Last Minute Gift Recommendation: PlayStation Vita

psvitaThe PS4 and Xbox One have been the video game stars of this year’s holiday shopping season, but if you’re looking for a great last minute gift for the gamer in your life – consider the PS Vita. At $199, and half the price of the PS4, the Vita offers a tremendous amount of value and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

When it comes to gaming, we are both overwhelmed and impressed with the selection of games available on the PS Vita – the Vita catalog offers over 900 games. That includes dedicated games for the PlayStation Vita, PS One classics, cross-buy games for the PS3, a large selection of indie games, mini games, and even free to play games.

But best of all is the fact that these games are available as instant gratification – you can purchase and download them on the spot. We also very much appreciate that many of them offer a try before you buy option.

And while the PS Vita is a first and foremost a gaming device, it also has plenty of multimedia chops. To that effect, it comes complete with a video store where you can rent and purchase TV and movie downloads.

On the app front, the selection is quite impressive too! The device comes preloaded with a web browser, email client, and Google maps. You can also download additional apps for Skype, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitter and more. So overall, although we wouldn’t consider it a tablet replacement, the PS Vita has a lot to offer, even beyond gaming.

And if you’re a PS4 or PS3 owner, the PS Vita offers a neat Remote Play feature that lets you use the Vita to play PS3 and PS4 games while you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network. We have tested the Remote Play feature out on the PS4 and it works really well, but we’ll have more about the Remote Play experience up soon.

Our biggest gripe with the PSP Vita system however, is that its memory cards are proprietary, so you’ll have to purchase a Vita branded memory card specifically, and they are pretty pricey. Unfortunately buying one is extremely necessary, since most PS Vita game downloads are quite large in size. So word to the wise, if you do decide to surprise someone with the Vita this holiday season, make sure to buy them a PS Vita bundle with a memory card included.

Furthermore, the PlayStation Vita is so much more advanced than the Nintendo 3DS, that they really can’t be compared fairly. Overall, for $199, the PS Vita offers lots of value, as well as lots of fun in a small package. A PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi Bundle that includes an 8GB memory card, can be found online on Amazon for just $202.99.

Buy it!

The Good: Great 5” OLED Touchscreen, Easy to use interface, healthy catalog of apps, tons of games available – including PS classics, fun color choices, offers remote play feature for the PS4 and PS3, 3G support, try before you buy for many games

The Bad: Proprietary and pricey memory cards, battery life could be better, proprietary charger

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