Portable Perks: A Delightful Tale of Purchasing a PlayStation Vita
With enough coaxing and prodding by Jayvee and Jed, I too have finally joined the ranks of owning a PlayStation Vita and to be fair, I've not felt any buyer’s remorse from purchasing such a wonderful product. My only regret was that I didn't buy it sooner!
After desperately trying to convince my wife for a couple of weeks, explaining to her, I needed a Vita for material for Portable Perks (that was the most legit excuse I could throw out!), she finally agreed to me plopping down some cash for the handheld (well actually it was a swipe from a plastic card. Semantics!). We excitedly hurried to one of the more famous video game stores here in the Philippines called Datablitz. It’s like our Gamestop in our country. They have branches all over the city, usually in malls, and thankfully it was found in the mall we usually go to. I asked the clerk if they had a black PS Vita and a 32GB Memory Stick in stock and thankfully they did!
I was pleasantly surprised that they offered to unbox and to check the unit for me before asking for my credit card. They checked the unit, making sure it booted up correctly, that the memory card worked, and if the wifi was picking up any wifi hotspots. They even tested the charger and showed me that the unit was charging properly. Then they carefully explained to me the warranty of the unit, which was
1 year on parts and labor (see update for the correct policy), and if I modified the software, the the warranty was void. Finally, they handed the Vita to me for a final inspection. They even told me to check for any dead pixels to be found, which I think was really considerate of them, given that’s usually the most annoying problem with any device with an LCD display. With everything in order, I gave back the unit for them to repack and handed over my card. Off I went feeling that this purchase was a good buy and that I didn’t have to worry about anything afterwards.
I’m not sure if this kind of customer service is standard practice where you live, but here in the Philippines, you can never associate a retail experience with good customer service. I have to hand it to Datablitz for really changing things up with the retail experience, although you could say their prices are a bit higher compared to retailers in V-mall, which is the Lowyat or Funan of the Philippines. Not to bash on the retailers there in V-mall, but if you’ve shopped for a gaming console there, you always had this thought in the back of your mind that this store might be pulling a fast one on you (at least I had), since their prices were lower than usual. Also, warranty was always questionable with retailers in V-mall -- you usually get a few days or at most a month. So it’s really more of a gamble or playing russian roulette with your wallet if your unit decides to konk out in a month or so.
Nowadays I really don’t have the time and energy to go scouring around V-mall and to do some research on the retailer. I’d rather spend a bit more to deal with a well established retailer with very courteous and polite staff. Going home with an expensive product and peace of mind trumps going home having saved a few hundred bucks but filled with doubt and anxiety.
Once unpacked at home and settled in, I started my Vita and went through the motions of updating the firmware and logging into my PSN account. I also went to the PSN store to purchase my first game, Persona 4 Golden (but of course!), and quickly subscribed to PS+ for 3 months. To my surprise, PS+ had a lot of free games for me to download: free games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which I heard was a fantastic portable version of the Uncharted series, and Gravity Rush, a unique sort of puzzle, platforming, open world game. Both games were at about 2-3GB worth so these weren't just your run-of-the-mill casual games. Just to compare, Persona 4 was at about a 4GB download.
The main reason I wanted a Vita was that I kept finding myself in situations where I just want to laze on the bed at times away from the PC, especially when my wife complains I don’t spend enough time with her, and when I wanted to play games with deeper mechanics and systems that my Android devices could not provide. The Vita has so far been filling up that spot nicely. I could immediately power it up from a standby state to continue my quest in Persona 4, then put it down again quickly without having to worry about a save point when my wife starts nagging me to go to bed. I love how the Vita is very respectful with my time and will just be there standing by at my beck and call whenever I crave for some quality video games.
The PS Vita is a really good match for my lifestyle and gaming needs. It will be no surprise that the upcoming Portable Perks will be filled with Vita games as I intend to catch up with my free game backlog from PS+.
*Disclaimer: Just to clear the air of any doubt and suspicion, this is not a paid advertisement for Datablitz, nor am I connected to the company whatsoever. I simply wanted to give where credit is due and wanted to talk about my very positive purchase experience with the console.
Update: Datablitz has reached out and clarified on their warranty policies. Here are the correct policies:
- 7 days replacement warranty (with factory defect)
- 3 months for the parts
- 1 year service warranty