The PS Vita has a beautiful 5-inch touchscreen that will stun most gamers. The screen looks nearly as good as my iPhone 4s, which is quite an accomplishment for a system priced at less than half of Apple's $600 mobile beast. Titles like Lumines and Wipeout 2048 look amazingly vibrant and detailed, making the Vita feel like a portable Playstation 3 instead of the successor to the PSP. Backwards compatible titles look just as great, with 2-D titles like Metal Slug looking better than even the original console versions!
The controls feel natural and ergonomic. The second joystick really adds to the experience with new controller mapping options, and tighter camera controls. The back of the Vita has a touch pad as well, but honestly I have no idea what this feature is for, as it seems like a useless gimmick. Overall the controls feel better than the PSP, and should make for better playing games compared to the Nintendo 3DS, which is currently in quite the debacle due to the lack of a second analog stick for games like Kid Icarus and Resident Evil Revelations.
The Vita is not perfect. The flaws are small, but glaring in some cases. Let's start with the Vita models available for purchase.
Other pricing problems involve the system's memory cards. A 32GB card will cost users a cool $100 bucks, which is insanely overpriced. Most users will be buying Sony's games to fill the card so why are they trying to double dip by charging too much for the card itself? Sony either needs to give away a few free games at that price point, or just reduce it to make up for the lack of PSP backwards compatibility.
Speaking of PSP backwards compatibility, American gamers are really getting the short end of the stick. The Vita has a transfer program in Japan for PSP owners to transfer their UMD games to the Vita for a heavily discounted price. Sadly, this program is not available in the US, so every UMD game for PSP must be bought again at full retail price.To add insult to injury, the PS Vita in the US doesn't even carry half of the PSP library in the online store. So if you miss your PSP games, there is no real reason to part with it yet, as the Vita is not a great resource for transferring older titles.
Also if you want to get Japanese PSP games, don't buy an American Vita. The system only allows for one account per console. The system will only allow one region store per memory card without resetting the data via system restore. If you like to dabble in imports, the Vita is region free, but older PSP titles only work if you set your region to Japan and hold a Japanese PSN account.
That seems like plenty of negatives but the system is still worth a look. The Vita is practically a portable Playstation 3 and will eventually have an impressive library of games like Gravity Daze and Street Fighter X Tekken. While the price is a bit steep, if you are ready for the next level of portables, it is available now. However, if you are a casual gamer that is fine with older style graphics and simple controls, hold off for a price drop, which is bound to happen at some point later this year.