This week we have our first look at the PS Vita ($249.99 on Amazon) and in particular at Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048. We also meet a new family with teen gamers, the Hilsons, who we will be quizzing about their gaming habits over the coming weeks.
While they remain to be convinced about the new Sony handheld, we did discover their mum’s secret Nintendo handheld habit. What I found particularly interesting was that she was obviously content to just play the same small collection of games, rather than being driven to play the latest and greatest new release.
As we’ll discuss with her in a later episode, she was put off even trying Professor Layton because she had been told that if she got a question wrong the game wouldn’t let her proceed. The irony is that her whole family (joined by me during my visit) was sure that she would really enjoy the Layton games.
Even though I’ve been talking to families about video-games for a few years now, I’m constantly surprised by how much I still have to learn, and how my assumptions about how families play games can be turned on their head.
The features of the PS Vita that stand out for the families I’ve talked to are very different to what a more hardcore gamer is excited about. While games like Uncharted Golden Abyss ($49.99 Amazon) impress with cinematic visuals, it’s games like Wipeout 2048 that offer Cross Play features, along with the Rear Touch Screen that offer genuinely new ways to play together in the family.
In fact my kids have invent a two player co-operative mode for Little Deviants PS Vita where one controls the front touch screen while the other looks after the rear. Now that’s something they couldn’t do on a 3DS.