The lights are on
The PlayStation Vita has had a rough time in its year-plus
in existence. Will the PlayStation 4 give the handheld a new lease on life or will
it have unintended consequences for the system?
Vita gamers have been waiting for the handheld to take off
in terms of must-have software as well as sales, but like the PSP before it,
the handheld's success will take some time if it occurs at all. The PlayStation
4 – while by no means a guarantee – could offer the Vita a lifeline. However, it
could also change the handheld's identity.
Sony's mandate that PlayStation 4 games be playable via
remote play with the Vita (as long as they don't require the PlayStation camera
or Move) gives the handheld a big shot in the arm. Although they won't look as
good and there may be instances where the controls don't seamlessly transfer,
it's undeniable that the Vita – a system that needs quality experiences – will
be able to instantly benefit from the new home console's library.
However, the Vita's remote play is restricted by the PS4's
connection to your Wi-Fi network, so it's not like you'll be able to play your
PS4 games anywhere and everywhere. Does this relegate the Vita merely to an
expensive home system add-on and not a true handheld in its own right? I think
that could be a danger. Despite remote play functionality, the Vita still needs
software it can call its own. At E3, Jack Tretton (above) said that 85 titles will be
coming to the system by the end of this year, but what kinds of games will
A cursory look at some of the upcoming games shows a mix of
titles from smaller teams (Counterspy), re-releases (Final Fantasy X HD and X-2
HD), and - for lack of a better term - console-sized experiences
(Killzone: Mercenary). It will be interesting to see how the Vita's mix of
games evolves when the PS4 comes out and if it skews the Vita's lineup going
If the handheld caters more to indie games, it could be
fighting a losing war against tablet/mobile gaming that already has a massive
selection of indie product, and if it tries to produce more home console-quality
content, will developers take on those projects for a handheld that hasn't
proven it can be a home for software hits? It's an unfair chicken-and-egg
question, but one that's always relevant among companies that can ill-afford to
throw away money.
If this year's E3 is any indication, the Vita seems to be leaning towards indie product, and the software on display included some promising titles. Also, let's not forget the advantage the Vita's dual analog controls can have over touchscreens. And speaking of tablets, Vita's interoperability with the PS4
is unclear – another space in which it could find competition. As more and more
game companies use companion apps for games, will they make use of the Vita for
these functions or simply prefer to use their own tablet-based apps that can be
A price cut for the system could be a good first step to
reinvigorating the Vita, and currently it looks like the introduction of the
PS4 is making gamers think about the handheld perhaps more than ever. But
remote play is by no means a cure-all for a system that finds itself at an important
crossroads in its life.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I'm going to get one soon. I put a lot of time into my psp, so I'm hoping to do the same with this, especially with persona 4 golden.
If I can just play PS2 games on my Vita, I will fall even more in love with it.
I'm not interested in the Vita at all. I have a 3DS XL and it works great. Can't stop playing Fire Emblem. The games for Vita would have to be on that same level to even get my attention. I'll keep an eye out, but I've been unimpressed so far.
I think the Vita and Wii U have the potential to become true indie powerhouses, what with the big companies like EA and the like being preening cowards concerning the platforms.
There's a vacuum of games on both systems, and players hungry for more. Both Sony and Nintendo have opened their doors to indie, and I think this is the time for indie devs to take that chance.
I just hope Vita doesn't become a glorified Gamepad. It's a great system, and deserves more support than what its gotten from Sony. Unfortunately, E3 didn't really do much (for me anyways) to convince me its worth it as a standalone system. Hope I'm wrong.
If the Vita gets a price drop or a big sale, I will buy one. I'm at the point where there are enough major reasons (the incredible library PS+ users have for the system, Ys: Memories of Celceta) that it'd be worth the $250, but right now the hidden cost of a memory card effectively increases that to $350, not something I'm willing to pay right now.
Stupid. Remote play doesn't mean WiiU b.s., why does Vita have 3G????????????????????????? Sony is the most heartbreaking thing in the world.
If only there was a price drop.
Wait, it is restricted to the same wifi network as the PS4? Dammit Sony, you took gaikai away from us now why can't you make good use of it?
Look, there is a reason why the 3DS is called the handheld king. It proves one huge thing: You don't need amazing hardware to sell like crazy. I don't want the Vita to fail and Sony needs to focus on it... badly.
I can tell you I'm personally very interested in the PS4, but owning one won't compel me to buy a Vita for remote play. I want games for the Vita that I can only experience on the Vita, and there just aren't enough I care about yet. It is a well made, powerful handheld though. Lack of games is the only thing keeping me from buying one.
If there were more unique games like Soul Sacrifice on it, it would do way better.
I received a Vita as a gift shortly after its launch, and I can say that I'm still pleased with it. The only down-side is that the Vita does not have enough quality gaming experiences to make it a full-fledged gaming device.
PS4 will not save Vita. It needs new games. Much like the WiiU(which at least is getting the treatment it needs), the Vita needs new experiences and not just ports. Why developers think porting old games to a newer system will sell well is beyond me. Old played out games aren't going to move on new systems dumb-asses.
Only complaint about vita is the price of the memory cards. Basically why I don't buy many games for it.
I just REALLY wish that Sega would finally release Phantasy Star Online 2 on vita here in the US.
I'm really enjoying my Vita. It has a lot of options. But it definitely needs a handful of game experiences that can't be found elsewhere.