The PlayStation Vita is on its way out. Sony has slowed down the development of first party games on the handheld to a grinding halt, and it is all but ignored in their press conferences, despite the pleas of many hardcore PlayStation fans. It is basically the red-headed stepchild of the Sony family of consoles, but it is an awesome piece of machinery that has never gotten the due it deserves as one of the best handhelds every created. Here is five reasons why the PlayStation Vita is awesome, and worth owning, even in its twilight years:
- PS Classics: The Vita has a plethora of PlayStation One games available in the PS Store. Games such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Origins, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy V, VI, VII, and VIII, Suikoden II, Xenogears, and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Stick Together are just a small sliver of some of the best games ever made that are available for the Vita, and all of them for $9.99 and under. That is hundreds upon hundreds of hours of gameplay, and that is not even close to the full list of Classics the Vita has.
- Its first-party games are actually good: While there are some really terrible games (I’m looking at you Reality Fighter), there are some gems that were made by the first-party. Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Escape Plan, Plants vs. Zombies (the PS Vita version was published by Sony), Freedom Wars, Minecraft, and Hell Divers are a few examples of a surprisingly vast library of games (despite the red-headed stepchildness that the Vita seems to have). Sony wanted to bring the at home experience to a handheld, and while it did backfire in some places, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Gravity Rush are two examples of that working well.
- All the Indies: The Indie scene on the Vita is absolutely the biggest, most bustling, part of the Vita. Indies seem to pop up every day on the Vita, and they often feel right at home there. Guacamelee!, LIMBO, Hotline Miami, Velocity: Ultra. OliiOlii 2, Splunkey, Shovel Knight, and Rouge Legacy are some examples of games that feel at home on the Vita. All of these games are available for the PlayStation 4, as other systems, but they feel right on the Vita; like they belong there. It harkens back to the 2D handheld days of the Game Boy and Gameboy Advance, and there is not a handheld around that does 2D gaming better.
- PlayStation 4 Compatibility: Remote Play and Cross Buy/Save is what is going to keep the Vita around for much longer than it would otherwise. Remote Play is an excellent idea, and while it is not perfect, it is very convenient to be able to play PlayStation 4 games on your Vita. Also, almost, if not all, games available for both Vita and PS4 have cross save/buy functionality, which allows for someone to take whatever they are playing on the go, and not have to restart their save. It allows for someone to have the big screen experience on a PlayStation 4, and the portability of a handheld.
- Persona 4: It is Vita’s best game, and it (should be) a system seller. It is a stellar game, and it has extraordinary replay value, despite the fact of how long and difficult the game is. By itself it provides hundreds of hours of entertainment, and to couple that with the above portions of the list, a Vita can be an integral part of anyone’s gaming life.
The PlayStation Vita is, and forever will be, underappreciated. It is a gorgeous piece of machinery, and it is, hands down, the most powerful, strongest, handheld around. It does things that other handhelds simply do not do, and has such a vast and versatile library that it is hard not to find games for anyone. It does have its problem (those memory cards), but every console does.
Even though the era of the Vita is dying down, buy a Vita anyway. You’ll find tons of value, and join us in hoping Sony is crazy enough to make a Vita 2.