Ok let’s get this out the way, the PlayStation Vita’s days are numbered. First party development has stopped and the support from 3rd party studios is fading. When the Vita came out however, there was huge fanfare with Sony marketing it as a ‘Home console on the go’ and whilst some amazing titles have graced the little device (Tearaway, Uncharted Golden Abyss to name but two) most developers failed to make use of it’s incredible features. The gyroscope, touchpad, touch screen and front camera are incredible features but were hardly ever utilized by developers. Sony may have put too much tech into the well formed device, which ultimately kept the price high for a while but now however, you can pick up a Vita relatively cheaply, below are some great reasons to buy Sony’s little console that could…
If you own a PS4 remote play is a relationship saver. Your partner is watching X factor and you want to do some grinding on The Division – remote play is the one for you. The Vita remote play functionality is great, it does have its flaws (notably the button mapping) but it was the first device to be used for remote play and Sony never really marketed how cool the feature was. You can now remote play on PC/Mac/Smartphones but having a AAA game on the Vita screen still rocks.
4. Battery Life & Game Resume
How long does your phone last when playing a game? Not long! The Vita though has a great battery life. I can easily get a good day of solid gaming out of the little chap and when you put the Vita in rest mode it saves your place in the game so when you boot it back up again (which takes no time at all) you are right back battling on from where you were.
3. PS1 Game Library
PS1 games look pretty terrible nowadays and the game play is clunky at best. When I played the original Tomb Raider 2 on PS3 it didn’t feel good at all. For some reason, PS Classics make sense on Vita. Maybe it is the lower resolution screen compared to a HD TV or maybe it is the nostalgia of playing the original Wipeout on the move. Either way the PS1 library of games on the system is great and well worth the price of admission.
2. Cross Save & Cross Play
With the rise of indie games on the PlayStation store, there are many that work on both PS4 and Vita. It’s awesome that you can save the game on PS4, move it over to the Vita and carry on gaming while commuting to work with the experience remaining pretty much the same. This is a feature I had wanted for ages and once again I had no idea it existed – a failure of Sony’s marketing – until I picked up a Vita. I pretty much completed Olli Olli while splitting my game time between the TV and on the move, much to the delight of the people around me as I no doubt cursed my way through it on my commute!
1. Indie Games on the go & PS Plus
Since I have mentioned indie games, this for me is the biggest draw of the Vita. It is because of this system that we have such a good culture of indie development on home consoles. Sony really opened up the development door to indie teams which resulted in a flood of great games. Some are available on other systems and others are Vita exclusives. I have not bought a Vita game in ages because PS Plus gives me roughly 2 free every month. Yea I know you have to pay for PS Plus (about £40 a year) but if you have a Vita and a PS4 then the monetary value of the games really stacks up making it a no brainer. That aside, there is so much in the Vita’s back catalogue to dive into, even if development has slowed, the amount of games to get stuck into is awesome.
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There are other reasons to own a Vita of course, but these are the big ones that really make the console so unique and exciting. So next time you are on a boring trip, think how much better it would be with a Vita in your bag, ready to play.
Jake Buchanan | @hdd_heart
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