I recently purchased a Vita, after a year or so of mocking others for their silly purchase I have been converted. Within just a few hours of my first play I have been singing its praises from the rooftops, as far as I can tell I think now is the perfect time to purchase this great little handheld. With the PS4 coming out soon and Sony pushing their new Indie side here is PixelBedlam’s five reasons why now is the time to buy a PSVita:
1. Future Proofing
When you sat down to watch the PS4 launch did you expect to see a Vita on stage? In all honesty I thought the Vita was a dead console, hearing all those reports on sales being worryingly close to those of the Wii U’s, I had even mocked one of my writers here at PixelBedlam when we got a Vita game to review and only one member of staff owned one. But then the console reveal came and we saw how much integration was being planned for the future. Sony knew the handheld console was dying so they did the smart thing, showed people what it can do. With the ability to play the majority of PS4 games on the Vita screen with Remote Play it’s clear that Sony are standing by their handheld device. Sony have also recently said they are going to be releasing 85 games in the second half of this year alone, of course there’s a lot to be said for quality over quantity but the dedication and vision for the future they are showing is admirable.
2.It’s A Buyer’s Market
The fact the console wasn’t supported at launch, didn’t find it’s user base, and had no games released was excellent in the long run for gamers. It has meant that picking up a new Playstation Vita console is cheap, and if you’re brave enough to try it out you can pick up a second-hand one from eBay generally with a few games thrown in. My WiFi Vita cost me around the £100 mark, with a 4GB memory card (too small) and 4 great games bundled together. Sure you may be missing a box and it may have some wear and tear but in the long run the money you have saved could go towards Playstation Plus or another game. Sony screwed up it’s start, it is the same as we saw with the 3DS and the Wii U, companies get complacent and the hubris kicks in, thankfully Sony managed to get back into the cockpit and pull the plane out of a nosedive meaning today the gamers are benefiting from a cheap price and also unpredicted support from the current generation into the next generation of home consoles.
3. Indie Game’s Console Home
At E3 Sony paraded some indie developers on stage like they were bears riding tricycles. “Oh look everyone, we’re not like that other company *boo hiss* look we care for our indie devs!”. It was a sycophantic display, but one that in the long run appears to be a good thing for everyone involved, the indie devs get their game on a console, and money, Sony looks open and kind, and get money, and the gamers get good quality ports of previously PC centric indie games, and spend money. Thomas Was Alone, Hotline Miami and the soon to be released Stealth Inc. [Formerly Stealth Bastard] are all great games that console gamers nearly missed out on. With this more open door policy from Sony it screams potential. We are only in the early stages of this but clearly Sony is backing the indie horse and the Vita and PS3 with it’s Crossplay/Shared Save Game technology is the perfect combo for it.
4. Playstation Plus
Playstation Plus was something that originally wasn’t publicised all that well, over the past year however the quality of games and the sheer amount of them has rocketed. For £40 a year in the UK you get all the free PS3 games and Vita games. When I first signed up I didn’t have a Vita but thanks to the way that it works you are able to “purchase” the Vita games for future use. In 6 months the PS4 will be released and if you want to use any of those online features you’ve enjoyed on the PS3 you’re going to need Playstation Plus, your subscription carries over from PS3. All you would be doing if you signed up now is being super prepared for the PS4 and racking up a nice little games library for the Vita, a system that with it’s integration with the PS4 is clearly going to be around for a while.
5. The Good Games Are Really Good (The Bad Games Are Really Bad)
Much like the PSP (original) the gulf between good games and bad games is the size of the Grand Canyon; for every ZHP or Persona game there was a KAZooK or Dave Mirra BMX Challenge. The Vita isn’t the perfect console, there are certain games that fall short of the expected level or quality that gamers are used to today. That being said the good games really are great, Little Big Planet Vita has all the fun of Little Big Planet 1 or 2 and much of the same usability. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is a great game that matches it’s bigger brother on the PS3 really well, plus if you buy the PS3 version you get the Vita version for free, the PS3 version can be bought for around £12 these days. It’s easy to make a case for indie games being the way to go when you purchase a Vita, some of them are far higher in quality than their AAA brethren. Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Mod Nation Racers and Marvel Vs Capcom have all made great cases for normally home console based franchises making great appearances on handhelds without sacrificing quality.
The Vita had a rough start, it was the dirty kid at school, the one who clearly doesn’t shower enough and who’s parent love them but you wouldn’t be surprised if it took them a few days to notice their child is missing. Now the kid has grown up and has reached an age where it’s starting to grow into its looks and sort out their issues. As laborious as that analogy was I stand by it, the Vita has reached a great point in its cycle and with this upward trend in quality and support there is hope for the little blighter yet.