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Hands-On Fun with the PS Vita at the Vita Hill Social Lounge

Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of attending a private event for Boston Parent Bloggers and their families at the Vita Hill Social Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  How could we turn down two hours of one-on-one time with the new Playstation Vita?

The PS Vita is not just a handheld gaming system.  It might be your choice if you are in the market for a more affordable tablet.  It has both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity if you have a plan through AT&T Wireless.  Since we only had two hours to play, I cannot write a review of this product, but I can share my family members' first impressions.

Our 8 year old son (in the Nike shirt) became quickly addicted to the PS Vita game ModNation Racers: Road Trip.  He enjoyed the racing, but thought it was very cool that he could design his own driver, racing kart, and track.  I would say that he spent close to an hour sitting at one station playing this kart racing game, even when I urged him to try out some of the other games.

(Click any photo to enlarge)

Our 5 year old twins loved the tilt motion sensing technology.  They are already use to this feature with their LeapPad, so it was easy for them to master.  They were able to test it out with one of the mini-games in the PS Vita game Little Deviants.

Every one of us agreed that the screen was amazingly sharp and crisp.  We could especially see this in the game Virtua Tennis 4, which features instant replays that closely resembled live video.  By the way, this game is very user-friendly and simple to control, using only the directional pad and the "X" button to swing.  Both our 5 year olds outplayed me in this game.  I think my overthinking was my downfall.

A feature of the Playstation Vita that I found interesting to test out was the rear touchpad.  I used it while playing a mini-game in Little Deviants, where I had to push on the rear touchpad to create hills in order to induce rolling in a particular direction.  Sadly, I could not master this skill.

One feature we did not have time to test is the cross-platform play where a PS Vita gamer can play against a Playstation 3 gamer.  We simply ran out of time.  There is only so much you can do in two hours, especially if you try to fit in refreshments and conversation too.

If you have experienced using apps and playing games on the PS Vita, I would love to hear about what you thought.  I would also love to know about the photo quality of the front and rear cameras.  At $299.99 retail, this would be a possible candidate for our next tablet.

Thank you to the Vita Hill Social Lounge and Boston Parent Bloggers for hosting this event for our family.