Thursday, 23 July 2015

The State of Play: Playstation Vita

This is the first of on ongoing series which will discuss the state of certain aspects of the gaming world. For the first one I decided to discuss an item which is very close to my heart - the Playstation Vita.  A device that may have been doomed from the start and is even classed as a Legacy device by its manufacturer.

The Vita was originally released in 2012 with two main features - social gaming & PS3 quality games. It was met with positive reviews with many stating it to be the best handheld gaming experience available however it was marked as the biggest flop of 2012. See, at the time of it’s launch, mobile devices were becoming more popular and had a few positive features over the Vita. Firstly, each year a new range of devices come out which are more powerful than the last. Secondly, the market is far huger than a dedicated gaming device. Finally (and the most important), it takes less time to develop for mobile devices and it is a hell of a lot cheaper. An extra point, which I personally feel is the major reason of concern, is the memory card issue. At the moment you can pick up a 32gb micro SD card from Amazon for £9 whereas the dedicated 32GB Sony PS Vita Memory Card sells for £54! This is bonkers and the most shocking thing is that the prices have changed very little in the past 3 years. At least with the PSP there were 3rd Party Memory Cards that were just as good.

So that is a little history of the Vita but the question is this; what is the situation today?
Well, in the three years since launch there has been very little change to the situation. A price cut, a newer model (including the PS TV), 4 million sales & no more 1st Party Titles.

There are two types of gamers regarding the Vita. The ones who have never owned one with the comment of “The Vita?! It has no games” and the ones who own a Vita with comment of “The Vita?! So much choice”. The first comment is the one that makes my blood boil as I totally agree with the second comment. There is a huge variety of games available for the Vita including a huge PSP and PS One back catalogue. However, for gamers (like myself) who have had the system from the start, the variety is starting thin out. At the moment the Vita can either be used as a JRPG and Indie Machine. I love my fair share of RPG games but I am struggling in finding the time to play them all. As for the Indies, we all know they can be very hit and miss.

The Playstation Vita may be still pumping out JRPGs and seems to be a good home for Indie games but I think the future is looking worrying. I love my Vita and still have a lot of games to play but looking at the upcoming games list, it is looking a little barren. The Vita has a very strong following which is almost like a cult and in a way is keeping the dream alive.

So What is the State Of Play?

Without the full support from Sony and the lack of footage from E3, I think the Vita’s days are up and will only last another year. I may be wrong as there are a few Games Conferences left this year but I am not 100% confident.

Was the Vita doomed from the start?

All depends how you look at this. As a dedicated gaming device - no. As a mobile gaming device unknowingly competing against high end mobile device - yes it was doomed.

Could it have been fixed by now?

Yes it could have been. Sony attempted to fix the sales issue with prices cuts and cheaper models but they never addressed the memory card issue. As much as I like what Sony do, I feel let down by they regarding the Vita especially when they announced no more 1st Party games are in development.

As I finish writing this article, I look down at my Vita sitting on my table next to me. This Vita, brought on launch day, has seen me through many things; the death of my mother-in-law, countless lunch breaks, the birth of my daughter (including the many sleepless nights) and the lonely night before my wedding. So yes, I think the Vita’s time may be up very soon but I am not sad about this thought. It is a great console, with some brilliant games and as gamers we should appreciate this.

This is not my Vita BTW :P

Agree? Disagree? Please share you thoughts on the current state of play of the the Playstation Vita in the comments below & I will be along to show how wrong you all are (just kidding but I will answer any questions)


  1. If you've owned it from the start I can maybe in a distant way see the argument about quality gamed thining out. However if your like me and have owned it halfway thru it's cycle or just recently bought one, there's way too much to play. I genuinely see the handheld go on for two more years, though I also admit it will shrink in relevance at retail over time.

  2. Very true! If you brought one, let's say last week, there is so much choice! I just feel a little let down as a long time owner at the moment.

  3. I dunno. Ive enjoyed my time with the Vita, and see its continued relevance in Japan extending its life a little more than people anticipate. Who knows if these new games will come west tho

    Like I always say tho, Sony supported the Vita well for a while pumping out AAA games and NOBODY bought one, so why should they continue now? Might not be something people wanna hear but its the truth. Anyone expecting more than the Vita being an Indie & Japanese Niche device is just hilariously in denial. Seriously, the writings been on the wall for over a year

  4. Fair enough, I suppose!

  5. I'm ok with Sony not supporting the system anymore but what I'm not ok with is lack of Retail games. This would not be an issue for me if Sony would just drop the memory cards price down. I know they don't cost that much to make anymore so no reason for them being so high.....Low price drop on the memory card then no digital purchases from me...we can both play this game...

  6. Either way you look at it you can never win. I have an 8GB card and I am always having to delete titles to install something new. It is silly how expensive the cards are in this day and age

  7. Seems like you play Musical Chairs with games haha...