Out of all of the streaming services that are available on the PlayStation Vita, only two of them have been on the system for a long time. Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, Crunchy Roll, and many others only came to the system a few months ago. Before that, the system did not have a whole lot as far as streaming services goes. It had Netflix, which works fairly well on the system. But other than it and one other app, video-streaming was pretty much limited to its Web Browser.
However, as I stated above, there was another video service on the system, though I’m not sure it is something that I would normally associate with other video services, like Hulu and Netflix. While it allowed you to watch videos, it wasn’t and still isn’t a subscription-based service. Available on almost everything now, the other video service available on the PS Vita back then was the video-streaming giant, YouTube.
YouTube has been around for a long time and has allowed people to upload their own videos, watch videos, and like or comment on videos. It’s also seen some integration with Google Plus, which many people were not very happy about. But all of that is past now, and we have YouTube to use and enjoy videos with. So, how is the PS Vita app? Let’s find out. Here is our official review of the YouTube app.
Watching videos wouldn’t really call for that much functionality by itself, but because of how extensive YouTube has gotten, it’s pretty in-depth at this point. Favorites, Accounts, History, Comments, Likes, and more is available through the service, so it’s gone far past just watching videos. But what all can the Vita app do? It has all the basics of a good YouTube app, though it may not do everything.
When you boot up the app, you’ll get to a default screen that shows you Recommended and popular videos on YouTube, though it may not be recommended for you, at the start. You will need to sign into your account to get that information. So, you’ll need to sign in, which requires you to go to Google via the Web Browser. Then, you can give the Vita permission to use your account info and you’ll be redirected to the app.
On the main screen, you can go into settings, which has a few options, including Safe Search, Account, Continuous Playback, L/R controls, and more. You also have easy access to being able to look at your lists, history, searching for new videos, looking at your Favorites, and through playlists. There is a lot you can do, even from the original screen you’re at from within the app.
Once you go into a video, the controls change. It has its own page of settings and controls. You can play videos and pause, rewind, fast forward, turn on and off “HD” video settings, and go full-screen. Video controls also includes settings for adding a video to a “Watch Later” list, favorites, and a Playlist. There are also options to Share the video through email and to Flag it as inappropriate. Finally, you can Like or Dislike the video and view comments, though the app will not allow you to post comments from the app, itself.
Like the Facebook app, YouTube’s design on the PlayStation Vita has everything you will need on-screen at the same time. You won’t need to scroll down a large, long page to find the option to search or view your history. It’s all there along the bottom of the screen from the moment the app opens up. While you will need to tap on an option to get to the Settings Menu, everything you’ll need to get things set up and start looking for videos will be available on the original screen.
When you do searches, you can put in your own text search with the on-screen keyboard, and there are two buttons with searching, for Filters and starting the search. Filters work much like they do on PC or any other app. You can choose what to sort by, whether it be relevance or Upload Date, can set an Upload Date, Categories, and Duration. You can also specify to only search for videos with HD video or captions. When you modify your filter, though, you’ll need to re-tap the Search button for it to take effect.
Playing a video shows all of its options on-screen, savor the options to add a video to Favorite, Playlist, Share it, and Settings. You can get to that by tapping the Settings icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen. Videos also start playing full-screen, by default. So, you would need to undo the Full-Screen option on the video to view the author, comments, and related videos. Those can easily be scrolled through on the side, once they come up. They are also shown well on the screen, pretty clear beside the video that is playing.
Quite possibly the most important part of any App Review, performance is key to whether an app is worth it or not. You could make the most amazing app ever for YouTube, but if it constantly crashes and freezes, it’s definitely not worth it until that bit of the app is fixed. How apps run is very important. The YouTube app on the PS Vita works well, for the most part, but there are a few little things that might be looked down upon.
First of all, whether the app runs in the background doesn’t have a clear answer. There have been times where I’ve been in the middle of a game and I could open up the YouTube app with no problems at all. They could be run side-by-side, and I could watch videos and go right back to my game. However, in recent days, the app has made me close whatever game I have been in before it will let me load the app. Why this happens sometimes and not other times, no one can tell. Perhaps it is a glitch they’re working on fixing. But if you’re in a game and want to go to YouTube, assume that it’s going to make you close out your game beforehand.
Second of all, comments. This is something that also needs to be fixed. When you’re watching a video, you can view comments. Along with that, there is an option to post comments yourself. The app will let you type in your comment just fine. However, when you tap to post it, you will get an error message, stating that the application cannot perform the operation. In other words, the app makes you think you can post comments, but you can’t.
Apart from these two issues, the app runs very well. It only takes 5-10 seconds to boot up the app and everything flows pretty well. Unless you’re on a slow internet connection, loading a video or performing a search should take all but 2-5 seconds, whether you’re watching an HD video or an SD (Standard Definition) video. While there are no button controls for the app, each tap is fluid and responds the moment your finger touches the screen. So, the app runs very smooth and very well, but is missing a couple things that shouldn’t be missing.
All in all, YouTube for the PS Vita is a fluid and optimized way to view YouTube videos on your PS Vita system. The app runs well, and everything is smooth and short. Although the app makes you think you can post comments when you can’t, and whether it can run in the background seems to be completely random, it’s a good app to add to your PS Vita.
The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates YouTube an 8.5/10.