PS Vita's Six Most Glaring Flaws (So Far)

I can't wait to buy the PlayStation Vita. Considering how much mileage I got out of Sony's previous handheld, the PSP, it's a no-brainer that the Vita will be of great use to gamers on the go like me. The device can play games that look almost as good as the PlayStation 3, and compared to Nintendo's 3DS, the Vita looks like a sophisticated piece of technology more than a toy.

However, a lot of the shine and glamor of the PS Vita has faded away since its official announcement in January 2011. Many of the cool bells and whistles promised on the device quickly became overshadowed by many disappointing features of the portable, and now it seems the PS Vita has an uphill battle ahead of itself to make gaming fans happy. Sure, the device houses amazing technology and will look amazing, but there are so many glaring issues tied to the portable gaming device. Here are six of the most noticeable flaws that should give gamers concern.

1. PS Vita's Memory Card Prices Are Really Expensive

PS Vita memory GS.JPG

Do you think the $299 price tag of a 3G-enabled PS Vita is expensive? Well, you also have to factor in the cost of getting a memory card for the portable, too. You'll need to get one in order to save your games on the thing. According to, the prices for these proprietary memory cards are anything but affordable. Here's what you'll have to factor into the cost of the overall package:

$30 for 4GB, $45 for 8GB, $70 for 16GB, and $120 for 32GB

Nintendo's 3DS uses the industry-standard SD cards, which are relatively affordable these days (32 GB cards go for less than $50). A $250-$300 portable gaming console is going to be a tough sell in this day and age, considering that they're competing with Apple and the popularity of gaming on smartphones lately. And that's $250-$300 before these "hidden costs" of mandatory memory cards.

2. Short Battery Life, Worse Than the 3DS'


The battery life for handheld gaming devices these days are horrible. The 3DS' 3-5 hour battery life appalled gamers when it was first announced. With PS Vita's longer list of features and bigger screen, expect much less.

A Japanese press release by Sony quantified the the Vita's built-in 2200mA Li-ion battery life: approximately "3~5 hours" for games, approximately "5 hours" for video, and approximately 9 hours for music "in stand-by mode." That means with the Bluetooth turned off, using headphones instead of speakers, using the default screen brightness setting, and turning off all network-enabled gaming features by disabling 3G or WiFi. With some or all of these modifiers in use, who knows how long the PS Vita will survive between charges.

3. PSOne Classics and other Game Archives won't work on Vita at Launch


If you play PSOne classic games on your PSP, you're in for a big disappointment. According to the Japanese Vita FAQ, game archive games (such as the PSOne classics) will not be compatible with the Vita at launch. "Plans for future measures will be announced shortly," says the translated Vita FAQ.

Considering how powerful the Vita will be, this is definitely not a technical issue. It's most likely a licensing issue, or Sony's still trying to figure out how to combine the existing PlayStation store with the smaller PlayStation Suite of the store, which offers a smaller and slightly different selection of PSOne games. Either that, or they're going to pull a Nintendo on all of us and convince us poor fools to buy the same games over and over again.

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