A stack of things you ought to know about the PS Vita
A stack of things you ought to know about the PS Vita
The PlayStation Vita has only been out for 5 days now, so most people are still getting to grips with it. Not me however, because I am a genius. With great power comes great responsibility of course and when a friend asked me how Iíd done anything with my PS Vita aside from play Uncharted: Golden Abyss, I knew it was my duty to help. And so I put together this, a stack of things you ought to know about the PS Vita.
In an effort to curb piracy, Sony has implemented an... annoying content management system into the PlayStation Vita. It's difficult to blame them of course - while the PSP's homebrew scene was legitimately excellent, it made pirating PSP games ridiculously easy and widespread.
The first thing you're going to need is Sony's Content Management Assistant - which you can download directly from Sony. As all of the content management is handled directly through the PS Vita itself, the CMA sits in the background - and at a maximum of 30MB of RAM usage while transferring, it's surprisingly reasonable as far as background applications go.
Above you can see the settings screen for the CMA - little more than a directory changer. The 'Other' tab simply gives you the option to rebuild the database the PS Vita has built using your media's metadata - id3 tags and the like.
You'll notice that my video directory isn't the default - it's a specific directory I built for videos I want to watch on the PS Vita. Like the PSP, the PlayStation Vita can only play mp4s - no divx or xvid codecs are available. Whether those codecs will be available in the future like they are on the PlayStation 3 is uncertain - for now if you have any videos you want to watch, you'll have to encode or convert them specifically for it. Handbrake is the program I'd recommend - it can handle most file formats and dvds and it is simple to use.
The Universal Preset will convert your files to work on the PS Vita and it has the added benefit of working on almost anything else - iPhones, Android phones, the PS3 and Xbox 360. It makes some compromises to gain maximum compatibility, so your videos might suffer some loss in quality, but if you just want to watch your Blue's Clues boxset on the train, it will do the job.
The PS Vita features something PlayStation 3 owners have been clamouring for since forever - apart from cross game chat. While it isnít possible with all games, with titles like Hustle Kings the PS Vita can play your own custom music selection instead of the gameís music.
Simply transfer your music to your PS Vita, open the music app and open your game. The music app needs to be open for it to work, but you can open it after youíve opened your game if you decide youíd rather listen to your own tunes later. If you start your music before booting up the game it will continue to play as it loads, but if youíd rather wait until youíre in before starting your tunes, simply press and hold the PS button until the quick menu comes up.
As you can see, your controls are limited - if you want to change albums or playlists, youíll have to do so from within the music app. Also, as I mentioned earlier - it doesnít work with all games - it hasnít worked with any PSP game Iíve tried and it wonít work with Touch My Katamari or Lumines: Electronic Symphony - obviously. If youíve tried it with any other games, let us know in the comments below.
The quick menu caught me by surprise - although I donít think Iíve even taken the manual out of the box yet, so thatís probably on me. What might have caught you by surprise though, is how I got that image in the first place. I used sorcery, but you can achieve the same effect by pressing the PS button and Start at the same time. Screen captures work just about everywhere I tried them - except for in PSP games.
The outstanding PSP games nobody played substantially increase the PS Vitaís value for early adopters, with the addition of a second analogue stick enhancing the gameplay in some instances. Listed below are some of the titles I would suggest:
The PSP games listed on the PlayStation Store have been updated for the most part, so that most of them say whether they are compatible with the PS Vita or not. If it doesnít mention compatibility though - like Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories - you can roll the dice or play it safe.
Making the Right analogue stick function as youíd please is available through the PSP specific in game menu, activated by touching the front touch screen for a short while. You can assign the Right stick to the d-pad, face buttons or the Left analogue stick, if you want to pretend Snake had a stroke or something.
If you have a PSP, or a backup of your old PSP saves, you can transfer them to your PS Vita, allowing you to continue where you left off. Doing so via the PS3 is fairly simple - hook up your PSP, transfer the saves to the PS3, hook up your PS Vita and transfer the saves from the PS3. If your only option is a PC however, it can get a little more complicated. To begin you need a PSP game on your PS Vita - and you need to have saved at least once. Then hook your PS Vita up to your PC, and ĎCopy Contentí from the PS Vita to the PC. In Applications, select Saved Data (PSP/Other), select the save and copy it to your PC.
On your PC, go to the location you selected for Applications/Backup FIles (the default is C:\Users\
Sony have put out a couple of other tips for the PS Vita and while they aren't all useful, some of them might be of interest. You can check them out on the US PlayStation Blog. Do you have any tips for the PS Vita? How are you liking it? Let us know in the comments below!
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