Sony went gangbusters last week, showing off their flashy new handheld console to the masses. The PlayStation Vita is, as usual, a Sony-funded powerhouse, featuring a massive touchscreen and PS3-like graphics.
But is Sony onto a winner with it’s modestly price juggernaut? Or is it destined to fail? We caught up with technology expert Henry Rudyard who says there are certain factors that may lead to the Vita’s ultimate failure. Here are the top five reasons why the PlayStation Vita might suck.
The Vita uses OLED technology to show vivid graphics and bright colours when compared to a conventional LCD, however Rudyard believes the technology is limited in lifespan. “A normal LCD, when being used for 8 hours a day, will last about 4 years,” Rudyard told us.
“OLEDs have been shown to last as low as 14,000 hours – or under 2 years. However, some advanced OLEDs have been shown to last a lot longer.”
It’s unknown at this point what type of OLED the Vita will use at this point, but a console that potentially lasts just under two years would not be a viable purchase for hardcore gamers.
Our second fear for the PlayStation Vita again points directly to the OLED screen which, historically, has not shown a great love of the outdoors.
According to Rudyard, OLED screens may perform poorly outdoors, “The problem with OLEDs is that they have the tendency to reflect a lot of light. So when you take them outside, the screen may appear to be unreadable.”
This is due to a lack of backlight, he tells us. LCD screens, like those in the Nintendo 3DS, have a layer of lights behind the screen that produces the brightness. OLED technology actually converts electricity into light. This apparently causes issues in bright areas, like outdoors.
“There have been some advancements in this area,” Rudyard said, “E ink, used in the Kindle eReader used OLED technology and has shown reasonable performance in bright light.”
But there is another factor that makes the PlayStation Vita potentially scared of outdoors – it may be susceptible to sunburn.
“OLED displays can become damaged due to UV light” Rudyard warned, “most displays use a special filter to avoid this kind of damage, but prolonged exposure to UV light sources (especially without the filter) can render the OLED disabled.”
Don’t forget your sunblock!
Our last issue we have with the OLED screen is the fact that they have an issue with the dreaded screen burn-in, commonly found mostly in plasma TV’s.
“OLEDs can suffer from image retention, particularly when a bright image is constantly displayed on the screen,” Rudyard told us, “pixels may be damaged from prolonged exposure”.
This is particularly an issue when it comes to video games – the very nature of which requires constantly displayed maps, health bars, ammo count, etc.
Sony have not yet released specifications on the PlayStation Vita’s battery life, but we have reason to question it’s lifespan.
OLED screens actually have the advantage over LCD screens when it comes to power efficiency, however other factors may drain the battery life even more. The device uses two touch screens, a rumored multi-core processor and a graphics processor that rivals the PlayStation 3.
This is before we start talking about a constantly connected 3G signal, GPS and bluetooth. If the battery does not hold up, it may just add another con to the growing pile.
The Vita’s dual analogue sticks are a great idea for gameplay, but they could prove to be annoying when it comes to ripping the device out of one’s pocket. This action may even lead to broken analogue sticks.
Sure, we might be nit picking at this point, but when you factor in the size of the console you start to wonder if it will even fit into your pocket in the first place. Coming in at a whopping 7.1 inches long, the PSV is no lightweight.
Once we change our wardrobe back to the late 90’s cargo pants, we then worry about scratches on the screen from keys and loose change due to the lack of protection – at least the Nintendo 3DS has a lid. The size of the device may prove to be troublesome to younger players – who usually make up the bulk of the handheld gaming community.
Sure, there are still some unanswered questions surrounding the successor to the PSP, and we’re far from counting it out of the race yet. But once you get past the flashy graphics and god-like power, the potential downfalls of the PlayStation Vita start to appear.
What do you think about the PSV, judging by what you’ve seen to date? Let us know in the comments below.