Been thinking about getting a Vita but in a lot of the videos I've checked out it looks like it would be uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time if you're using the thumbsticks. I briefly had a PSP and had that issue with that system too. I had to bend and hold my hands in a very uncomfortable way to play it.
Would like to hear from some people that have had the system for a while now how comfortable it is to use in regards to the positioning of the controls and the thumbsticks.
Never had any comfort issues, even with long gaming sessions on flights.
In addition, in all games I've played thus far (not counting PSP/PS1s) there's always some sort of touch function so there's usually enough variety where you're not just holding the system in the same manner the whole time. I don't know if that contributes to it being comfortable over long sessions, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
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Any game that utilizes the rear touchpad is immediately uncomfortable for me. The touch pad is a great concept, but to hold the unit, press the face buttons, and use the rear touch pad simultaneously (as seen in Treasure of Montezuma Blitz's Dark Mode) is borderline ridiculous.
How can anyone expect a player to hold a handheld using only his palms on the edges of the device is beyond me.
The only discomfort I've ever had from playing the PS Vita is when the pinky sides of my hands start to get numb when I play it too long. I don't know if it's because I have large hands or the way I'm holding the PS Vita, but the numbness goes away if I stop for about 20 seconds and shake my hands around to get the blood flowing again. It's by far the most comfortable handheld gaming device though.