10. Dual Analog Control
It’s amazing that it has taken this long for a handheld to feature a dual analog design. When you find yourself playing the portable counterpart to your favorite console experience you ask yourself: “How has the experience been compromised”? Up until now, the interface has been one of the main culprits. Not anymore! Touching, twisting and flicking are great additions but until proven otherwise, that is what they will remain. If you ever wanted a portable that plays like a console, this is your reason to own a Playstation Vita.
9. PSP Library
For what it was, the PSP was a great system with a huge library of enjoyable titles. Just looking at the God of Wars and the Metal Gears you can see the developers were just beginning to unlock its true potential. In defense of the developers, why should they if consumers are just going to illegally download their titles? Sure, homebrew was great but it came at the expense of what should have been an ever greater library of PSP classics. The silver lining is that now we can enjoy most of those titles that we either missed out on or just plain neglected.
Up-scaling combined with the Vita’s OLED screen provide a noticeable improvement when compared with its little brother, it is also possible make use of the Vita’s second analog and button assignments. I won’t speculate as to why every title isn’t currently available but I’m sure it won’t be long now. Access to hundreds of reasonably priced PSP titles on a shiny new OLED screen is another reason to own a Playstation Vita.
8. Cross Play
Cross Play is a feature that I see becoming a huge selling point. It basically refers to any title available to both the Playstation Vita and Playstation 3. If you buy or already own a title for one system, you can expect to get that same title for free or at a discount depending on the situation. It also means that players on Vita can challenge players on PS3 head to head. So far unique to Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3, the Vita can be used as a controller while playing the PS3 version at home. This feature allows the player to use the touch screen to perform some of the games more complex maneuvers.
The recently released MLB 12: The Show (Sony) offers consumers a $20 discount when purchasing both the PS3 and Vita versions together. Do you really need two copies of the same game? No but via Cross Play you can continue your progress on either platform. We can expect this to become the standard for any sport title released on both systems. All these Cross Play features and more yet to come are an exciting reason to own a Playstation Vita.
7. Improved Ports
Gamers can go back and forth about what system is better but it ultimately comes down to the games. If there’s a successful franchise that you enjoy (if possible) you can count on it one day joining the Vita lineup. As if it’s not enough to take your favorite game with you anywhere in the world, you can also count on added content and features that take advantage of the Vita hardware. All that and at a price point significantly lower calls for the coining of a new phrase: “I’ll just wait for the Vita version!”
The triumphant return of Mortal Kombat (Warner) was a hit with fans and critics alike. This May (1st) however we can expect everything the console version offered and more. Fatalities and X-Ray attacks can now be performed using the touch screen (optional). An additional 150 challenges taking advantage of the touch screen and accelerometer as well as new mini-games such as “Test Your Slice” and we’re just getting started. In addition to Kratos, all the paid DLC Kombatants will be included, exclusive Krypt content that didn’t make it into the console version and more.
I’ll leave you with a couple of more examples of why improved ports are a reason to own a Playstation Vita. Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention (NIS America) is a port of the PS3 title that contains all console DLC, GPS functionality, new characters and more (April 17th). Also, in what has led to a degree of backlash from the gaming community: Street Fighter X Tekken for the PSV will release with 12 fighters that console users will have to pay for in order to access. Certainly Capcom will provide even more reasons closer to release as to why this will indeed be an improved port. Street Fighter X Tekken for the PSV will be available this Fall.
Facebook and Twitter are apparently here to stay…for a while. We all know what they are so there’s no point in going too deep but they were built on this platform with gamers in mind. Certain in-game accomplishments can be immediately shared on Twitter and/or Facebook in an effort to keep gamers connected. You’ve also got your Flickr and Foursquare for all your photo sharing and stalker exploits, Flickr allowing you to share any photos you take with your Vita right to your Flickr account. In my opinion the more game centered apps I’d have to say are Music Unlimited and Netflix. Why? I’m glad you asked!
Music Unlimited allows Vita users to enjoy a large portion of their music library in offline mode. This enables the users to enjoy that music while using the Vitas browser or playing games. Netflix on the Vita is cool because you can watch your favorite movies in between or during your console sessions at home or on the go. This is sure to prove useful since Netflix is the most popular non-gaming app on home consoles. First party apps like Near and Party allow users to see what other gamers are up to, collect and share content and communicate via text and voice chat. While most of these apps as well as the more to come may be available on your smart phone, odds are that they’re a lot nicer on the Vita’s screen.
Every Vita game will available at launch on PSN. Of course you can still buy a retail copy but it’s a nice touch that you never have to leave the house. You can also expect a discount (most of the time) when you purchase directly from the Playstation Store. There you will also find demos, game videos, apps and games that you will not find in retail stores.
PSN is still free (Playstation Plus is optional) allowing gamers to play online against gamers all around the world. There’s also the video side of the Playstation Store that offers a large selection of new releases, TV shows and original content. Promotions such as Spring Fever, Fan Favorites and corporate partnerships provide users with free and discounted content year round.
4. Firmware Updates
If you’ve been familiar with the PS3 since launch then you’d know it does a lot more (and in some cases less) than when it was released. We have Firmware Updates to thank for this. True they may seem annoying when you’re forced to download them but it is these updates that extend the life of the platform. Firmware Updates allowed the PSP to work alongside the PS3 and it’ll be a Firmware Update that allows the Vita to work with the PS4.
Sure! Firmware Updates are a tough sale. But when it comes to why you should own a Playstation Vita, Firmware Updates will bring the functionality required to enjoy reasons two and three.
3. PS1/PS2 Library
Playstation 1 titles will eventually make their way onto the Vita but there currently are no plans for PS2 games. Really!? We all know that the Vita is capable of handling them but this is something that will have to wait for a while. In the meantime we can enjoy HD versions of PS2 classics with… wait do I sense sarcasm? I better not! This is a list of reasons why you should own a Vita, not how Sony intends to make money.
If it comes down to resources then I’d rather those resources go into creating new experiences and or bringing the best that the PS2 had to offer with touch screen integration. The ability to play key titles from the vast Playstation library is indeed a good reason to own a Playstation Vita. Look out for the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Konami) on December 12th.
These games are still classics, and you should be playing them.
2. Remote Play
At TGS 2011 Killzone 3 was demoed via Remote Play using the Playstation Vita. The rear touch panel substituted the missing L2 and R2 buttons and gameplay for the most part was smooth. At that same show there was a live gameplay demo of Little Big Planet 2 being played on the Vita along with a player playing on PS3. The Vita was also able to make full use of touch screen functionality.
Right now via Remote Play you can play PS1 games and minis, listen to music, watch videos and look at photos on your PS3. While it’s pretty cool to navigate your PS3 anywhere using your Vita and a wifi signal. Those reasons alone aren’t compelling enough. We know it’s possible to play PS3 games via Remote Play; it’s just a matter of time before Sony officially makes the feature available. Skyrim anyone?
1. COD/Future Releases
Call of Duty, seriously!? If you made it this far only to be disappointed then you obviously represent the minority. I’m still yet to even play Modern Warfare 3 but I know there are few games that sell like the Call of Duty franchise. I have no details other than the fact that it is in the works and that’s all you really need to know. We’ve already had a taste of what the shooter experience will be like on the Vita with Unit 13 (Sony) but we all know that was just an appetizer.
The Vita’s launch lineup has proven its ability to hang with the big boys. Confirmed future releases like Gravity Rush and imminent entries from the Madden and 2K series provide compelling reasons to crack open that piggy bank. Add to that the fact that we’ve heard nothing from Rockstar Games. The PSP never got a GTA San Andreas Stories probably because it couldn’t handle the content. The Vita is capable! Then there’s the urban legend that is the Final Fantasy VII remake. Some say it will never happen. I say “What better platform to release it on?”
These are the top 10 reasons to own a Playstation Vita. Why are you still sitting there? Go out and buy one!!!
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.