gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

SONY PS Vita Starter Kit Reviewed

If, like me, you picked up your PS Vita on the 22nd, you’ll no-doubt be looking for a decent case to protect your shiny new bundle of awesome and will probably be in the market for other PS Vita Accessories. Look no further than the Starter Kit, which as its name suggests should get you started.

When I say “decent case” I’m not referring to the hideous “Case” that comes in this kit ( you’ll probably want to palm that off on a friend, ritually burn it, or throw it on EBay ), but rather the much sleeker “Pouch” case which also comes in the Starter Kit and should adequately protect your new Vita without too much added bulk.

Also in the kit is a wrist strap, screen protectors, cleaning cloth and card case. The latter you’ll most certainly use, whilst the wrist strap and screen protectors ( front and back! ) are a matter of personal preference.

But let’s rewind for a moment and address exactly what’s wrong with the Starter Kit “Case”. It’s a faux-leather affair, with two excessively large oval pieces for the front and back. It’s joined by a floppy fabric hinge, and the PS Vita is connected to the case using a plastic clip that fits through the two lanyard holes on the bottom. If you want to use all of the PS Vita’s controls whilst it’s connected to this case, you basically have to have the entire, bulky, ugly case dangling off the bottom of your Vita. There is, alas, no quick-release mechanism.

If you absolutely need a stand for a bit of movie watching on your Vita, you might get some use out of it, but otherwise it’ll just serve to make your Vita look ridiculous whilst offering far, far less dust protection than the simple and more visually appealing Pouch.

The Pouch case, on the flip side, is fantastic. It’s a soft, protective material that completely encloses your Vita and should protect it from normal knocks, bumps, scratche, dust and other crud that might have accrued in your bag. Cases can be expensive, so I’ve no difficulty in proclaiming that the Pouch, Lanyard and Card Case are well worth the cost of this Starter Kit alone. The screen protectors are gravy if you’re in to that sort of thing. Personally, I think I’ll give them a miss; if my iPad can survive without one, so too can my Vita.

The Card Case will fit 8 Vita games and 2 memory cards; yup around £400 of games and storage in such a tiny little box. Unfortunately there’s no slot for it on either the Pouch case or the regular case, but it can be easily tucked inside the pouch as long as you don’t mind it getting up close and personal with your Vita. If you do pop the screen protectors on, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

Ultimately, I’d much rather the PS Vita Starter Kit came with a 4GB memory card than the awful stand/case abomination, but at £23.99 the other bits and bobs are well worth the price.

If the Pouch isn’t your thing, then keep an eye on MobileFun who have a growing selection of PS Vita Covers including the rather awesomely overkill Thrustmaster SPF Hard Case.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012, Computer Gaming, PS Vita.