So, the Vita is officially launched in Japan.

And, it seems Japan in typical style went a bit mad for it.

Now, I have to wait a couple months for my PAL Vita, but I have to say from looking at the videos of the interface, Sony have done a bang-up job on the firmware. It looks smooth and polished, but that maybe isn’t a surprise – they’ve had plenty of experience this year in getting their firmware done on a deadline. No, it is not too soon or too late to be making PSN jokes.

That said however, the launch has come up with a few problems.

Some are reporting that the touch screen is unresponsive. Some have stated that on the initial system firmware update, the whole device freezes and becomes unresponsive. Others have found that the Vita doesn’t even boot up, even on a full charge.

Most concerning of all though are images that show that the main touchscreen is “stained”, with dark patches that inhibit the view of the screen itself. It is unclear if these are actual stains on the LCD display or whether they are an issue with the pixels themselves, because dead and dying pixels have been a notorious problem for handhelds in recent years.

But for the most part, it seems the majority are happy with their Vitas, and so they should be for the price being asked. Despite the release price, you have to buy a game separately and a memory card, as the device doesn’t have storage space (which, when you consider the 3DS has some limited storage space before you stick an SD Card in, is peculiar if nothing else). It has to be good at that kind of expense – most people in the UK if they want a good game AND a decent memory card as well as the 3G Vita could be looking at an initial outlay of about £400.

The technical niggles, we would hope, should be resolved by the time we get them here in the West. It’s a pity it hasn’t been a completely flawless launch, but the Japanese seem mostly content and Sony should – in theory – be footing the bill for new devices should they be found wanting, or bricked from dodgy firmware updates.

In the meantime, we just have to wait. It’s only a few more months. Should be worth the wait if they can sort out the current issues.

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