PSN updates include Foursquare app

The PS Blog has announced their weekly PSN updates, and it looks like there is a new app: Foursquare.  I downloaded it, but when I launched it, my Vita froze.  After a restart, I was able to sign into Foursquare and check into the hotel I’m staying at.  I could also explore places near me, and view my friends’ activity.

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How to find your free 250MB DataConnect promo

For those of you that got the launch package which includes 250MB of free data usage, activating the promo may be a challenge.  Sony’s blog has a good FAQ on setting up your DataConnect plan.  But for those of you who are more visual, I’ve taken some screenshots of the steps I took to find it.  This assumes you already have an active data plan, which is a requirement for the promo to work anyways.

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Skype app coming soon

According to Skype’s blog, their popular app will be coming to our beloved Vita soon.  I’m excited to see more apps that will expand the usefulness of the system, beyond just gaming.  Maybe one day it will even be able to compete with popular tablets.  Or is that just wishful thinking?

Vita unboxing and first impressions

After some shipping drama, my Vita is finally here, even if a tad late.  There are plenty of online unboxing videos, so I won’t bore everyone with the details.  But since I got the 3G launch bundle through Amazon, my box also included an 8GB memory card in addition to the standard power/usb cords, charger, and game system.

I was happy to find my Vita mostly charged, so I was able to boot it up without having to wait.  The initial setup screens were straight forward, but they could definitely be improved upon.  For instance, there was no wifi setup, and PSN couldn’t be setup without a connection, so you have to skip that step until later.  Setting up your 3G connection via AT&T is even more painful, as we pointed out in a previous post.

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AT&T makes me want to smash my PS Vita in frustration

I had already ordered my PS Vita 3G on Amazon, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Sony and AT&T decided to team up and give away a free game, an 8 GB memory card, and a free 250 MB session. Even when I heard that I would have to purchase at least one 250 MB session in order to receive my free 250 MB session, I thought, “no big deal”. Fast forward to today and now I just want to pull out my hair and scream in frustration. Why, you might ask? The below quote taken from Sony’s PlayStation blog, pretty much sums it up.

Continue the process by filling out basic information into the website in order to activate your service. Do NOT hit the PS button to back out of this process or let your PS Vita go to sleep while filling out this form, or you’ll lose all progress and have to start from the beginning.

I’ve tried 3 times already to sign up for the service and all 3 times I’ve failed. When you have to tell your customers not to do something in order to get something to work, that’s just bad usability. For some reason also, AT&T will not let me use my email address because it is registered to my iPad. What the heck?? And don’t get me started on how bad the site is in terms of actually trying to submit your info via the PS Vita browser.

Tack on the fact that I won’t be able to get my free game, Super Stardust Delta, until after 30 days of activation, I’m pretty much about to throw in the towel and just buy the game outright just so I don’t have to try for the millionth time to register.

Sony and AT&T, please get your act together. I really wanted this to be easy, but it’s not.

I decided to cut my losses and decided to just buy the $15 Super Stardust Delta game via the PlayStation Store. While I know that I could have gotten the game for free (and a free 250 MB session) had I signed up for the 250 MB session through AT&T, I just didn’t want to wait 30 days for the game for something that I probably would not have used. Not to mention, I just didn’t want to throw my PS Vita in attempting to sign up through AT&T’s site again.

Facebook app pulled from PSN

First it was Europe, and now it’s the US. The Facebook app has officially been pulled from PSN. According to Sony, it’s due to issues on Facebook’s side. Joystiq reports:

“The Facebook application for PS Vita is not available at this point in time. We are currently looking into this to restore it to normal operational status. We will announce further details when ready.”

For those of you who are like me and already downloaded the app, we’re out of luck too. Apparently the app is just plain broken, which might explain why it was pulled.

Lumines Electronic Symphony: Love the music but hate the gimmicks

One of the games that I’ve been anticipating for some time now is Lumines Electronic Symphony. I loved the game when it first came out for the PSP, and I expected to love the game for the PS Vita. And for the most part, Q Entertainment delivers. All of the great things about the original game are still there: from the great electronic music to the great puzzle gameplay. Even the graphics have been stepped up a notch, bringing some of the most intriguing background animations that you’ll never notice because you’re so focused on making sure you get your blocks just right. But not everything is all peachy. Hit the jump for more details.

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Plants vs. Zombies lands on the PS Vita

We knew the moment would come eventually – Plants vs. Zombies has hit the PlayStation Store. For those of you that haven’t played PvZ, this might be the time to finally throw down and get it. But before you do, there are a few things to consider:

  1. The game on the PS Vita is $14.99 vs. $6.99 on the iPad and $2.99 on the iPhone.
  2. There isn’t any new content over the versions on other platforms. This means that if you own it on another piece of hardware, you probably won’t find this one any more interesting.

That said, the game is great. It’s definitely pleasing to the eye to play the game on the PS Vita’s gorgeous OLED screen. I remember purchasing this game for my iPad when it was on sale wondering what all the hype was about. I thought it would be just another “tower defense” type game that would get old quickly, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the game rather engaging. With the ability to upgrade your “plants”, there’s definitely this intrinsic need to continue to play. Each level as you progress through Adventure Mode adds a new element of gameplay that keeps the game interesting.

So if you haven’t checked out PvZ yet, and the price doesn’t scare you away, go download it from the PlayStation Store.

Vita can receive SMS?

According to IGN, it looks like the Vita can receive text messages, but is missing the ability to send them out.  As you can see from this screen, a phone number has been assigned to the system.  Calling it will do nothing, but sending a text will have it pop up under “Notices from Operator”.  Will this be a feature Sony plans to expand on?  Wouldn’t it be nice to send a text to you friend when you’re looking for an opponent to play with?