The PlayStation Portable was an incredible game console. It wasn’t as powerful as the home consoles Sony had to offer, but it was obviously a more powerful handheld console than anything Nintendo had ever released, or any other game company for that matter. It had a ton of great games, from major ones to smaller indie games. Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep definitely showcased the console’s abilities while offering a fun experience in the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts worlds. Many other games did the same thing as well, I just pick those two because they are my favorite. The PSP gave Sony fans their first real console that they could take on the road or camping and still play enjoyable and large games. It sold over 70 million units total, so it was obviously a very popular console. So when Sony announced that there would be a sequel, that was more powerful and righted some of the wrongs from the PSP, nothing could go wrong. Right?
The Sony PlayStation Vita, or PS Vita, was announced by Sony as the sequel to the PSP. It would be much more powerful, have the ability to remote play PS3 games, have dual analog sticks (vast improvement over the PSP’s one stick), and have a front and rear touchpad. In addition to a front and back camera the Vita seemed to have everything it needed for a successful run, one that could easily beat the PSP. But a few things went wrong. For one, Sony priced the memory cards for the Vita far too highly. You can only use their memory cards for the console and every version is far overpriced compared to competitive memory cards. The ability to remote play PS3 games never really happened, other than for smaller games. It was said that every game would be playable in some from on the Vita, or at least most of them, but that never happened. And Sony hasn’t really released a lot of triple A games for it. When you see Uncharted as one of the first released games you have hopes that it’ll be a major console for such games, but that hasn’t been the case. The Vita does have games, unlike what the whiners say, but it doesn’t have a lot of major triple A games.
So you may be wondering, why even get a Vita? That’s frankly a valid question, because it’s not a cheap console and Sony failed to support it properly. They even recently stated that they wouldn’t really make any more major games for it, leaving it up to third parties to bring excellent content to the console. That’s not the worst thing when you consider that third parties do make great games for the console. But you’d always like to see a console fully supported, and it feels like a bit of a rip off that you buy it and Sony themselves decide to not fully support it. That’s comparable to Nintendo not making any more major games for the 3DS, which would be terrible. But with all that has gone wrong with the Vita and Sony’s lack of support, there are a few good reasons to buy a PS Vita even now.
For one, the remote play fail that happened with the PS3/Vita has been resurrected with the PS4. You can play any PS4 game on your Vita via remote play, that is unless it’s a game that requires the PS4 camera. I’ve done it more than a few times, and take it from me, it works. Very well. There will be occasional hang-up and you’ll drop the signal, but it doesn’t happen all that often. This is a must have feature if you live in a home where there is only one TV or the PS4 is hooked up to the primary TV only. You can play full games right there on the couch as your husband/wife, or anybody really, watches TV. It definitely comes in handy, and makes for a great reason to have a Vita right now. That’s not including the fact that there are a ton of great games coming to the Vita right now and lately, such as Final Fantasy X/X-2, Freedom Wars, and more. Sony may not be giving much to the Vita, but other companies are and it’s a great time to take advantage of these games.
Another good reason to have a Vita right now is the PS Now service. Basically the PS Now allows you to play PS3 games through streaming on your PS4, PS3, or PS Vita. There are going to be more consoles/phones that can play the PS Now in the future, with games from other Sony consoles in addition to the PS3, but for now the focus is on PS3 games. I’ve tried this as well and it works very well also. I played Ratchet and Clank into the Nexus as well as Dead or Alive 5, and both games worked very well on the Vita. The stream was fairly consistent and didn’t drop all that often and when it did it came back after a few seconds. It is a Vita selling point because the Vita is still an incredible handheld console. It’ll play far more comfortably than your smartphone will when interaction is added for it. And you can start a game on the PS Now on the Vita, save and go do some chores, and pick right up there on the PS4 or PS3. That is something that is really cool, and it works backwards as well. So if you’re busy playing a PS Now game on the TV and you have to get off guess what? You can simply pick up your Vita and keep it going. Sony’s PS Vita has a lot of issues, and I don’t think it’ll ever truly beat the PSP in total units sold, but there are great games here and there to make it a good purchase. The extras and PS Now put it over the top, at least to me.