It's hard to believe that Sony's venerable first portable has just reached its seventh birthday. The PSP launched in 2004: a year when the Motorola RAZR V3 claimed top phone prizes and tablets were called tablet PCs. Since then, its closest rival has undergone several substantial transformations, but the PSP has remained largely untouched, aside from getting a little slimmer. Sony's hoping its new portable superstar is less evolutionary, more revolutionary. And it may have to be. Mobile gaming is snapping at its heels, with game developers continuing to boost the scale and polish on smartphone offerings. Even Sony has been attempting to get in on the mobile action, with underwhelming results so far.
So here's the PlayStation Vita, attempting to breath new life into the portable gaming market. There's no 3D screen, it doesn't do phone calls (although our test model is the 3G-connected variant) but there is, however, a load of power underneath that 5-inch OLED hood. It looks to be the answer to more "traditional" gamers' prayers, but there are plenty of questions we've been itching to answer. Is a portable gaming console still a valid gaming option? How long will the battery last? What's that rear touchscreen all about? Read on and see how Sony's next-generation portable stacks up.