The 15 Hour PlayStation Vita* Mega Pack Road Test
This summer we tested out a Sony PlayStation Vita Console with 10 game Mega Pack to trial, a couple of weeks before going on our holiday to the Vendee region of France. Our long car journey towards Les Sables d’Olonne with 9, 7 and 4 year old boys would offer our boys the perfect opportunity to test the appeal of this new console. As parents we lived in hope that the new toy might reduce back-seat boredom and bickering! Well, we can dream can’t we??
The PlayStation Vita Mega Pack is suitable for both gaming at home and on-the-go. It features:-
- the PlayStation Vita handheld console with built in front and rear cameras
- 10 family-friendly games including Wipeout 2048, LittleBigPlanet and MotorStorm RC
- an 8GB memory card to store additional games, apps, videos, music and photos.
Our package arrived amidst much excitement (This fancy case was just for transportation to us and unfortunately not part of the pack!). Once we had charged up the console, the system set up required connecting to the internet, joining the Playstation network, entering a code to download our games pack and inserting a micro memory card. A minor hassle but within 15 minutes we were ready to go.
As the weather at home was so pleasant, I tried to discourage 9 year old Train Boy from playing on it and losing the novelty factor too much before we went abroad. I did allow him a brief familiarization period ‘for research purposes’. I suspect the thoroughness with which he carried out this task says more for his general love of technology than for this particular device. Suffice to say I would be a very proud mother indeed if anything like this level of commitment was applied to his homework!
Over the past few years the boys have built up a collection of portable electronic devices which include an iPod Touch, a Nintendo 3DS and an android tablet, so I was interested to see how the Vita would fare in the mix on our road trip. Initially our new toy was the favorite option and at times parental supervision was required so each boy had a ‘fair’ turn.
After about 15 hours car time, I quizzed the boys about their experiences of using the Vita. Here are the conclusions of the expert testers
4 year old Zu says
My favorite game is LittleBigPlanet. I like the PS Vita best because it’s new. Can we keep it?
7 year old Bubble says
My favourite game’s called Lemmings. It’s just really good. You need to try and direct the lemmings to different destinations to win points. I like my tablet and the PS Vita best.
9 year old Trainboy’s verdict
My favourite game on the PS Vita is LittleBigPlanet because you can do lots of things and it’s like you’re in charge. For example you can choose if there’s water in your world or if you created a world you can choose how many people go on it.
You can only play little Big Planet on Play Stations, so I can’t play it on the XBox or iPod.
I’ve seen on YouTube that 4J studios are making a PS Vita version of Minecraft
That last point puts the Vita firmly on Trainboy’s radar as Minecraft is his favorite game and hugely popular with his gaming peers.
I like how they’ve laid out the Play Station store because you can find things you’re looking for quickly. On the XBox you have to search things which takes ages because it only recognizes exact matches.
And a useful one for Trainboy as he’s VERY short sighted
The screen is bigger than the PSP and that makes it easier to see.
Don’t get me wrong, the children didn’t spend quite the whole journey with their eyes glued to a screen. We also enjoyed some jolly wholesome activities like hangman, various versions of the alphabet game and spotting familiar french words like ‘piscine’ on roadsigns.
I certainly think electronic devices are a valid form of entertainment when the grown ups need to concentrate on driving long distances on foreign roads. Trying to spot something beginning with the letter B whilst realizing you’ve just taken the autoroute in the direction of Paris when you were meant to be heading for Rennes is not a great result. . .
I’m also a great fan of parental blackmail in the right context, so my eldest boys have finally perfected a couple of irksome times tables with the incentive of forthcoming screen time.
We’re nearing the end of our French adventure and the PS Vita is still seems to be the most popular device amongst the boys. And the parents verdict? We’ve been in the car for almost 4 hours and it’s been a pretty much stress free ride. The children have been well behaved and with less than an hour to get to the ferry port at Caen and my 7 year old just said “We haven’t driven very far yet, have we?”.
No complaints here!
Additional Specs courtesy of Sony for you
nerdy Tech Savvy People!
The PlayStationVita* boasts a 5″ multi-touch OLEDtouchscreen, GPS and Bluetooth capabilities, support for Wi-Fi and (optionally) 3G as well as cross-platform multiplayer gaming, with front and rear multi-touch pads and cameras and SIXAXIS™ motion sensor technology.
For gaming fanatics excited about the launch of the PlayStation 4, the great news is that the PlayStation Vita will also act as a second screen to play full PS4™ games, so there is no need to panic if the main TV screen is in use by another member of the family.
Cost and Where to Purchase.
The brand new Playstation Vita Mega Pack retails at £169 and is available now from selected retailers, including for example Argos and Amazon. If you are interested in purchasing, it would be great if you would like to use my affiliate link below.
We were sent a Mega Pack to trial for the purposes of this review.
Technical specs and purchase availability courtesy of Sony.
All other opinions are those of myself and my family – well actually mainly 9 year old Trainboy!