In a bid to clear up some of the myths going around about the Vita, here's a handy guide to help you find the cheapest PS Vita pre-order prices, the best PS Vita bundles and the lowest prices on PS Vita launch titles ahead of the launch on February 22nd. For our length appraisal of the console itself, check out our massive Playstation Vita hardware review.
Wi-Fi vs. 3G
So that's really £219.99 vs £269.99.
Before you begin, ask yourself one question: do I really need 3G?
The answer, of course, is NO!
Considering the unreliability of 3G, considering that most portable gaming is either conducted in one's own home or on the go (at which point 3G becomes even more unreliable), quite why you'd want to fork out £40-50 more for an extra bit of useless gadgetry is beyond us when the number of Wi-Fi hotspots is improving at a greater rate than 3G coverage.
DEALSPWN TIP: Buy the Wi-Fi version and save yourself £40 or so.
PS Vita Console Bundles
You can pick up a standalone Vita console for under £200 at Asda if reports are to be believed, but we'd advise against that. Most of the Vita's launch titles will require the use of a proprietary memory card, and they are expensive. Therefore, if you can find a cheap Vita bundle that includes one of the tiny storage cards, you're better off going with one of those rather than trying to pick up pieces individually. The prices will come down, eventually, but right now your best bet is a Vita bundle.
This is probably our favourite PS Vita bundle. The standalone price is the same, so essentially you're getting an 8MB card (RRP £27.99) for free. On top of that, you can get the excellent Rayman Origins (RRP £32.99) for and extra £15. Lumines is also an option, but don't get any of the other games (unless you really want them) as their value is significantly lower.
More or less the same deal as above, but with a few extras. The Pre-Order Pack includes official headphones, £5 off one of Little Deviants, Super Stardust Delta, Hustle Kings, or Escape Plan, and a bunch of other PSN extras. If the Pre-Order Pack is tempting, this is the bundle to go for. If you have your own headphones, go with Amazon.
One for those whose main focus on launch is Nathan Drake. Golden Abyss is by far the most anticipated launch title, with an RRP of around £37.99. Throw in the 8GB memory card and the Pre-Order Pack too and it's a rather complete bundle for the adventurer on the go.
We'd still recommend the Amazon bundle, but worth a punt if none of Amazon's bundle games appeal. Then again, if you sell Rayman unopened for £25-30 on eBay and then buy Uncharted, you can get Drake's latest in the package for under £220. If you don't care about the Pre-Order Pack, that is. Which we don't.
Asda (In-Store): £196.98 = Playstation Vita Wi-Fi
Yes, it's a sub-£200 pirce for the Wi-Fi PS Vita. BUT, the hidden costs matter. For just over a tenner more, you could have a memory card and game worth twice as much. it doesn't matter if you keep them or not. This is a great deal if you've already gotten yourself a memory card or are an Asda employee. But everyone else should stay clear.
Sadly the excellent Morrisons in-store bundle has expired at the time of writing.
DEALSPWN TIP: Go with either Amazon or Play and buy a console bundle that includes an 8GB memory card.
PS Vita Memory Cards
Proprietary memory cards are horrible. But as much as we rant and rave, they're the only means of storage at the moment and Sony are exploiting this with obscenely high asking prices. The prices will come down, of course, but in the meantime we'd advise you go with a PS Vita bundle such as those above, that at least get you started for free.
The Vita game cards themselves can theoretically store data themselves, but Sony have all but announced that memory cards are essential.
NB. Although not totally mandatory, there are only two games we've found so far that can run completely without a memory card: Asphalt Injection and Dungeon Hunter Alliance. Bottom line...you're going to need a memory card.
To provide a point of comparison if shopping for additional cards, the official RRPs for the PS Vita memory cards are as follows:
- 4GB Memory Card - £14.99
- 8GB Memory Card - £27.99
- 16GB Memory Card - £39.99
Thankfully, a number of merchants are stocking these at up to £5 below RRP. But being an essential accessory, don't expect the price to fall too much.
DEALSPWN TIP: Pick up a memory card with your console where possible.
Retail vs. Digital
Sony have suggested that games on the PSN will be 10% cheaper than boxed releases. However, the high prices of the memory cards may make digital downloads unattractive. If you're only using the memory cards for saved games and smaller PSN titles, then 4GB will be fine. For the record, though, Uncharted's digital download clocks in at around 3GB. Most game saves only take up 4-10MB of space, but one or two (like MLB: The Show) can hit 100MB+.
Then again, Sony have announced some low download prices already for the UK market. As the console's digital marketplace develops (provided pricing stays flexible) it is to be hoped that digital will prove cheaper in the long run. We'll be revisiting this post-release.
DEALSPWN TIP: 8GB will be enough to avoid making a full decision either way upon launch with enough space for a few download titles and plenty of room for saves.
PS Vita Games
Brendan's highlighted Uncharted: Golden Abyss as the biggest reason to get a Vita at the moment, and with iOS and Android tablets offering HD gaming at lower prices, it's all about gunning for the exclusives and experiences you literally can't find on any other handheld. Uncharted, WipEout, Touch My Katamari, Everybody's Golf have all been receiving high praise, especially the first two.
We'll have reviews for you here as they come in: