build something like that? A long time, probably long enough for the console to be replaced.
    Difference of opinion - I'm NOT saying that a mobile phone will match Vita, as that would be stupid. What I AM saying is that - for the majority of users - a mobile phones specs would be good enough to play reasonable games. That being the case, it's going to be a lot more difficult to justify an additional expenditure of £300+ for Vita. Last PSP game I played was "Call Of Duty: Roads to Victory", and I'd need some convincing that this game couldn't be ported/reimplemented on a modern Android mobile phone.
    Quote Originally Posted by CampGareth View Post
    2) [snipped] I don't see Broadcom as a serious threat atm but should Malis or PowerVRs with Intel's backing become popular all the Tegra games are gonna struggle, unless of course they're not optimised at all and just use OpenGL as they should. But that's slow, see point number 1.
    Aye, graphics is a pain. There'll be a way around this issue but, as you point out, the market's currently so fluid (with few standards) that it's too early to tell. What's needed perhaps is for Google to follow Microsoft and do something akin to DirectX perhaps. (Not an Android developer, so apologies to such folks if there already is a DirectX analogue).
    Quote Originally Posted by CampGareth View Post
    3) I actually always wanted a phone with a bigger screen or dedicated controls but 5" phones are a bit too big to fit into any pocket as a phone needs to, and dedicated controls usually include bulky hand grips (try fitting an xbox controller and your phone into the tightest jean pockets you have). I've had to default to a phone with a keyboard. Games consoles have different expectations, you're not gonna slip em in your jeans but maybe a bag or a massive pocket so it's ok for them to be bigger and so nicer to use for long periods. Maybe I'm bitter, I owned an SGS for games (had to strap on a massive battery but meh)
    There's my point - what's needed is a dock that you can put in your bag - complete with extra battery and proper controls. The phone in your pocket then provides the cpu, memory, graphics and storage components for a "game system". From what I understand, 4.3-4.5" screen size seems to be the norm for "top end" phones, and I'd argue that this is a "comfortable" size for a games console too.

    Dedicated consoles - such as Vita and to a lesser extent the 3DS - will always be a "better" solution - the same way that even a cheap digital camera (arguably) gives better pictures than the most expensive camera phone. However, my feeling is that it should be possible to "upgrade" a phone to provide a satisfactory gaming experience (PSP and DS like) for less than the cost of the dedicated/better devices. Phone gaming is quite novel, (remember when folks were impressed by Snake in colour?), so until recently there's not really been the demand for serious game titles. Now that demand is there, it's inevitable that we'll see the start of demand-innovation cycles.

    Conclusion being that while Vita may do well, it'll certainly sell (a lot?) less than it would have done if it was launched 3-4 years ago. As stated before I certainly won't be buying one, whereas 3-4 years ago I probably would have.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    I remember when folks were impressed by snake without colour. I wonder how "real" is this demand, and whether phone manufacturers are going to be willing to invest in it. After all, if the large majority of smartphone buyers are only asking for casual games, and those demanding for serious game titles would still buy the smartphone in their current form regardless anyway, making do with the level of what can be found today (which I do not deny represent outstanding value), then they can just leave things as they are.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    *Snip* Last PSP game I played was "Call Of Duty: Roads to Victory", and I'd need some convincing that this game couldn't be ported/reimplemented on a modern Android mobile phone.

    Aye, graphics is a pain. There'll be a way around this issue but, as you point out, the market's currently so fluid (with few standards) that it's too early to tell. What's needed perhaps is for Google to follow Microsoft and do something akin to DirectX perhaps. (Not an Android developer, so apologies to such folks if there already is a DirectX analogue).

    *snip*
    Conclusion being that while Vita may do well, it'll certainly sell (a lot?) less than it would have done if it was launched 3-4 years ago. As stated before I certainly won't be buying one, whereas 3-4 years ago I probably would have.
    Conclusion reply: We have reached agreement (except I will be buying one, just for Wipeout / R&C / maybe Motorstorm)

    Had to find a gameplay video for that game and you're certainly right, makes me think of CoD 2 which was basically Quake 3 Arena reskinned. Played that on my SGS, that was fun but I didn't get to see an onscreen zoom button before swapping it out. Ratchet and Clank is iirc an exclusive series so it makes sense that it'd be impressive compared to others.

    Graphics is atm meant to be dealt with by OpenGL ES 2.0 on all major platforms (so blackberrys, iOS, Android, PS3, etc.) but my experience with OpenGL on a desktop was never that great, it didn't seem to expose the power of the system. I'm not really a developer so I can't speak

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by CampGareth View Post
    ...but my experience with OpenGL on a desktop was never that great, it didn't seem to expose the power of the system. I'm not really a developer so I can't speak
    Naw, OpenGL supports all the modern hardware niceies just fine. You can even use vendor extensions for new stuff which hasn't been standardised yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Features - QOTW: will you buy PlayStation Vita?

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    Naw, OpenGL supports all the modern hardware niceies just fine. You can even use vendor extensions for new stuff which hasn't been standardised yet.
    thanks for that - last time I played with OpenGL was on a Silicon Graphics workstation (remember them) so I'm nowhere near being "up" with the current state of it. Like Dalvik, if that was the standard then surely it'd be in the interests of the graphics chip and phone makers to ensure that their implementations were as optimised as possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    I remember when folks were impressed by snake without colour. I wonder how "real" is this demand, and whether phone manufacturers are going to be willing to invest in it. After all, if the large majority of smartphone buyers are only asking for casual games, and those demanding for serious game titles would still buy the smartphone in their current form regardless anyway, making do with the level of what can be found today (which I do not deny represent outstanding value), then they can just leave things as they are.
    That's kind of my point - namely that until recently we've not had mobiles that can do justice to anything more taxing than "casual" gaming - although I remember a Sony P800 phone I had way back that had a 3D Doom type game that ran acceptably well.

    Now we've got into some kind of "arms race" not only between Apple and Android, but also between the individual chip designers (basically NVidia v's everyone else). Performance is continuing to climb, and surely we're already past the point where the graphics chips are good enough to deal with the demands of the UI?

    Like you I don't see phone makers (apart from Sony perhaps) pushing this - instead it'll be the games companies (like EA) that'll drive this. In which case we'll see the add-ons required come from 3rd parties first. E.g. someone said to me that Apple didn't see the use for an iPad keyboard/sleeve until other people did it.

    In addition, the latest group of tablets definitely are being targeted for more "hardcore" games - I've certainly seen adverts for "Need For Speed" for my tablet. Since there's a lot of commonality between tablets and phones, it's surely inevitable that publishers will seek to maximise their investment by configuring their new tablet products to work on large-screen phones as well.

    As pointed out above, the accepted pricing for a "phone" game is a lot less than that for a console, in which case if you've got a suitable phone then there's a strong incentive to save money and get it for your phone. Even though perhaps a PSP/DS might give a better experience.

    Career status: still enjoying my new career in DevOps, but it's keeping me busy...

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