Today I wanted to take the time to remember a sad unfortunate casualty of the handheld market, the highly underrated PS Vita. Over the past few years this has become a forgotten handheld from Sony where support has seemingly been lost along the way. Even then, it was something that I can still look back on with fondness to this day being a vastly superior handheld that had been released as a successor to the PSP, Playstation Portable. Although more recently, the Nintendo Switch has quickly become my bona-fide go to, at least when it comes to playing games on a portable device. I absolutely cannot deny that the time I spent with the Playstation Vita hadn’t been enjoyable and at the same time, a portable system that I feel never lived up to its true potential. Even going back to the first handheld I ever played with SEGA’s Game Gear, I had always wanted a way to play quality games without having to just sit in front of a television all day. It’s always been nice to me, having the ability of being able to pick something up and just go without having to interrupt a session. Prior to the Nintendo Switch, the PS Vita was just that for me, albeit mostly abandoned now, outside of the occasional indie or Nippon Ichi Software releases.
Getting into a little detail with the PS Vita, for a time it had features available that weren’t on either the Playstation 3, or even Playstation 4 for that matter. Features like being able to see a friend’s recent activities, as well as the ability to comment on them. These weren’t features that had ever become available on the Playstation 3, and initially weren’t even available on Playstation 4 at the time of its launch, though thankfully was been patched in over time. Another noteworthy feature was the obvious of being an additional way of playing your Playstation 3, or Playstation 4 games via the remote play functionality, though very limited. Other features worth mentioning include the touch screen functionality which seemed to have been abandoned in later games, two mini camera’s that were unfortunately very pointless, and finally the ability to browse the web. Sony basically designed the PS Vita to be the Swiss Army Knife of portable gaming consoles with all of the things it could do, but in the end was still just not enough to compete with the Nintendo DS or 3DS.
In terms of the PS Vita’s library, I would say for a long time it was mostly strong as well. Fantastic games like Soul Sacrifice, Freedom Wars, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Persona 4 Golden to name a few, on top of what was available via the Playstation store from both the PS One classics, as well as a variety of other well received games from the PSP. This thing had a very but highly under appreciated library on its hands and though the releases have slowed down, solid titles have still managed to trickle out with titles such as Stardew Valley finding their way on the PS Vita. Games like Soul Sacrifice and Persona 4 Golden are ones I highly regard to this day having spent hundreds of hours on them, albeit through the now defunct PS Vita TV.
At the end of the day my opinions on the Playstation Vita are that it was an innovative and under appreciated handheld mostly due to Sony’s competitor Nintendo having such a stranglehold on the market. I remember the PS Vita as something that had a lot of great features, some ahead of their time, to outweigh a lot of the more pointless ones, as well as a very strong initial library and though Sony’s support did seem to start to dwindle over time, my appreciation for the system was enough to get me to stay interested in it for a very long while. In fact, mentioning again that the Vita was my go to handheld up until the Nintendo Switch ended up being as fantastic it is. I still have a soft spot for the PS Vita, and I truly hope if Sony ever decides to follow-up with another handheld they support it a lot better. The PS Vita deserved more love than Sony provided at the end of the day. It wasn’t a failure by any means, but it was almost as if it was left to die. I just hope the PS Vita is something Sony will learn from for future endeavors, if they ever find themselves trying to tap into the handheld market again.