A new handheld hits the gaming market Wednesday and I’ll be picking it up. The system, I’m sure you already know, is the PS Vita. It’s Sony’s last great effort to prove handhelds are viable. They’ve packed everything into this thing to make sure it sells: advanced HD graphics (early PS3 level), dual analog sticks, touch screens in the front and back, 3G and WiFi, motion sensitivity, AR — not to mention huge developer support. Still, it’s expensive. The wifi version is $250, the 3G fifty dollars more, plus the cost of a proprietary memory card that begins at $20. That’s a bit of a joke, though, because $20 gets you the smallest possible card (4GB). With PSN and downloadable content being a big push for Sony on the Vita, most users will want at least 8GB ($30) and possibly more. Factor in a couple games, a screen protector, and case, total investment jumps to around $375 for the most basic version. Thankfully, I have a bunch of stuff to trade — including my 3DS.
So why am I getting this thing? Because it’s effing cool, that’s why. Sony went all out to make sure it’s impressive and succeeded. The graphics, as shallow a consideration as that might seem, look great on that 5″ screen. The rear touch panel is an immediate win, too; though admittedly it sounds like a bit of a gimmick, but with the way you hold the Vita it feels incredibly natural to have that extra finger control. Developers are already using it to great effect. Another nice thing about that rear touch screen is that sections can be mapped by game creators to simulate a traditional DualShock controller. More than anything, though, is that developers have really gotten behind this thing. When it “officially” launches on February 22nd, it will do so with the biggest launch line-up of any game-dedicated machine ever. There are some really cool things devs can do with this system and it really is like a console in your pocket.
I’ll wrap by sharing this amazing trailer for Gravity Daze. It’s a game coming out in May that looks really innovative and fun. This trailer, though, just like IGN says in their caption, is stunning.
(If you can’t tell from the trailer, turning the Vita alters the direction of gravity)
The second thing I wanted to mention is that I seem to have found a sweet spot making money in SWTOR. Everything in that game becomes ridiculously expensive as you get up in levels (anyone else notice this?), so I took up slicing early on. Now, at level 34, I’m sitting on 350k in credits with another 36k in stuff for sale. I don’t know if that’s great or average or what, but I have a feeling that if I keep this up all the way to fifty I might be sitting on close to 700k or more even after my level 40 mount. This is a load off. I hate feeling like I’m perpetually broke, so having a steady income for once is pleasant.
If you’re having money problems, this is what I do at 400 slicing: send multiple companions out to gather, but only on Bountiful and Rich yield missions. There’s a common misconception that slicing gets you rich out of the money lockboxes. In fairness, they’ll usually pay for the mission, but the real money is in the rare and legendary mission discoveries. Bountiful and Rich yield-types have a much better chance at including these in the reward. Underworld Trading, Treasure Hunting, and Slicing missions (340), all net around 15-18k each. I send another companion out on Bountiful/Rich yield augment missions. Augments have a huge range in sell value but sometimes you get lucky. I sold one a couple days ago for 85k.
Still, I don’t think it’s necessarily good design to make players grind gold just to get something as basic as a mount, especially in a game as large as SWTOR. But I digress.
In any event, I’m here and playing. Hope you’re all well.