Features, Games

Have Sony Forsaken Their Handheld Child?

PS Vita Great Buy Table Wood Nice Picture Photo Screen

I love my Vita, it’s like the child I have never had because I’m lazy and a bad person. When mixed with Playstation Plus and the quality of games and the hardware it’s hard to hear anything negative about the little bundle of joy. Rumours bounced around this week about a supposed leak of Sony’s Playstation E3 conference. This has been reported, and supposedly verified, by DualShockers. The line up has divided opinion, not because of content exactly but mainly as to whether it’s completely made up or completely made up with some elements that would be cool to have (See: Syphon Filter Reboot). There’s one line in the leak that worries me a lot.

“We’ll also see several smaller-scale, downloadable titles and some HD collections. PS Vita will get some attention, but not much – as it’ll be a PS4 show. PS3 will get a montage and few new titles.”

The issue here is that it would seem that if this is legitimate in any way at all, the Vita and PS3 are getting side lined like a fat kid on sports day. The Vita has always had a bit of a rough break from Sony. Like an accidental child, Sony just can’t quite seem to give the kid the same focus it gives its other offspring. The only reason the Vita has lasted as long as it has is because beyond all belief the Indie community have taken it upon themselves to keep the thing afloat, and this is only really because of the wonderful invention of Cross-Buy; the ability to purchase on PS3 and get a free copy for Vita.

PS Vita Indie Games Playstation

The issue here is that the majority of the games on the Vita feel like they’re just there because they happen to be, as opposed to being built for the system. I’m not here to complain about the lack of AAA titles for the Vita, the handful it has are awesome. I don’t expect the big developers and publishers to throw all their money at a handheld device, which is a risky venture at the best of times. However, what I would expect is Sony to support their own handheld; their own studios aren’t making games for the system.

The Vita has, for many, has become a digital only system, much like Sony’s Playstation Go failure from years ago. The store is better than it used to be and people are happy, with handhelds at least, not to own physical copies of games. This has led to the store being filled with some top quality indie titles like Spelunky, Stealth Inc, Luftrausers and Hotline Miami.

Hotline Miami Screen Indie PC Vita PSN PS3 Title

So where am I going with all this? Well as recently as a year ago it looked like the Vita was a dead fish being digested by a bleeding bird that has been shot. Then the PS4 was announced and Remote Play and a myriad of games all became a reason to buy a Vita, and I did and I don’t regret that decision. But when you realise that the support for the Vita is only there because of Indies, and with no real quality checking of their work, it does make you wonder if Sony even want the Vita around anymore. Sure it’s putting money in their pockets but when you look at the weekly releases for the system being 1 or 2 games, nearly always indie, you have to question if their heart is in it.

Recently the Playstation Blog announced 12 indie games that are coming to Vita and PS4, again though, these are indie. As I said previously, I’m not wanting AAA titles exactly, but rather, support, in some form just some acknowledgement that the Vita isn’t just there to be able to play Assassin’s Creed IV in a hotel when you’re far from home. To return to the origin of this thought process, the supposed leak of the E3 line up; putting the PS3 to one side makes sense, it’s last gen and they need to move consoles, but my fear is that every game that’s mentioned for the Vita will be a title that they will primarily push as PS4 but has Cross Buy with Vita. The Vita is quickly becoming a foot note in Sony’s own eyes, whether the leak is true or not E3 will really be the indicator of how much Sony really cares for one of their children.

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Ruaidhri

Big-Boss of PixelBedlam.co.uk
Ruaidhri has been writing for a number of sites over the past few years, spewing his vitriol and love in equal measures on all topics from Video Games to Film and Board Games to Geek Culture. He started PixelBedlam in September of 2012. Follow him on Twitter!