Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Playstation Vita TV (Known as Playstation TV in US/EU)

Well as many of you might of known, I've mentioned that i had wanted a PS Vita TV since it was announced in September . Its now November and they have been released in Japan, I've been checking Play-Asia and eBay and found some offers. it turns out Otaku was listing one for $149.99 + $12 postage (tracked). Which comes to around £110. But i did make an offer for everything (The console + tracked delivery) for $160 which when paid with Paypal, came to about £102.44. So that was ordered Friday evening

I worked an extra day this week due to Dickensian Night happening this Friday, and since a customer wanted to have a lesson with me and was only in Tavi on the day, so i worked, i did finish at 6:30pm or so. But i found it had arrived withing 5 days, that's quick, even quicker than chinavasion with £12 delivery from DHL (That had customs, this didn't ?). So when i arrived home, i found it, looking at me, i undid the outer packaging and you can see the box below.

The box, sealed up, with the PSVita TV logo infront of me, i was excited but i had to pace myself.
So, after the evening was sorted, everyone else went to sleep and i started to get this review underway, It was quite cold in the kitchen, but i made sure to get what i needed before i started. With a Figure 8 cable, my fake DS3 and i did get the usb cable to pair it part way through, but i was ready. You can enjoy the review below, which includes what was in the box, setting it up and looking through the PS Store, but there are bits i have missed which i will cover in this, so do read on...

The Unboxing and setup 

Well Getting the seal off was quite tricky. But the box has a nice PS feel to it, advertised what was available, the interface and of course, parental control, trademarks and safety regulations. Have a look at the unboxing pictures below:
The top of the box, with the logo and some of the bubbles

The back of the box, with detailed descriptions as well as the Reigon, HDMI trademark, Parental controls and something that looks like a date on the right hand side

The Right side of the box, with the Mode numbers, POS Bar code, URL for more info and where it was made, well china for obvious reasons :D

The bottom of the Box, which has sony's trademarks and "FOR SALE IN JAPAN ONLY". But many have been lucky to import.

The Left hand side of the box, with the pictures of the interface, mentions the ability to play PS1 and PSP games (You'll See later). Also the sony icons as well as the GUI is shown.

So with the box shown, its time to look inside. Now there isn't much to show you inside but a list of what is actually included is as follows:
  • The Console itself
  • A HDMI Cable, 1.8m, standard V1.4
  • An AC adapter, which can support 100-240V (So maybe its not just localized for Japan perhaps ?)  and the cable to plug it in to the mains, which is a figure 8 cable, so you can buy a local cable for your country, plug it in and not worry about using adapters. I was actually running around before i left work, looking for a 240V to 110V adapter aha. 
  • A manual which folds out and is double sided, it even tells you how to replace a battery in a Dualshock 3, which isn't mentioned in a PS3 manual, funny that ???. 
  • A warranty card/booklet. 
  • Some notices on small sticker type labels
Now this is a nice amount, when you open the Box, the console is the first thing you see, which you have to take out before you can get to the other items. So i'm going to show you whats in the box:
The left side of the Console itself

The right side of the console, with the PSVita Logo on the slot where the games are inserted

The back of the console: with a power button, slot for PSVita Memory Cards, USB 2.0 Port, HDMI port, 10/100 Ethernet port and the power jack, supporting DC 5V

The bottom of the console, with the Sony logo and some of the detailed information

The front of the console, with the Sony logo and a tiny LED

The top of the comsole, with the PS logo, in a nice silver finish.

The bottom half of the rear of the manual, it even mentions how to replace a battery on a dualshock 3. Thats impressive

The top half of the rear of the manual, More safety notices

The bottom half of the front of the manual, which shows the UI, the dualshock 3 and how to use the sticks as the either the front or reach touchscreen

The back of the Warranty booklet

The inside of the Warranty booklet

The Front of the Warranty Booklet

The Figure 8 AC cable to plug into Japanese sockets

The actual AC adapter itself, which allows for 100 - 240V and steps it down to 5V

A bog standard HDMI V1.4 cable, Looks good for a added extra and helps you get started. 

So the unboxing was quite nice, with everything to get you started if you already own a PS3. After getting everything plugged in, turned on, i started to set the console up, it was quite simple, although i did forget that O is enter and X is back, unlike the Western settings, which is X for enter, O for back. But it was easy to navigate, even getting "Trial access to Playstation Network" was a unique idea, but it technically is on PS3 but i never used it.

After you set it up, or when its normally turned on, you see this. The home screen

Once it was set up, it was like a normal vita but there was a popup on how to use the home screen, well with the d-pad and analog sticks. there was 2 parts, since there was more features then what could of been fitted on one screen. You can even make folders by pressing /\ (That i didn't mention in the video). Afterwards, i went to the settings to get the wifi setup, this is quite simple, although my router always has to fuck me over, i'm going to cut to the chase, but after a few attempts, it worked fine. Then i checked the PS store after updating to 3.00 OFW. There were some good apps as you saw, some of the standard vita apps had been ported over, Torne, Livetweet, NicoNico, Youtube and others, all free too.

The testing. 

At this point, the video ends and i continues to do some extra tests. I did decide to start playing the one game i've always wanted to play on the Vita, which is of course Ridge Racer. I inserted it in the slot, which is tricky to comprehend if you have badly bitten fingernails, i even tried using the cable ties for the hdmi, which worked the first time, but not the second time, it exposed the wire inside lol. But once i got the cartridge in, i found it needs an update, it said ver 1.02, which i hoped would of allowed it for Vita TV compatibility, but alas it was an update in April 2012. Alas it didn't make the game compatible :(
The latest update for Ridge Racer on the Vita TV. 
Afterwards, i downloaded the games i have on my JAP PSN account, which were some free ones, very interesting that the PSP demos don't work, but the full games do. So i had the chance to play some LocoRoco Midnight Carnival, i didn't play much but it felt like it should be, as well as being able to download other conent while playing, which was nice, even the PS3 doesn't let that happen for some games. The upscaled quality is not too bad (Patapon 2 cutscenes are quite bad, but the tv was at 1080i) and also it allows you to add functionality to the right stick, which might be useful for some games.
Playing LocoRoco midnight Carnival and a notification that mentions i've download a PS1 game, in this case its a demo of Devil's Dice, which i still don't understand.

The Verdict:

Well with some things covered, its time to give you my opinions. I'm sort of glad i did get the console, the concept for what i've wanted to do for a while is there, yes i've been able to do it with my CFW PS3 but the emulator for the PSP remasters isn't as good as the vita's. But since there is no UK or even Western release planned, for now at least...The console is restricted if i wanted to buy a ramdom vita game from CEX, Game et, there is a chance that i might of not bought one of the 304 compatible games that is compatible with the Vita TV, i'm surprised Ridge Racer isn't compatible . But the UI is fluent and really easy to use, even if the X and O are swapped

omracer' Rating: 7/10


  • Looks beautiful and small
  • Easy To use
  • Has alot of potential, as a mini console and as a Smart TV box (Well for Japan currently anyway)


  • Linked to Japan only, so you need a JAP PSN to get around
  • Not compatible with many vita games, especially EU and US games, PSP and PS1 games are mostly fine. 
  • 1GB of storage is basic but a 4GB card is recommended. 

Well that sums this review up. This won't be the last time i mention about the Vita TV, but for now, expect some more reviews, maybe Christmas Present ones. 

omracer :)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Nova Multi Whirl

So, I begin this review to explain that I'm sorry I've not made this and posted it quick enough, I've been busy and missed chances to get this made. But anyway, its now ready for you to enjoy.

Basically as many of you might know i bought this Whisk from Goose Fair. I was convinced from the demonstration, part of which you will see in the video review. Basically i bought it and thought it would be useful for me with making omelettes. Basically its a simple way to operate it, with no batteries or power except muscle power to use it. But enjoy the video below, which you get to see me use it to make up an omelette for part of my lunch.

But the packaging is very colourful and very, very simplified, like simple big headings and a image of the whisk.
The Top of the Box, which has the colour selected. I chose green since i have hippie tendencies :P

The left side of the box, which has some pictures of the results of what it can do and also a witty, dirty phrase "Beating Without Batteries"

The Back of the box, with a bar code, the Novabest Company logo, the small print in various languages

The right side of the box, with the whisks in different colours and how they look. 

The box is very tight fitting and just has the Whisk and manual in a plastic bag. That is literally the unboxing done. The whisk itself is nicely made, with a stainless steel feel which makes it stronger, but lighter, as well as the fact is is made out of stainless steel. But the handle doesn't move all the way down, which is a pretty good design feature, which will make it more reliable. Detailed pics of each part of the whisk and the german manual is below: 

The Handle is quite strong and reliable as well as the non cheesy plastic feel makes it look good

This is the whisk part itself, it doesn't look that sharp, and it mostly leads into the centre, which is probably linked to the airflow and how it pumps air into the mixture. 

The Whisk itself. Not much else to say

The manual for the whisk and company logo. But its all in German, ah, a idot move there, although there isn't much to know about how this works. 

Well this is some recipes on the flip side of the manual, Tells you how to make a Coffee Frappe, Mayonnaise and Sauce Vinaigrette

So I decided to make one of my usual concoctions for an omelette and the whisk handled it quite well. The mixture i used was Curuiously Cinnamon and Sweet Chilli dipping sauce, which on there own, are tasty, so it would be nice to combine them. Then it put it in the pan, it didn't start off looking so nicely but by the end it looked better than i thought. 

The mixture, so far, with Curiously Cinnaomon, Sweet Chilli and 2 eggs, all whisked in

The omelette after i just put it in the frying pan, it might look a bit loose here, which got me worried slightly. 

After the omelette was finished, it looked better than i hoped. 

So the omelette turned out nicer than i had hoped, which is quite promising, maybe i will be using this alot more often. 

omracer's Rating: 6/10


  • Simple and easy to use
  • Looks like a good build quality
  • Can add extra flavour if you use for mixing a way you wouldn't usually need to.


  • If done too much, it can ruin it, but its hard to decide when its been whisked or beaten enough.
  • The price is ok but maybe could be reduced slightly

So that is the whisk, it works nicely, its one of those nice little pieces of tat you can pick up from Fair and Market stalls. These are available on Amazon but i'm not sure on the stock levels. 

Also if anyone cares, the meal this went with was tasty, have a look below:
The Final lunch. The omelette with:
  • Chicken Tika Masala
  • Rice 
  • Crisps
  • Chocolate Digestive Biscuits
  • Spicy Mango Chutney
  • Mayonnaise
Thanks for reading and expect some more reviews soon. 

omracer :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013


So, about 2 months ago, Google released a TV dongle called Chromecast. Now this was a device that would make it easier for people to share things online to a TV. Either a video on Youtube, a Film or TV show on Netflix or even just a website.

Now it was a nice and simple device for a simple price, $35. BUT AND THE MAJOR PROBLEM SO FAR, it hasn't released in the UK, which is a major shame. But after checking eBay, there were some UK importers who knew they could make a quick ££ from buying some from the us and bringing it over to here.
Now i found one for £60 (£55+£5 P&P)  and i bought it on Friday, it arrived the next day after running home from work, as i usually do.

So here goes my review the video review is below:

The packaging. 

Now the packaging is simply, easy to understand and very neatly packaged. It gives the look of a google product straight away, with the font and everything. Pics of each of the sides of the packaging is below:
The front of the box. With the dongle itself and a simple summary of what it does.

The rear of the box, the summary of what it can do and a picture of it. It also shows the services it supports. Google Chrome, Youtube, Netflix and Google Play. Also the small print mentions the OS'es that are supported

The side of the box, to show how simple the device is meant to be to get going and use. The watch icon is exactly the ont you need to look for when wanting to stream to the chromecast.  

The front of the inside of the box, A very clear guide to get started. including the URL to go to

The rear of the dongle itself, this might be a bit blurry to see the text.

The top of the dongle and HDMI connector, also a indicator which lights up on the left of the dongle.

After taking the dongle cardboard piece out you have the following. A Micro USB cable a manual underneath, a HDMI extension cable, A US (Non CE Approved) USB Charger. Just a simple amount to see in the box.

As you saw, the packaging is nicely done, although i'm never a good cable tidier, it still fits nicely. Now after unboxing it, its a simple case to set it up as shown in the manual.

Using the Cast and Setting it up

Now the set-up is quite a simple process. Just plug the dongle into a hdmi port, plug a micro usb cable into the dongle and a standard usb 2 or 3 port, then switch the TV to use the HDMI input. Wait for it to boot and then go to the chromecast setup page or get the chromecast app. After installing it, the setup is simply check if the code shown matches, then name the dongle, set up the wifi and then its "ready to cast".

The "Ready to cast" screen which has a nice background every time, the time, the chromecast name as the Network Name. Simple but beautiful.

If you using chrome on OSX, Chrome OS or Windows, you will need the chrome extension, it will ask you to install it if you used the setup page. Otherwise your fully ready to go. 

But if you do want to change some settings, the options you can choose from is below:
The Chromecast app on PC, it will list any chromecasts that are on the network

The Settings for Chromecast, Changing the timezone, the name and if you want to reset the dongle.

With android, Google have NOT made the official Chromecast app, available on the UK Play Store. There is a link to get the APK itself, Which works fine and dandy :)
The Chromecast App, Exactly similar to the PC app, but suited to Android

The settings page on the Android app, this has a different option thats not listed on the PC app, but that can't be changed, since it is a US Play store App

Now if you want to cast, you can simply press the cast icon on the Youtube App on android, in Chrome or in the Youtube Player. Then wait 1 minute and its playing in 720p HD. Thats it. If you look at the triangle before you click the name of the dongle, you can decide whether you want just the web page or the entire Windows screen. So you can use this for Powerpoint presentations or make tutorials, but beware there is a slight delay, depending on the performance of your Wi-Fi router (N150, N300 or newer will handle it fine). An example of how it streams, using a instagram client is shown below. You can use 720p in a "high bitrate mode" but that is a risk you can take if needs be.

A basic concept of being able to show a webpage using chromecast. Ink361 in this case, the detail can be slightly off on bigger screens which can handle 1080p or higher, this is in standard 720p mode.


As you saw in the video review, the quality of the video is really as HD should be. Especially from the Beyond Two Souls Trailer or my recent upload of PAC-MAN CE DX+. I saw minimal quality issues. even on a broadband connection that is under 20mbps. 

One downside of the Chromecast is the fact you are unable to stream Local media easily, for example you want to show a home video off to your family on Christmas thats on your PC or Tablet. Officially, for now you are unable to do so easily. You can copy the location of the video into chrome as a url and play it but that can be a bit dire for the simplest of users.

omracer's Rating: 8/10

The good points:
  • Simple to setup
  • Streams any page on chrome and also any PC screen
  • Very good quality for a small dongle
The weak points
  • Only available in the US in the official stance (Like i mention, check eBay)
  • Not as easy to stream local media
  • The SDK is still in a preview stage so there are not many apps that can handle true Chromecast support just yet

Now this will be a nice temporary bit of fun until PS Vita TV has arrived, i probably will sell this and order it from Japan. But for now, hope you enjoy and if you find a chance to get one of these, i would recommend it

See you in the next review