Never let it be said that I don't know my limits. True, I have certain areas of very precise expertise; I am very good on shoes and bags, for example, and can talk pretentiously about virtually any book when called upon to do so - indeed, if I was allowed to only answer selected questions, and have a hundred point start, and all my correct answers counted double, I reckon I could have almost any team you care to mention on University Challenge. And yet, I am more than willing to accept that one or two areas are perhaps not my forte - cars, for example, or technology. For the latter, my interest can largely be documented through the following milestones:
1986 (ish): birthday yields up unexpected treasure in form of Sony Walkman (the cassette-playing version, for any younger readers). Benefits soon become clear - headphones placed firmly over ears during car journeys ensure parents etc cannot be heard. Batteries constantly running out through over-use, prompting frequent amusing episodes where music goes verrrrrry slowwwwwwwwww before finally conking out.
Late 1990s (sorry - did admit that tech not my thing): spontaneous purchase of Sony Playstation with just one game - Crash Bandicoot 2 - and no memory card (who knew one needed such items?) leads to riotous wine-fuelled night with sister. We both stay up till 4am laughing at the bit where we ride on the polar bear's back. We both stop laughing pretty quickly when realise game cannot be saved.
Late 2000s: arrival of Sky Plus means that people (girls) can now pause films and other forms of televisual entertainment for essential business such as visiting toilet, replenishing wine glass, talking with friends on phone etc. Everything therefore now takes approximately twice as long to watch, unless it has adverts, in which case only half the time is needed.
So, when we were invited to the launch night of PlayStation Vita Rooms Manchester, it seemed only best to send Mr Liz, who has been craving stardom for some time now and has frequently offered his services as a self-appointed "roving reporter" when he thinks there might be something in it for him. And this had him written all over it, essentially along the lines of "would you like to come for a beer or two, whilst trying out PlayStation’s new handheld device, PS Vita, more than a month before its official launch?" Weeeell, go on then, said Mr Liz, as his heels kicked up a clean trail of dust reaching all the way to Deansgate. Here are his thoughts:
- device is larger than he thought (in a good way) but surprisingly light
- quality of graphics very, very good - as good as PS3 in his opinion
- touch screen allows for easy navigation, with an intuitive menu bar and enhanced gameplay
- two joysticks and built-in camera combine the advantages of a PS3 with the convenience of a hand-held device
- best games? Wipeout 2048, Everybody's Golf and Uncharted.
Obviously, Mr Liz is just a trainee roving reporter, and whilst I might have come up with very, ahem, similar technical observations, I could also have provided a more in-depth commentary on the social aspect of the launch night. His help in this area comprised the following: a/ it was v busy and b/ he thinks Amir Khan was there (he was). He missed seeing the whole raft of Manchester United players in attendance, and continued his poor track record in Manchester-related matters by completely failing to spot Bernard Sumner or Bez (although I'm not sure I would know Bez without his maracas). Still, if you want a job doing properly...
- The PS Vita launches on 22nd February, and you can go along and have a play at PS Vita Rooms until Wednesday 18th January at 63 Deansgate, M3 2BW.