We have some great news for all PS Vita owners now. After a considerable period of waiting, we’re delighted to say that an official Skype application is now available to download from the PlayStation Store. Best of all, it comes with one feature that isn’t even available on Windows Phone devices.
If you aren’t aware by now, Skype is actually owned by Microsoft and although the application is now available for Windows Phone it appears that PS Vita owners have the best version hands down.
The app works in the way you would expect, allowing for calls to be made either through a WiFi or 3G connection. One Vita specific feature though that is very impressive is the ability to take calls whilst you are in the middle of a game. Simply open up Skype and minimize the app via the Home button and head into a game – if someone calls you whilst you’re playing, you’ll get a notification pop up and returning to the home screen will automatically bring up the incoming call. It works really well and it’s a feature that a lot of you will grow to love we expect.
Just like the desktop versions, you can pay for Skype credit to use your Vita to make calls to landlines and mobile numbers – dare we say it essentially turning the Vita into the highly sought after ”PSP Phone”? Another nice addition which you may have seen on tablet devices is the ability to use both cameras. Since the Vita has a rear and a front camera you can easily switch between the two during a call to show people your surroundings.
The only downside to the app that we can see is that the background calling function won’t work if you play games that disable the Vita’s network connection. Uncharted Golden Abyss is one of these games sadly, but let’s hope that future updates will see some sort of workaround to the problem. Another minor grunt is that you can’t use the Vita’s camera to take a new profile picture to update your Skype account directly on the app.
Overall though we’re really impressed with the time we’ve spent on Skype so far. The call quality isn’t HD or anything like that but it is definitely good enough for solid video chat with a loved one or friend. Skype has done a really good job with the contact interface on the Vita, while the touch sub menus on the right-hand side are nice little additions as well.
Have you spent some time with Skype on the Vita already? If so, give us your initial impressions of the app so far. This just goes to show the potential of the Vita as a true multimedia device aside from gaming. Now let’s see a Spotify app please Sony!