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Top 5 tips and tricks for your Vita you may have missed

Top secret
Product: PlayStation Vita | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment | Format: PS Vita
PlayStation Vita PS Vita, thumbnail 1
There are some great little functions tucked away inside your PS Vita: so well tucked away, in fact, that you might just miss them.

That's why we've compiled this list of the top five tips and tricks that have likely passed you by. By reading this, then, you can get the very most from your shiny new Sony handheld. Promise.

Make your games look and play better

If you hold your finger on the touchscreen for a few seconds during a PSP or mini game, a bonus menu of valuable options appears. Included among these options are Bilinear Filtering and Colour Spacing, which will produce smoother and more vivid visuals for you to gawp at.

The pièce de résistance, however, is the option that allows you to map buttons to the right analogue stick. This means that those wonky D-pad camera controls in Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite can be overcome by swapping them to the spare stick.

A prettier profile

Not your visage, I mean, for the Vita can't do anything about that - more's the pity. No, I'm referring here, of course, to your PSN ID, which could look a whole lot nicer set against any number of the colourful backgrounds on offer.

This option's really hidden away, but if you go to 'Settings', then 'PlayStation Network', then 'Account Information' and tap in your password, you'll be presented with your Avatar, Online ID, language options, and so on. Tap the 'Panel' option and, hey presto, all sorts of designs to choose from.

There are some fairly leftfield images you can plump for, too, including Rogue Galaxy and Afrika art, as well as your more 'standard' LocoRoco and Ape Escape stuff.

Hold it!

Here's another neat tip for you: you know that custom soundtracks, brightness, and voice chat settings can all be tinkered with in the middle of a game, right? Oh.

Well, all you need to do is hold down the PlayStation button that's nestled just underneath the left analogue stick, and a screen will pop up over whatever you're playing.

From there, you can adjust your screen's brightness on a sliding scale; you can skip music tracks you're listening to; and you can disable the microphone during chat for the moments you don't want your pals listening in on.

Get your Wi-Fi-only Vita online without a wi-fi connection

As long as you own a device that can create wi-fi hotspots, (like the iPhone 4S, for example), you're good to go on this one. Why this function is hidden is pretty obvious to all - Sony would like you to buy the Wi-Fi + 3G Vita model - but you can save yourself a pretty penny by just connecting to another device with access to the net.

All you need to do is ensure you've got the personal hotspot option on your smartphone set to 'on', then connect to it from the Vita as if it were a wireless access point. 12 words of caution, though: the Vita doesn't like the way Apple handles apostrophes in device names.

So, make sure it's set to the grammatically incorrect "Peters iPhone" instead of "Peter's iPhone", for instance. Might infuriate some people, but it's worth it for up-to-date MotorStorm RC times anywhere you go.

Play PSone games on Vita right now

An underused feature of the PSP that has still been brought over to the Vita is Remote Play, where you can connect from anywhere in the world (with an internet connection) to your PlayStation 3 at home. With the high price of memory for the Vita proving slightly prohibitive, Remote Play is now more useful than ever for gaining access to more content on the go.

If you want to watch a movie, play a handful of PlayStation 3 titles, or get stuck into your entire PSone collection without waiting for the Vita update, then simply tap the 'Remote Play' icon on the Vita's LiveArea and follow the instructions.

Ensure you tweak the settings a bit by tapping on the screen to bring up the menu. That way, you'll get the picture quality to responsiveness ratio that's right for you.

Reviewer photo
Peter Willington 20 April 2012
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