This week we have our first look at the PS Vita and in particular at Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048. We also meet a new family with teen gamers, the Hilsons, who we will be quizzing about their gaming habits over the coming weeks.
Previously on FGTV...
Pilot Episode: Pestridge Family Start Gaming
Episode 1.1: Pestridge Family Try Kinect
Episode 1.2: Pestridge Family Kinect Favs
Episode 1.3: Pestridge Family Tries PS3
Episode 1.4: Skylanders visit in San Francisco
Episode 1.5: Emmens Dad Kids Starts Gaming
Episode 1.6: Pestridge Mum Talks Kinect
Episode 1.7: Pestridge Super Young Gamers
Episode 1.8: Pestridge Dad uDraw and 3DS
Episode 1.9: Pestridge Mum tries Mario 3DS
Episode 1.10: Pestridge Mum Skylanders
Episode 1.11: Emmens Family Lego Games
Episode 1.12: Your Shape Fitness Part 1
Episode 1.13: Your Shape Fitness Part 2
Episode 1.14: Pestridge Mum Disneyland
Episode 1.15: Emmens Try Forza 4
Episode 1.16: Emmens iPad Gaming
Episode 1.17: Emmens Try 3DS and Mario
Episode 1.18: Guided Tour of the DS
Episode 1.19: Mum's Gaming Reality check
Episode 1.20: Emmens Plays Kinectimals
Episode 1.21: Emmens Try Skylanders
Episode 1.22: Season One Outtakes
Episode 1.23: Emmens try AppMates
Episode 1.24: Hilsons try PS Vita
Episode 1.25: Skylanders Giants
Episode 1.26: Skylanders Giants Devs
Episode 1.27: Kinect Rush Devs
Episode 1.28: Grand Slam Tennis 2
Episode 1.29: Skylanders Giants CEO
Episode 1.30: Hilsons try Runescape
Episode 1.31: Mum talks WiiU and Layton
Episode 1.32: Kinect Rush Gameplay
Episode 1.33: Kinect Star Wars
Episode 1.34: Right to Play Kinect
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While they remain to be convinced about the new Sony handheld, we did discover their mumís secret Nintendo handheld habit. What I found particularly interesting was that she was obviously content to just play the same small collection of games, rather than being driven to play the latest and greatest new release.
As weíll discuss with her in a later episode, she was put off even trying Professor Layton because she had been told that if she got a question wrong the game wouldnít let her proceed. The irony is that her whole family (joined by me during my visit) were sure that she would really enjoy the Layton games.
Even though Iíve been talking to families about video-games for a few years now, Iím constantly surprised by how much I still have to learn, and how my assumptions about how families play games can be turned on their head.
The features of the PS Vita that stand out for the families Iíve talked to are very different to what a more hardcore gamer is excited about. While games like Uncharted Golden Abyss ($49.99 Amazon) impress with cinematic visuals, itís games like Wipeout 2048 that offer Cross Play features, along with the Rear Touch Screen that offer genuinely new ways to play together in the family.
In fact my kids have invent a two player co-operative mode for Little Deviants PS Vita where one controls the front touch screen while the other looks after the rear. Now thatís something they couldnít do on a 3DS.
This is where we take the chance to talk about what we have been playing and what's worked well for our families, from a newcomer and experienced perspective.
This week we talk about the following games:
We'll be back with more gaming surgery questions soon.
Andy Robertson appears in this podcast. "Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: