The PS Vita is bigger than a cat head.
A few weeks ago, every retailer in North America was offering a free $50 gift card when you bought a Vita. Walmart. GameStop. Target. Best Buy. Amazon. But not Toys R Us, the one retailer in North America that I happened to have over $100 in gift cards for. Unfortunately, TRU did not jump on to the $50 cardwagon... but I cashed in my credit anyway and picked up a Vita last week.
Also unfortunate: just when I buy a Vita, I have two 3DS games and an iOS game in for review. So I have not really had much time for Vita.
First impressions. The screen is nicer than the 3DS, but not as nice as a Retina iPhone/iPad. The twin sticks are great. It's more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time than any DS/3DS, thanks to the curved and indented bottom corners.
The interface is interesting. I hate the cheesy, inconsistently designed circle icons, but I like that you quit an app from the menu screen with a rip-from-the-top-paper-corner gesture. I've never owned a PSP, so I can't say how this UI is better/worse than the PSP's UI. Being able to pull up Trophy info is nice... I actually think the Trophies sync and display faster than on the PS3 itself. Still wish we got the PSN iPhone app over here in the States.
Near needs some purpose. Nintendo's Mii StreetPass Plaza is pure genius; easily the oft-overlooked gem in the 3DS' preinstalled app list. Near needs to be more in that style. Right now, I end up seeing icons of nearby Vita owners, but there is not much to do with them. Occasionally I unlock free DLC for games I do not own. Which is a cool idea, just a tad more mercenary than Nintendo's Play Coins parallel.
I bought the WiFi+3G model because screw you, I want to have the ability to use it online when there's no available WiFi if I so desire. TRU had the launch bundle, so I have an 8gig memory card and the hope of a free game from AT&T at some point before the world ends.
Games. I have the free Motorstorm RC game, which is nothing to get excited about. I bought Touch My Katamari because screw you, I like Katamari games.
I grabbed the three free AR games. Funny that everybody talked about the 3DS AR stuff last year - the dragon-shooting target game, the character picture posing, etc - and no one said word one about the Vita AR games. Or, it's not funny because they all pretty much suck. I think the Vita does a better job of tracking AR cards than the 3DS, however. You can point the camera away from a Vita AR card and the game will not freak out in the way that a 3DS AR game does.
That Table Soccer AR game is a complete nightmare. Plus, none of these free AR games have Trophies, which I'm pretty sure is bullshit.
I also picked up some dumb free Match 3 game, which also has no Trophies. Who told Sony they could get away with skipping Trophy support on free Vita games? Also, in no world am I going to be excited about a Match 3 game unless it's stapled onto the Pokemon franchise.
The Vita stuff I'm really looking forward to is a bit into the future. Retro City Rampage, Assassins's Creed: Liberation, and PlayStation All-Stars, most notably. I'll get the Uncharted Vita game once it comes down off that asinine $50 price point high horse.