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PlayStation Vita 2000 Hardware Review
Hello PS3imports, I'm Tenshi and this'll be the first of what I hope to be a series of Hardware related reviews. Today I'll be reviewing the PlayStaion Vita 2000 model. My intentions are to inform, answer any questions you might have, and provide a thought out somewhat wordy opinion on why you should or shouldn't upgrade/jump into this piece of tech. If paragraphs aren't your thing don't worry, I'll have a "pros and cons" list down at the bottom. Remember a review is just a long-winded opinion, if you disagree don't take it personally! You're free to voice counter-opinions. Just as a disclaimer, I'm not a professional writer or journalist or anything. Originally I wanted to post this review in Dec. 2014, but as you all know I took a break from PlayStation for all of 2015 and just came back to PS3i this summer. Anyway Enjoy!
(I'm aware MainComp did a very brief review of his Lime Green model, but my intention here is to be a bit more informative and in-depth. Also a bit more up-to-date, the Vita 2K is no longer JP exclusive.)
Part 1: What's in the box, and Specs.
So what's in the box?
- PlayStation Vita Model #: PCH-2000(XXX)
- AC Adapter
- 1X Micro-USB Cable
- Power Cable (Plug in from adapter to wall)
- User Manuals
Pretty standard fare. Let's check those specs.
The specs are largely in line with the original Vita's where it differs mainly is the screen, wi-fi, internal memory, and battery which we'll touch on in Part 2.
- 5 Inch LCD Screen.
- Quad-Core Arm Cortex-A9 MPCore capable of 2GHz clock speed.
- Quad-Core SGX543MP4+ (GPU) tops out ~1.4GHz (Reportedly)
- 512 MB System Ram
- 128 MB VRAM
- 1 GB Internal Storage Memory
- 2x 0.3 Mega-pixel Cameras
Specs wise, PlayStation Vita remains the most powerful portable console we've ever seen at the time of writing. Companies like Square-Enix (WoFF, DQ:Builders), Gust (Atelier Plus), and Guerilla Cambridge (Killzone Mercenary) have shown just how capable the Vita can be in terms of graphics. Vita's OS is fast and snappy thanks to the generous system memory, faster even than PS3's XMB. The Vita 2K plays all the same games as your regular Vita, at the same clock speeds, so don't expect any improvements to framerates or graphics.
Part 2: What separates the 2K from the "Phat?"
Well in my opinion just about everything but the button layout. But that's not very helpful so I'll get more specific. First up, let's talk about the screen.
Remember all the "'dat OLED tho" when the original Vita first came out? Hell it still persists to this day lol. Well forget it. The first thing Sony did to cut costs on the Slim model was "downgrade" the screen to an LCD. It's a good one for sure, but if you're used the vibrant colors of the original model, perfect blacks, and amazing contrast ratios well... It's a hard adjustment for sure.
What I can say is that without playing side by side, you shouldn't notice too much of a difference to be honest. I've long since forgot about it myself. The LCD lacks those inky white blotches you sometimes saw on the original Vita's black screens. That's a plus. But most people will see the screen as the hardest obstacle to get over when it comes to the newer model.
I've been a gamer all my life and let me tell you, the long hours mashing controllers, clicking buttons, and holding portables at odd angles has not been kind to my wrists. Weight is arguably the first change you'll notice in the new Vita. If you've got bad wrists like me, this is a blessing. Sony officially says the new model is only 15% lighter (20% Slimmer) but boy does it feel like more. The Official weight of the Slim is 219 Grams, compared to the originals 260. It's a difference you can notice, and I think it goes a long way to extending your play sessions just a bit longer before hand cramps start to set in.
The Vita 2K sports a 2,210mhA battery the same as the original model, but thanks to a more energy efficient screen and other internals Sony has managed to squeeze almost an extra two hours of playtime(on a single full-charge) into the newer model. The original Vita lasted about 4 hours of playing time, a little less if you went full blast with the sound and brightness. Sony claims the slim model can last 6 hours under the same conditions and I'd agree with this assessment. For us here on PS3i, we often leave our Vita's out skipping through VN's, I can tell you with the slim you won't be needing to stay near an outlet as often as you would with your old model. With the brightness down and sound off I've even managed to pull 8-10 hour sessions without a charge.
Another change with the battery is HOW it charges now. No more proprietary cable! Any Micro-USB cable will do, even the one you use for your phone. Just plug it into the Vita's AC adapter and you're good to go. This change can only be viewed as a good thing. Micro-USB's are cheap, easy to find, and always in stock. The Vita's original cable though? You likely don't have any extra on hand, they cost more, and most brick-and-mortar stores have stopped carrying them.
The OG Vita had it's share of limited editions and alternate colors, but Vita 2K has seen a much larger supply of colors and LE's over time. Unfortunately some have become hard to find nowadays, but for importers, Sony Japan is still making new colors to this day. Scheduled for Holiday 2016 is Metallic Silver and Metallic Red.
America and Europe however, where official Vita support has largely dried up usually only offer the console in typical "Piano Black."
Don't get your hopes up, the Vita 2k still uses those annoying and expensive proprietary memory cards. That said, the 2K model does sport 1GB internal memory which likely isn't enough to install most games, but if you bought all your games physically, this would be enough space to hold your saves, and some of the smaller patches. At least for a little bit. Sadly, once you insert a memory card into the system you can no longer opt to use the Internal storage until you take the memory card out.
The only real thing of note here is that the 2K model does not come with 3G. Not a single one of them. General Wi-Fi quality seems to be about the same as the original Vita's. Which is to say, somewhat lacking, often buggy, but not deal breaking. Keep your Vita close enough to your wireless router and you'll be fine.
Part 3: Should you upgrade?
I've seen the argument that the screen alone disqualifies the Vita 2K from counting as an "upgrade." I'm here to tell you that's a pretty poor line of thought when you consider all the other benefits. I've had mine for about a year now, and when I got it, I liked it enough to sell my First Edition Vita just a month after having it. It's lighter and feels great in your hands, the backing of the Slim actually has slightly wider grooves for your fingers. The extra battery life comes in real handy when you're traveling, or skipping through some longer VN's. (*Wink, wink*) I'm not sure if my original Vita just had mushy buttons, but the 2K model seems to have better more clicky buttons. Especially helpful is that the Start, Select, and Home buttons are no longer sunk into the machine but actually stick out.
If you've got a working Vita 1K and like it just fine, I don't think you have to upgrade. Eventually your charging cables will break though and you might be forced to. The screen is arguably the only benefit over the newer model, and I admit that is a big part of a portable device, it's not like you can change it like you would with a TV. If your original model is starting to wear down and maybe you're not so happy with it anymore, then absolutely you need to jump on the newer model. Likewise if you've got money to burn, or maybe you're an enthusiast, then the Vita 2K should probably be apart of your collection. Once you adjust to the new screen (it's not that hard, trust me), it's all benefits from there.
Part 4: The TL:DR, Pros and Cons.
- Longer battery life. (Average of +2/+4 Hours)
- Lighter Weight, feels better in your hands.
- Micro-USB charger.
- Internal Memory (1GB) just in-case.
- OLED Screen replaced by cheaper LCD screen.
- Slightly less premium "feel" than original model.
Part 5: Conclusion
Time to wrap up my first review. Hopefully you're walking away from this a bit more informed, I tried to lay out the facts pretty good. As it's a review I also had to include my opinion of course, otherwise this would just be some weird tech report lol. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions about the Vita 2K. Lemme know if you liked the format of this review, I wasn't sure how to present it, I've never reviewed anything in my life before. That said, sometime soon I'll be presenting a review for the PS4Pro, inside I'll have screenshot comparisons of Pro vs. Regular PS4!! If you're on the fence about upgrading or not, I just might be able to convince you. Be sure to check it out when I post it up this week!