The PS Vita is a criminally neglected handheld. However, it’s an excellent little console that with some TLC and maybe a couple of design alterations, given the recent success of the Nintendo Switch, could still succeed.
The advantage of buying one a few years on is that there is a proven library of games which I know I’ll be interested in: Persona 4 Golden, Trials of Cold Steel, Danganronpa and Disgaea to name a few.
In terms of what’s coming next for the console it seems to be relegated to just Indys and JRPGs. Not that that’s a bad thing per se, I love JRPGs and some of those Indy titles are excellent, but there aren’t really any big hitters that will grab a typical western gamer.
Looking back, the big issue seems to have been price. Not just of the console itself, the original came with an OLED screen which certainly upped the cost to produce it, but the proprietary memory is the real kicker.
At the time of writing this the memory is crazy expensive: 4GB costs roughly £10, 8GB runs you £20. If you want to be able to download more than two or three games then the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB cards are going to cost you £30, £50 or £80 respectively!
To give you an idea of just how crazy that is you can get a 64GB Class 10 microSD on Amazon for £20.99. Sony simply priced themselves out of the market, especially when compared to the 3DS, which could take microSDs.
It hurts me to write this because I am loving my time with the Vita so far. The screen is bright and vibrant, even on the cheaper LCD of the 2000 model. Games and menus load quickly and feel snappy to navigate.
In terms of a portable console the Vita is vastly superior to the 3DS. Control wise, let’s face it the circle pad and the new second stick on the New 3DS kinda suck, they certainly don’t feel as good to use as the joysticks on the Vita. The graphical fidelity of everything I’ve played so far is also much higher than anything on the 3DS.
Unfortunately I think the Vita has just been labelled a failure and left to rot, but I truly believe that if they relaunched with an updated model, dropped the pricey memory in favour of microSD and really emphasised the interplay between PS4 and Vita, they could enjoy a success.
It’s been said that Smartphones are sounding a death knell for dedicated portable games consoles but given the success of the Nintendo Switch, there is clearly a market that is hungry for high-quality gaming on-the-move. I hope that Sony takes notice and gives the Vita the attention it deserves.
Do you own a Vita? What do you think of it? If you don’t own one, would you be interested in a refreshed version? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments.