Tuesday marked the first day Vita owners could start watching YouTube videos on the go. While no new games were released, at least Sony filled the void with something that has been long since overdue. Does it live up to the high expectations of patient Vita owners the world over?
A YouTube app is on nearly every device available, except ironically the PS3. Stand-alone apps have completely dominated our digital lives even while Google is trying valiantly to integrate their services into the web. But this YouTube experience on Vita falls a little short of expectations.
The first thing you’ll notice after downloading the 5MB app from the PlayStation Store, either through the Vita or by way of the PS3, is that it immediately lets you get into YouTube and start watching. But you’ll have to learn how to log into your Google account the hard way. Or maybe I can help.
The “…” button at the bottom right corner allows access to Settings, and its there that you’ll find the “Sign In” option. The sign in process will jump you out of the YouTub app and into the Vita browser. This is a very jarring experience, but not unusual on the Vita. The Facebook and nico nico apps also forced browser access to enter your login info.
Now that you’ve allowed the YouTube app access to your Google account you will automatically be brought back to the YouTube app, but you need to tap the “X” icon at the top left to start accessing YouTube gloriously through your settings. This is where the app takes a dive.
The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful
There are four icons at the bottom of the YouTube app: Recommended, Search, History, and Favorites. Recommended and Favorites actually accesses data from your desktop YouTube account. While you can add any video to your Favorites, you cannot subscribe to any YouTube channels or view any of your playlists.
There is also no option to Watch Later and obviously no +1 button integration. However, there seems to be absolutely no ads in this Vita app. And the HD resolution makes this a preferred way to watch videos. Searching and History work as expected.
Best of All
My favorite experience with the YouTube app on Vita is by far the ability to watch the video in a minimized view. In this view, the video plays on the left half of the screen while the right half displays suggested videos, comments, and information pertaining to the video. If you happen to hit the small right facing arrow on any of the suggested videos, then the new video will begin playing in the minimized view. Fortunately, the back button functions as it would on Android by returning you to the previous video.
If you enjoy watching YouTube videos in high definition, this Vita app will not let you down. But if visiting your playlists or searching for channels is what you’re looking for, then this app will disappoint. Take a look at some additional screenshots in the gallery below.
What are your first impressions of the long awaited YouTube app? Let us know below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the GameFansDotCom YouTube channel for viewing on the go.