The Playstation Vita's Much-Needed Push: Is It In The Hands Of The Gamers?

From the very moment I saw the Playstation Vita I fell in love with its sleek, sexy design, its console-quality titles and stunning 5-inch OLED screen. And when I got my Vita in September 2012 the system really did seem flawless: I had a mountain of backwards-compatible games to overcome, there was a plethora of new games on the horizon, both exciting and unique that were waiting to be unveiled and the eagerly-anticipated PS4 connectivity was almost in our midst. However, since then the tide has turned. No longer do I find myself becoming excited for Vita games, it's very rare for PSP and PS1 games to hit the Playstation Store nowadays and in general, the system lacks the much-needed push from developers and Sony themselves.

In the beginning, the games available for the Vita were the sign of a healthy future; there was Uncharted - one of Sony's biggest exclusive AAA franchises - Assassin's Creed, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet and a stockpile of console-quality ports due out. Since then things have changed. Now, things are different. Those console-quality ports we had? Sure, there are few exceptional ones such as Need For Speed: Most Wanted, but the majority of them are poorly executed or rushed. Look at the Jak & Daxter Collection for reference: two out of the three games have major technical issues with the third title being rife with glitches. Not only is this the case with ported games, but the same can be said for exclusive titles. Take a look at megafranchise Call Of Duty's Vita carnation named 'Black Ops Declassified.' Fabled to be the Vita's swansong at launch, hopes quickly fell short when the reviews were revealed, not to mention they were well and truly buried when gamers got their hands on the title themselves. Oh, and the same is also applicable to Silent Hill: Book Of Memories, Reality Fighters, Resistance: Burning Skies and many more.

Although this seems like a varied library most of these games came out at launch, furthermore Sony seem to be crushing any chance of mainstream gamers purchasing the system by porting their formerly Vita-exclusive titles onto the bigger consoles (Assassins Creed and Batman are two prime examples).

And yes, don't get me wrong at all, the Vita does have some incredible games but these were released too early on for the system to have a long-lasting appeal. The games were all released at launch rather then being staggered, and in my opinion (prepare to leave an angry comment below), the upcoming offering of Vita games is not enough. Where are the AAA games? Where are the major franchise spinoffs? The answer to both of these questions is as follows: there aren't any.

What seems to have happened is that the Vita is a hotspot for indie developers nowadays, and don't misinterpret me on this, it's brilliant but a system cannot survive on indie titles alone. They need some "BANG" games, as I call them, to survive. Would the PS4 have sold so well with numerous ports of indie titles such as Lone Survivor, Rotating Octopus HD or Fez? Awesome games but these probably don't reach the mainstream gamers who are in it for the yearly releases.

In the games department, the Vita is sorely lacking.

Another major issue with the Vita is a slumping hacking scene. With more and more hackers retiring (such as one of the most well-known, hard-hitting hackers named Total_Noob) the system is lacking the support that arguably propelled the Vita's predecessor, the PSP, into the hands of the niche audiences.

Perhaps I'm exaggerating and the Vita is simply not for me (keep in mind I own numerous consoles and enjoy just about every genre excluding Sports games - well, I enjoy them but choose not to buy them) but the sales figures speak wonders about the Vita's success. During the March 2014 period in the USA the system sold a shocking 10,000 units. This is not good enough for a system as ambitious as the Vita.

Sony, get your act together.
We want Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Gran Turismo and more new releases from franchises such as the Uncharted and Assassin's Creed series. Ok, for the time being I'll settle with replaying games I played a decade ago (since the resale value is non-existant) but overall, aside from being an emulation system, I'm sorely disappointed with the experience the Playstation Vita has given me. The backwards compatibility is another story though. I won't break into it but in short, I love it.

Since Sony doesn't seem to be pushing this system on to becoming a massive success, could it be in the hands of the gamers? Is it up to us to start petitions and get our voices heard on what we collectively want on the Vita? Take a look at the survey here to sign for Rockstar Games to put the GTA IOS ports on the Vita. Maybe if we, the Vita owners, mobilise and do this, maybe then the system will turn around.


Post a Comment