The Little Handheld That Could

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“Console Experiences on the go.” That’s what the PlayStation Vita promised, and after the success of the PSP who could argue. The track record was solid and the future looked bright, a good price, and a promising launch line up to come, something any hardware needs to succeed. Well it didn’t quite work out that way; the first red flag was the weird memory cards and the even weirder prices of them. The fact that they weren’t announced with the handheld itself made it seem more shady than intended. But even beyond that the Vita launched somewhat successfully at first but then tailed off rather significantly; games like Uncharted golden abyss, Stardust, and Unit 13 showcased the cool potential of a handheld with twin sticks, a bright LED screen and HD graphics.

But as the Vita’s Life went on it started to become apparent that this was never going to be the PSP, it’s not even going to be the 3DS. As the first party games began to fade it only made it more obvious that no one wanted to develop for this strange little unproven device, and if no one makes games for it, it will never be a proven handheld. PlayStation has a mountain of bad ideas under its umbrella but the Vita feels more like a missed opportunity, I would wager that if they had a second go at it. They would take out the back touch pad and apps like Near to just make a great little gaming machine. So since console experiences on the go is no longer possible the vita has to press on as something else, and it has. It’s become the must own device for people who want to play great indie games and obscure Japanese games now since those genres are fairly niche that’s what the PlayStation Vita has become.

I was an early adopter of the vita, not the earliest but pretty close. Playing Uncharted and Assassins Creed on my tiny handheld got me in the door but the reason I’m staying is because I absolutely love playing Persona 4 golden and Hotline Miami on those little twin sticks. The Vita’s audience will never get any bigger than it already has, but I don’t ever see it getting any smaller as long as the games they keep pumping out are of quality. And who knows maybe one day we get another Sony handheld. With the Phone market the way it is they would certainly need to restructure a few elements but it seems to be working for Nintendo.

The reason I bring all this up is because everyone’s favorite little device is turning three years old soon, and it’s important to show the life of the Vita so far is not really a failure and not really a success. As the PlayStation 4 continues to sell bajillion’s of dollars (estimation) I get the feeling that PlayStation will soon just let the Vita fade off into the distance, our last big game on the system was Freedom Wars and the sight on the horizon isn’t very bright when it comes to big triple A types of games, but on the other hand the Vita has the most Confirmed games announced for any system, granted that most of those are PC ports but still, it’s a lot to look forward to if you’re into the games that the vita has been putting out lately.

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