On February 22, 2012, the long awaited official North American release of the Playstation Vita was over. The reviews were in, some herald it the best launch line of a any consoles, handheld or otherwise. Detractors were few and far in between, a sharp contrast to the receipt of its bigger brother , the PS3, some five-six years ago.
Now fast-forward to a short 6 months, the honeymoon period well over, the gaming press have all but file for divorce from the Vita. The main complaints being that life with a six month old console, sporting some of the best technological advances ever assembled for a handheld gaming device, and with a plethora of games (Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Unit 13, Hot Shots Golf; World Invitational, Motor Storm RC, Resistance Burning Skies, Escape Plan, Reality fighters. And multiplatforms like Fifa 12, MLB 12 The Show, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Madden NFL 13, LEGO Batman and Harry Potter, Ultimate Marvel vs Capom 3, Mortal Kombat) and with many more titles to come, you would think that a 6 month old system, packing this much heat, would be considered alive and well, right?
Well think again my friend. Countless blogs and respected gaming sites are painting a very different picture of the Vita. Going as far as to suggest that the vita needs a savior in terms of games. Saying that the vita doesn’t have that “one game” that really defines it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if those critics were talking about about a Nintendo console (Mario),or an Xbox (Halo) I would understand. But a Sony console has never, ever, been define by one specific game. The Playstation brand has always thrived on a very diversified library of games, spanning multiple genres and bringing in people of all ages. So to someone who doesn’t know the history behind Playstation, these complaints among others seems valid. But to anyone who’s gaming resume goes back even to last gen, they know that no one game alone has been able to define a Playstation system. A lot of the criticisms against the vita are unwarranted, and you begin to wonder if it’s simply ignorance at work, or something else entirely.
The other apparent issue for the PS Vita, according to the very vocal group of people out there complaining, is its price tag. The notion is that the Vita is too expensive at $250.00 a pop for the Wifi model, additionally, there’s the very expensive,proprietary, memory cards and the prices of some of their games as well. I partially agree with the sentiments as well, for personal reasons. I’m of the belief that games are way too expensive not just on the PS Vita, but on consoles as well. At $60.00 plus taxes per game, gaming, has become a very expensive hobby. And by the time you factor in DLC and what not, yeah… it’s way too much money in my opinion. The PS Vita on the other hand, for what it offers as far touchscreen control, plus every button found on a current gen controller, with dual analogue sticks and a 5 inch OLED screen, plus Built in Wifi, front and rear cameras, couldn’t be price any better from a business point of view. But unfortunately, I’m not in business with or for Sony, so meaning that a cheaper PS Vita, with more reasonably price memory cards and games would greatly benefit my pockets. Or better yet, encourage me to enjoy my hobby even more, by buying more games.
The PS Vita’s real issues are not a lack of games, that’s a myth, and I so wish I could have Adam and Jamie bust that one up for you all, but we’ll have to wait another day for that. I can never be an advocate for less games, I’m a gamer, I will always want more games even when my hands are full and my backlog spans as far back as the beginning of this generation. But what I won’t do is spread misinformation about lack of games on a 6 month old system, that so far this year, has had more exclusive games than the Xbox 360, or the Wii for that matter.As well as pretend that there’s nothing down the line for gamers to look forward to on that system. We have upcoming games like Little Big Planet, Call of Duty: BO Declassified, AC III Liberations, PS All Stars Battle Royale, NFS Most Wanted, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, TearAway, Killzone Mercenary, Fifa 13, Street Fighter vs Tekken, Spy Hunter and many many more games to come. So to say the Vita needs a “savior” is blatant trolling and reveals an obvious double standard that exist in our current industry, and that’s just putting it mildly. Our industry could use a lot less of it to be honest.
If you’re reading this, and you’re on the fence about getting a PS Vita, then I would recommend you do a little bit of research prior to making the jump. If you’ve never owned a PSP, then the Vita offers quite a few PSP titles that you can now play with dual analogue sticks. If you’re younger and never had a chance to play some of the classics from the original Playstation, then the Vita just received a few gems from that era as well. And if you want to play current gen Vita games, then you’re luck, because not only do they have some great titles already available, but we’re also entering the holiday season meaning there will be bundles, and deals and Black Fridays and Boxing Days, and many different opportunities for you, the gamer, to hop on a vita, and enjoy your hobby on the go.
So whether you decide to wait, or make the plunge now is up to you. As for me, I’ve been “livin’ la Vita Loca” for almost 6 months now, and I have very few complaints.