PS Vita: We’re still here

PS Vita

I remember seeing the Vita announcement, I immediately thought “Huh. Cool.” then never spoke about it again. That was 2011. It’s now 2015 and this normally where I say it carried a disappointing legacy of some description. But that’s just it. The PS Vita doesn’t really have a legacy. It was just forgotten.

I bought into the Vita back in 2014 when it was announced the price had dropped (Again) After remembering the platform was still a thing. The immediate plus to it was able to play classic titles such as the old Sly Cooper games or even Rachet and Clank games from the PlayStation 2 era. The nostalgia trip is currently one of the bigger selling points of the Vita, the ability to play games from my childhood on the go is definitely something that appeals to me. That said, the actual library of games on offer for the Vita has always been it’s weak point in my mind. Killzone Mercenaries is probably the best portable shooter I’ve played ever, beyond that the offerings are somewhat limited to some good JRPGs like Persona 4 and ports of mobile games like Angry Birds.

The Vita in my opinion suffered from the same issue that the Wii U encountered. The novelties which were it’s unique selling points became outdated. The PSP emerged at a time in which portable gaming was at it’s “peak” in the sense that nothing rivalled it other than other portable consoles, during this period only the DS really rivalled it and with the PSP tailoring it’s library to an older audience, as well a more powerful system compared to it’s competitors. The PSP had titles like Monster Hunter and Fat Princess, which while being enjoyable on your own, was a much better experience with your friends with wireless multiplayer with friends, some of my favourite gaming memories is playing coop with my friends slaying dragons on Monster Hunter and crafting power new gear from the loot.

In contrast the Vita and Wii U came out at times where mobile gaming was starting to gain traction, making the unique selling points of both consoles feel less unique and more generic. Carrying a portable console was nice as it was dedicated for gaming with some utility in the form of music apps ect. But the emergence of the smart phone and tablet essentially killed the trend for portable consoles. Games like Infinity blade on IOS showed the world that mobile gaming could be made without sacrificing quality, the game was a stunning display of the unreal engine on a mobile device. Playing a game on a smart phone opposed to buying a portable console is the more preferred choice. With Sony seemingly distancing itself from the Vita, it’s unlikely we’ll see any change from the Vita’s exile. Recently when asked about the possibility of a Vita 2, Shuhei Yoshida stated that the “Climate is not healthy due to the dominance of mobile gaming”

In my opinion the Vita’s problems stem from Sony’s lack of content for it. While the mobile gaming market has definitely hit the portable console market hard, Nintendo have still been able to sell over 50 Million 3DS handhelds despite this. That’s simply because Nintendo is consistently producing new content for it’s device, keeping a consistent user base. If Sony did start adding new games to the Vita I’d be more than willing to give it a go, the console itself is comfortable to use and I enjoy the graphical fidelity that is thus far unrivalled by it’s competitors, but Sony seemingly fumbled at the first hurdle for an entertainment system. Making content for it.

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