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What is the Playstation Vita?

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Playstation Vita gaming device ©Playstation
Question: What is the Playstation Vita?
My children are into handheld gaming systems like the Nintendo DS and portable systems like the Playstation PSP. What is the Playstation Vita, and what types of features can this device offer my family?
Answer:

Many children these days, once they hit the age of 10, stop asking for specific toys and games, and would rather delve into using portable gaming systems for their fun and excitement. The Playstation Vita (compare prices) is a newly released handheld gaming system recommended for children as young as 10, that will span into adult entertainment for serious video gamers, so it is definitely a purchase the entire family can benefit from. There has been video game content created for this game that includes content for everyone (10+), as well as both teen and mature content (17+). Playstation Vita prices start at $249.00. This exciting new gaming system is also wi-fi compatible and apps can be downloaded to the device using a wireless internet signal.

Features

- 3G/AT&T Wireless Capability ($299 + monthly service charge)

- 5 inch OLED Screen that displays 16 million colors

- Front and Rear Cameras enhance augmented reality experiences

- Six Axis Motion Sensor allowing users to touch, tilt and steer when gaming

- Multi-Touch Display / Touchscreen

- Rear Touch Screen for Enhanced Play

- Dual Analog Sticks

- Locate, connect and play with friends via GPS and social networking apps for those who have purchased the 3G / Wifi System

- Cross Platform Play (PS3), start a game on your PS3 and finish it on your Playstation Vita

- The device can play downloaded music, take pictures, shoot video and browse the internet

- Compatible with 250 digital PSP titles at launch

- Games can be purchased commercially in retail stores and directly on the device with an account

- Carrying cases, audio headphones, and power supplies are available as additional accessories

My Opinions

Though I do not personally have my own Playstation Vita, I was invited to an event where I got some hands-on time to play a variety of the new games, prior to the release of this new gaming device. For me, someone who is not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but fairly technologically savvy, after a few minutes and some helpful hints from others, I was able to enjoy multiple games with ease. There were younger children at the event who where quickly maneuvering the device and games without difficulty as well. My favorite feature was the integrated rear touch screen, playing games on it are completely different than using the analog sticks, and was a fun challenge. To me, given the capabilities of this device, for a teenager or child it becomes their gaming device, tablet, and portable personal entertainment system all-in-one. As parents, it's definitely important to monitor the games, apps and content your children are utilizing on the device, but this is surely an investment the entire family will enjoy at home and when travelling. For more specific information visit the About.com Playstation site

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