How we look after our new gadgets, especially the new ones, probably says a lot about who we are. It’s a personal choice whether you want to protect, show off, hide or embellish your newly owned device. The PS Vita has so many cases, headphones, covers and guards that you could be forgiven for thinking it was made of egg shell.
Having lived with the Vita for a couple of weeks now I thought it might be helpful to share my real life use observations, and the accessories I have put on order. You may not want to go the same route as me, but at least it will give you a guide as to what’s available.
Protecting The Screens
There are a few ways to go here. The least obtrusive of these is the screen film: a two pack costs just $9.99 and will guard against scratches and scuffs. You can go a step further with a Vita Face Cover for $12.99 that not only covers the screen but the buttons and face of the device as well.
Protecting The Body Shell
These accessories offer protection to the whole device by encasing it in plastic and foam. I prefer the Nerf Armour case ($14.50) that not only guards against scratches and drops but also lets you play the PS Vita with the case still on. If this is too bulky you can go for something lighter like the excellent Silicone Shell Protector ($11.99) although this offers less protection to the buttons and those cute little analogue sticks. Between the two there are some very good hard shells, like the Metalic Silver Case ($19.95). Finally there are the pouch style cases that offer on the go protection. Of these the HORI Hard Case ($14.99) is my favorite.
Improving the Ergonomics
Here we switch from defense to offense. These accessories enhance the grip of the PS Vita with a variety of augmentations to Sony’s design. The CTA Hand Grip ($12.99) clips onto place and enables you to play games like Wipeout 2048 more easily. A similar but more ergonomic design is the PDP Trigger Grip ($14.99) that wraps around the PS Vita and repositions the triggers to a more convenient position.
Because the Vita has a multi-touch capacitive screen you can’t use any old stylus to control it (should you wish to reduce the number of paw prints from your fingers). I have found that a capacitive stylus like the CTA Touch Pen ($12.99) works well.
Improving the Battery Life
The short playtime between charges is one of the biggest issues on the Vita, as it is for any handheld. Chargers you can use on the move can help this. First off a car charger like this DreamGear example ($9.99) is an inexpensive way to solve the battery issue. I actually took to using a second charger ($14.99) at work so my Vita would last both morning and evening commutes (that are admittedly very long).
Improving the Experience
Finally there are some great start packs that aim to tick all these boxes with a collection of accessories. These have the added benefit of all matching each other — which is a small but important aspect of accessorizing any new gadget. The HORI Elite Pack ($24.99) provides a case, headphones and front/rear screen protection. The CTA Luxury Pack ($39.99) takes this a step further by adding game cases, cleaning fluid, chargers and a grip to the package.
Improving the Memory
Carrying on with the accessory pack these, the Official Start Kit ($39.99) also provides a 4GB memory card. This is good value if you were also going to by a case, otherwise you are better off buying the Memory separately (from $19.99).
As I said above, whatever you choose from this list (or whether you decide against any accessories) is a personal choice. I have found myself more willing to take the Vita out and about with the screen protectors in place and the protective pouch. Unlike the clam-shell DS or 3DS I found that the Vita benefited from a little extra protection.
They also make rather good presents if you know any friends and family are getting the new handheld for a birthday. I added this to some Epic Mickey goodies for my brother’s upcoming celebration — although I guess I should double check he is still getting a Vita because the accessories on their own aren’t nearly as much fun.