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April 12, 2012
THE PlayStation Vita is the latest high-
tech handheld gaming machine from
Sony, which was released in Australia on
Boasting an impressive five-inch multi-
touch screen displaying 16 million colours
and a rear touch pad, this gaming machine
is turning the tide on handheld gaming.
Available in both Wi-Fi and 3G, The 3G
model gives the player a connected experi-
ence away from local Wi-Fi networks.
Those who have used the PlayStation
Portable (PSP) will love the dual thumb
sticks on the new machine, much like the
dual-shock controller on the PlayStation 3,
allowing greater control within games.
Another new addition to the Vita is the
game cartridge. Sony has discarded the
discs used on the PSP and has used a new
cartridge format not much bigger than a
standard SD memory card.
Sony estimates the battery life of four to
five hours depending on use, so this review-
er tested it on a recent trip from Canberra
to Darwin and was quite happy with the
battery lasting the whole way, even with
gaming and videos.
The Vita launched with an impressive
number of games which can be purchased
on the new cartridge format and also online
from the Sony Entertainment Network and
downloaded directly to the memory card.
Also available via the Sony
Entertainment Network are demos for
selected Vita games and a huge library of
PSP games available to purchase, download
and play on the Vita.
Media such as photos and videos can be
copied to the Vita by connecting it to your
computer or your PS3 using the supplied
The machine is certainly a pleasure to
use. Games such as Uncharted play very
smoothly with high quality graphics and
sound, even without headphones.
The Vita costs $350 for the Wi-Fi model
and $419 for the 3G and Wi-Fi model, and
is available from most gaming shops.
-- CPL Nick Wiseman
Best in mobile gaming
Portable gaming device
High tech: The recently released PlayStation Vita takes handheld gaming to a new level
with high-quality graphics and touch-sensitive controls. Inset, Uncharted is one of the most
spectacular release-day games on the Vita.
Final glory for
VICE Admiral Nobutake Kondo and those
aboard his three heavy cruisers and two
destroyers may have been delighted as they
watched the sloop HMAS Yarra and her tiny
three-ship convoy pounded to pieces by their
eight and five-inch guns and bombs from two
of their embarked aircraft.
Yet, history has shown that such victories
were hollow as outlined by naval officer and his-
torian Tom Lewis who brings to life the lives and
deaths of seagoing warriors in The Submarine
Six: Australian Naval Heroes. In it he relives the
efforts of six brave men who did all they could to
protect their ships and crew.
They are LCDR Robert Rankin, the CO of
Yarra, who sacrificed himself and his ship in a
desperate attempt to save his charges; CAPT
Hector Waller who died as he tried to force a
passage for Perth and USS Houston through an
overpowering Japanese fleet and literally fought
to the last shell; and ORDSMN Teddy Sheean,
who strapped himself to an Oerlikon gun on the
sinking Armidale and fired at the attacking air-
craft in an attempt to save his shipmates until he
and the ship sank.
The RAN broke with tradition when it named
its Collins-class submarines after them.
It also named the others after three other
heroes: VADM Sir John Collins, who sank
the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni while
the captain of HMAS Sydney; CAPT Emile
Dechaineux, who fought in the Atlantic con-
voys and then the Pacific and died as the CO
of Australia when it was struck by a Japanese
aircraft; and RADM Harold Farncomb who
commanded three of Australia's cruisers and a
British aircraft carrier in the Pacific and European
theatres, and who played a major role in the
introduction of Australia's aircraft carriers and
Fleet Air Arm.
This is a relatively small volume which
includes an extensive index as well as a detailed
bibliography and list of other resources, including
The Submarine Six: Australian Naval Heroes
is recommended for any person interested in war-
fare, navies or life at sea. It should be required
reading for all naval officers at the very least.
-- Andrew Stackpool
The Submarine Six: Australian Naval Heroes
By Tom Lewis
Avonmore Books, 201pp
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