You’ve been carrying your Vita around in that old sock long enough. It’s time to get some real protection for your portable gaming investment. The trouble is, there just aren’t that many options available yet, especially if you’re looking for third party accessories. Thrustmaster just might have the answer you’re looking for, with their S.P.F (Special Player Forces) Case for the PlayStation Vita.
At first glance, you may not notice that this case is an officially licensed product, and not just some generic case trying to cash in on the Vita name. Upon closer inspection, you see the licensing information, but still just see and feel a lightweight plastic case inside of some of the thinnest product packaging you might ever see with a video game accessory. So far, not so good, as you hold the boxed case in your hands and start to feel some buyer’s remorse and wonder if it’s too late to return the thing. Then you talk yourself into at least trying the thing and begin to open the box to see if your fears are correct.
Once the case is removed from the packaging, it still feels like a cheap case that does nothing to ease your fear of offering little to no protection for your shiny new Vita. The look of the exterior, with its all black and silver design, looks decent, and the “Thrustmaster S.P.F.” dog tag permanently affixed to the top cover is a nice touch. Again, looks nice, but still feels light and cheaply manufactured. Thrustmaster claims the case is optimized for wireless connectivity, and that could very well be the case and the reason behind the materials used for the exterior, but it doesn’t help fight the feeling that the outer shell isn’t much more than colored plastic.
Moving on, to get the case open, two plastic sliding latches must be pushed aside and unlocked to get to the interior. These latches also don’t feel like the greatest of quality, come across as cheaply made, and give the impression that they can break off at any moment. Don’t worry, once you’ve gone this far, the worst is over.
Opening the case reveals the very reason for getting a case in the first place, protection. Lined with high-density foam, much like the product description hints at, the spaces available are finely molded and shaped to fit the Vita with such precision that you can tell military weapons cases were the inspiration for the inside. The console won’t just fall into the space provided on the bottom cover, you must give it slight nudge to the push the unit into place. The Vita handheld fits snugly in the designated space, and has special slots on the opposite cover to allow room for the raised dual sticks, no matter which way you put in the unit, as long as the sticks are facing up. A small gap in the corner allows for easy removal of the handheld whenever you need to fire it up and play some games.
Between the two spaces for the dual sticks, are six spaces that snugly fit up to six Vita games. A slight push secures the card in place, and a slight gap provides for easy removal. Moving the case around by shaking, vibration, or letting it swing around wildly proved that the Vita and memory cards aren’t going anywhere and are somewhat secured in place by the hard foam. For peace of mind, you might even try these little tests yourself, and you will probably leave the sliding latches unlocked for less-frustrating access to the inside of the case.
A special UNCHARTED themed version of the S.P.F. case is also available. It features the same cheap feeling exterior and latches, with the same great above-average interior protection. The difference is it has a special color scheme and design that proudly displays the UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss logo. It also features Nathan Drake’s name printed right on the affixed dog tag.
Overall, the case does provide shock-resistant protection as advertised and protects your Vita like the precious device that it is. If you can look past a cheap feeling exterior, while deceptively rugged looking, you should have no problem utilizing this case for some above average protection that doesn’t allow your Vita or game cards to flop around on the inside and reassures you that your equipment is safe. Remove that sock, dismiss any buyer’s remorse fears, and pick up one of these cases if you’re serious about protecting your Vita.
For more info on the Thrustmaster S.P.F. PS Vita Case, visit http://www.thrustmaster.com/en_US/node/4555
Thrustmaster provided SlimGamer.com with a sample of this product for review.