GameZone Roundtable: Is the Vita worth a purchase?

Welcome to our all new weekly series where us, the GameZone staff, will post and discuss a single relevant topic in the world of gaming.

We're about a month away from Sony's next big thing, the PS Vita. As cool as the system is, it's certainly not for everyone, and here we'll answer the question:

Is the PS Vita worth a purchase?

Mike Splechta: I, for one, couldn't be more excited about this sexy piece of hardware. I'm not known to carry around more than my iPhone which up until now was able to satisfy my on-the-go gaming urges but I truly hope that this changes with the Vita. I'm truly impressed with what Sony was able to cram into this handheld. I wasn't overly crazy about the touchscreen, as I feel like like touch based gaming should stay on mobile devices, but the fact that it now has dual analog sticks, more than proves that the Vita is ready for some hardcore gaming. It's also perfect for someone like me who has to share his TV time with his wife. I love the fact that I'll be able to play near console-like games on the Vita who's screen size is also nothing to scoff at.

I've had a PSP for some time and while it did give me some great games to play on the go (many that I will continue playing on the Vita) I am truly excited for what the Vita games have to offer. Sure the battery life might not be stellar, but I feel that the Vita is definitely a correct step in the next evolution of handhelds.

Verdict: Absolutely!

Matt Liebl: Hmmm, this is a tough one for me because of my current financial situation (just having gotten engaged and having to think about a wedding in the future).  It's not that I don't think the Vita is worth it, but from of a financial standpoint, I don't think it's at an affordable price range for those on the fence.  The launch lineup is as strong as it gets.  Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Little Deviants, and Gravity Rush are all great games.  And those are only the launch titles!  So from a software standpoint, yes the Vita is absolutely worth it.  Let's not forget, I can play my personal favorite, MLB 12: The Show on-the-go.

Like I said, the only thing that scares me are the prices.  Between the actual system price, the tiered gaming prices, the memory cards, and the cost of 3G if you get that model, you've got to be willing to part with some cash.

Verdict: The Vita is a great purchase if you've got the extra cash to spend.

Vito Gesualdi: If you've read my recent article Screw the Vita, buy a PSP, you likely already know my stance on Sony's new handheld. To be honest I'm definitely impressed by the Vita, the sleek beautifully-crafted device making Nintendo's 3DS look like an awkward children's toy (especially with the Circle Pad Pro jammed on there). Not to mention that the various technologies crammed into the device seem very exciting in terms of their potential, and I'm excited to see what developers do with the dual touch-screens, GPS tracking, front and back cameras, tilt sensor, etc.

The real problem is that there just isn't a killer app for the device yet, most launch titles appearing like hastily constructed ports (Ridge Racer Vita has three whole tracks! Three!). Uncharted is promising, and a few others look like good fun, but looking at the list of upcoming releases I see lots and lots of ports of games I already own, and few original titles which really catch my eye.

In short, if you really need to play Ninja Gaiden on the go, snag a Vita. I'll be waiting at least a year to see if Sony pulls a page out of Nintendo's playbook, hastily dropping the price $80 before their shareholders burn corporate headquarters to the ground.

Also: needs more RPGs k thx

Verdict: Not really

Andrew Clouther:  Before I start talking about the Vita I want to make it clear that I’m completely biased.  I’ve not owned a hand held gaming console since the original Nintendo Game Boy in 1989 and they just don’t interest me anymore.  With that said, no I will not be buying a Sony Vita.  With both a laptop and a smartphone – I just don’t see a need for a Vita in my life.  I will not argue that smart phones are able gaming consoles, but they get the job done while the laptop is unavailable.

This is all my personal option though, for my life.  To me the Vita is like a controller with a screen in the middle.  That’s pretty awesome.  The idea of having both a touch screen and two analog joysticks seems like a very comfortable fit nearly ideal for a gamer.  If hand held consoles are your thing – I say go for it.

Verdict:  Not for me.

Lance Liebl: One word: definitely.  It's pretty much a PS3 in your pocket.  I'm getting one, and ya wanna know why?  It's going to let me kill time.  I love MLB 12: The Show and LittleBigPlanet, and now I'll be able to play them how they're meant to be played — and I won't have to lug around a PS3 to do it.  With the intuitive touch controls, it's like a gamer's iPad.  Yea, I know Infinity Blade 2 is amazing, but in the end you're just tapping and swiping across a screen.  The features of the Vita — like cloud saving to continue your games on the go — make it worth the price.  Ultimately, it will depend on the games that come out for it to see whether or not the handheld is being utilized properly, but I'd rather spend $250 on a Vita than $180 on a 3D gimmick that ends up just giving me a headache or $400-$600 on an iPad.

Verdict: Definitely

So there you have it. It definitely depends on the type of gamer you are, and what your finances look like. The Vita is certainly not a cheap device and with added costs of memory cards, it can easily run you almost $400. With that said, if you're comfortable and happy with your smart phone as your on the go entertainment, you probably won't find an immediate need for a Vita. One thing is for sure however, Sony has definitely built quite a powerful handheld, and we'll be waiting to see what other surprises are in store for it down the road, not to mention some great announcements at this years E3.