According to a recent statement from Sony, battery life for the new PlayStation Vita will range between three to five hours when playing games. Using the device for only video playback offers up to five hours and listening to music in standby mode offers up to nine hours of playback. In addition, these tests were performed at the default screen brightness without Bluetooth enabled. It also doesn’t account for 3G or Wi-Fi use for online play, a potentially large drain on the battery. The limited power for playing games eliminates the possibility of using the device on long car trips or any other type of extended travel.
In addition, the device will require a full two hours and 40 minutes to recharge completely. While this is faster than the 3.5 hour charging time of the Nintendo 3DS, consumers will have to purchase a charging cradle separately for the Vita. Another expense comes in the form of the proprietary memory cards required to store and save content like game saves, movies and music. A 32GB version of the card retails for about $125, triple the cost of a typical 32GB SD memory card found online. Other sizes include a 4GB card for about $30, a 8GB card for about $42 and a 16GB card for just under $75. Since all Vita games will be available to download in digital form, this makes storing a newly purchased game an expensive practice.
However, the recently announced launch lineup seems to be more impressive than Nintendo’s launch titles with the 3DS. Games such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ridge Racer and Hot Shots Golf 6 should help move systems off store shelves. In addition, about 500 to 600 PSP games will be available to download onto the device. Sony is working on a way to convert previously purchased UMDs into digital downloads so consumers don’t have to spend money on titles already purchased.