Welcome to another edition of The Top 5, continuing our series of “Reasons why we got…” a specific platform! This week, we got the whole crew contributing because all of us have PlayStation Vitas! In case you haven’t seen the rest of the “Reasons” series, we’ve made one for the PS4, Xbox One, and the Wii U. Next week? It’ll be the 3DS! But let’s hear what the crew’s reasons are why they got a Vita!
5. Remote Play
Seeing as this was a feature that was introduced after I got the Vita, I’m merely adding this because it’s become a value add to the platform. If you have a Vita, a PS4, and a pretty damn good router, the Remote Play functionality of the Vita is something that you can avail of. I remembered when Sony claimed that developers only need to tweak a few settings in order to optimize their PS4 games for Remote Play, and I’m finding this to be true for several of the games that I’ve been playing on my PS4. Truth be told, a good router will make or break this functionality, but when you do find one that works – preferably one that is a dedicated router, as opposed to the modem/router hybrids that ISPs tend to dole out – the Vita’s Remote Play functionality will allow you to play all your PS4 games anywhere in your home.
It’s true that the power of a platform doesn’t prove that it will be better than its competition (the PlayStation 2 comes to mind), but it does leave something to the imagination of developers when they’ve got a powerful set of hardware that can render some high quality graphics. Yes, I love that the Vita has a high contrast OLED screen. Yes, I love that it can do shader effects with ease. Yes, I love the fact that it can outlast my 3DS and 3DS XL in terms of battery life. The potential of the platform is pretty big right now.
3. Huge library of games, encompassing several generations
Where is the only place where you can play PSOne, PSP, and Vita games in one place? The Vita plays all of this and gives you the tools to be able to map certain buttons to specific touch screen hotspots. Now contrary to Ted’s previous article, you can’t play all your PSP games on the Vita. However, the ones that you can play do so perfectly. But for the most part, bigger titles and series are represented well. In fact the Vita is the only platform that can play almost every single Final Fantasy (with the exception of Final Fantasy III) from the first to the recently released Final Fantasy X HD Remastered. It’s also the only other platform where you can play the original Metal Gear Solid up until Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, including Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker.
2. It’s a good roadmap indicator for the PS4
I got the Vita because I wanted to see if Sony had learned from the PlayStation 3. And since the Vita was coming out prior to the PS4 at the time, it would’ve been an interesting way to see what they’re learned with regards to UI and software API development. These might not sound like good reasons why you’d plunk down money on a Vita, but I considered it a long term investment. Besides, it allowed me to replay one of my favorite JRPGs of all time. Speaking of which…
1. Persona 4 Golden
There is nothing that’s left to be said about my adoration and admiration of Persona 4 Golden. I’ve covered it time and time again, and it’s a game that I can keep replaying over and over without any complaints. If you still don’t have it for your Vita, go get it now!
5. No Good Reason
Okay, so I actually struggled with coming up with 5 real reasons that I got a PlayStation Vita. In retrospect, there are plenty of good reasons, like how it has become a respectable platform for indie games, how slick the operating system is, and the library of games that has grown to include some great handheld experiences like Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, or recent titles such as Demon Gaze and Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. But back at the point that I made the purchasing decision, none of that had crossed my mind. I just figured that being the collector of video games that I am, that I would eventually own a PlayStation Vita; I’d just have to wait for the right deal.
4. The Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation Amazon Black Friday Bundle of 2012
And what a deal this was! A limited edition Vita packed with Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and a downloadable code for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, 3 months of PlayStation Plus and a 4GB Memory Card, all for $20 less than the average Vita bundle at the time. I simply could not resist.
3. The Hardware
Making my purchasing decision a bit easier was the knowledge that I would be acquiring the most powerful dedicated handheld gaming device on the market. The PlayStation Vita was my greatest hope for the possibility of having console-like AAA experiences on the go, and I knew I had to give it a shot.
2. PlayStation Plus
Also adding to the value of the system was my ongoing PlayStation Plus subscription, which immediately granted me access to a half a dozen or so games to play, including Uncharted: Golden Abyss. With the promise of more “free” games in the coming months and years, I knew I would have no shortage of games to play on the system.
1. Persona 4 Golden
But the main reason I had to have a Vita was a little RPG called Persona 4 Golden. Granted, I had already played Persona 4 on PlayStation 2, but as a Shin Megami Tensei fan, I had to have the definitive version of this masterpiece. Ironically, I have yet to reach the end of the game since getting it for the Vita, as my never-ending backlog of games has tempted me away from replaying games I’ve played before, no matter how fond of them I am. But nonetheless, back at the end of 2012, Persona 4 Golden was the PlayStation Vita killer app, and to this day it remains a compelling reason for uncertain shoppers to take the plunge.
5. Remote Play
I share a common area with my girlfriend. As such, sometimes she doesn’t want to watch me game, so the Vita allows us to still share the living room and spend time with each other, while I could still chip away at Knack or Infamous Second Son. I’ve only used this feature a handful of times, but it works great and I’m glad it’s there when I need it.
4. I commute to work
Commuting to work allowed me to do some reading, which is great. However, I would always have pangs that I wanted to be playing video games instead. As someone who can’t stand mobile gaming and hasn’t had any interest in a single Nintendo handheld ever, the Vita made perfect sense. I could game and watch movies on my commute making the 2 hour trip (each way) much more palatable.
3. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a big fan of the Uncharted series. Ever since it’s launch, I wanted a Vita so I could play this game. At the time of launch, very few games interested me on the platform, but rest assured, when I finally did get my Vita, Golden Abyss was the first game I played. As it turned out, the game is decent but by far the weakest game in the franchise. Still enjoyed it though.
2. PS Plus
I subscribed to PS Plus not long after E3 2013 and had amassed quite a few games for the Vita because of the program. It just made sense to me that I should put this subscription to good use.
1. It was Christmas and it was on sale
I had just gotten a PS4 a few weeks earlier, and I knew I wouldn’t be getting an Xbox One until Titanfall came out, so I found the Walking Dead Vita bundle on sale from Amazon. I told my girlfriend that I wanted it and the rest was history.
5. Portable trophies
I am a huge achievement and trophy whore. Won’t lie. Being able to get them on the go is awesome. One thing that’s become more awesome over time is cross-save support. Sound Shapes let you unlock trophies in any version so long as you transferred the save over. Thanks for the three platinums. Trophies have their own flavor that’s a bit different from Xbox Live Achievements, and you may or may not like it. I love it.
4. Big ol’ screen
These days a 5 inch screen is par for the course on a mobile device, but the Vita’s 5 inch screen is OLED and beautiful. Colors are vibrant and that screen is so bright and big. Console game ports look pretty darn good. Sadly, the new slim Vita will have just an LCD screen, and the difference in screen quality is noticeable.
3. Online Connectivity
Yes, the PSP had an online store, but the Vita has good use of Friends list, a much better store, party chat support, and even do media like Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll. Sure, you can do this all on your phone, but you don’t notice the lack of capability on another device like the 3DS until you try to utilize it. Vita is getting more and more stuff every day.
2. Everything is downloadable
Some people like me don’t like having to swap discs or game cards or whatever. Yes, the memory cards are too expensive, but I’ve filled up a 64 GB card, and almost filled up a 32 GB with Vita games, and filled three-fourths of another 32 GB with PS one titles. Every single game is downloadable straight off the PlayStation Store, and I love carrying an entire game library with me.
1. Console gaming on the go
I just can’t get into mobile phone games no matter how hard I try. I love my traditional games and I love playing them wherever. The Vita promised a retail AAA experience and though we haven’t seen a lot of retail titles these days, the quality of the titles has really been top notch. With a second analog stick and enough inputs to mimic a modern controller, it really works. Some games like Killzone Liberation and Tearaway are just absolute blasts that are beautiful to play and look at.
For some reason, Ted wanted me to post this screenshot to sum up his Vita reasons… which is puzzling, given that he has absolutely zero inkling when it comes to sports and he probably doesn’t even have the game. Or does he?
And there you have it ladies and gents! Here’s all the reasons why we got a Vita! I’ve missed having Top 5s like these where we have the whole crew participating. *sighs*
At any rate, what are your reasons why you’d get a Vita? Or if they don’t have one yet, maybe tell us what you’re waiting for in the comments below? And maybe, just maybe… if you’re nice… we’ll read some of these on the podcast. No promises though!