The PlayStation Vita is back in the spotlight due to the most recent The Last of Us Part II trailer, and it kicked up a lot of opinions for us here at Prima. Following the most recent gameplay look at Naughty Dog's upcoming game, I fished out my old Vita, plugged in the charger, and began my descent into memories. And you know? There are a lot of good memories with this system.
So why do we think the PlayStation Vita was a good system despite its obvious flaws, porting issues, and lacking library? Glad you asked, friends.
The remote play feature was awesome, though we can acknowledge that it didn't always work the way it was meant to. Some games just didn't make the transition to handheld well but one memory I will absolutely treasure is loading up a monster of a game like Dragon Age Inquisition, taking my Vita with me outside during a beautiful Spring afternoon with my dogs, and lounging in a hammock - game in-hand - with a nice scotch on the rocks. I remember in that moment feeling so at peace and comfortable and honestly astounded to be playing such an open-world game on such a tiny system I could take with me on the go.
This also expanded the library immensely! While the Vita had its own library that players could take on the go untethered, the remote play feature took the library and made it even bigger, though with the distance limitation. It was pretty neat, and offered a different way to play beloved adventures.
Didn't even know this was a feature? It was easy to utilize! I found it worked at the most efficiency when my PlayStation 4 was hard-wired into the internet with the Vita connected via WiFi and staying within a range; ie: the front porch with the hammock. This was a feature also extended beyond what the PSP had to offer, taking the umbrella of game choice beyond PSX titles.
Now that we have the Nintendo Switch that takes the third-party gaming experience on the go, it's obvious that PlayStation had gold it was just under-supported and, I personally think, way ahead of its time.
Since this was a PlayStation experience on a much smaller scale, the controls and features varied from what PS players are used to. For being such a tiny package, the team over at Sony knew how to pack a lot into very little with its two analogue sticks, the multi-hit point touch screen and the touch screen on the back. The system also had unique Sixaxis motion sensors and dual cameras, features that while not everyone used was pretty awesome to see included.
For developers and gamers alike, the Vita setup was criminally underappreciated. The dual cameras allowed devs to play around with certain games, especially augmented reality-focused titles, taking familiar gaming experiences to new heights with a subtle nuance that was often overlooked.
The PlayStation Vita was a perfect bridge between the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 and had Sony invested a little more into this platform in terms of both marketing and game support, it could have easily done what Nintendo is currently doing for the on-the-go gaming movement. Cuddle up in a blanket burrito during a storm and play some Uncharted, sit on the porch while trying to save Thedas, playing Danganronpa with your feet kicked up on a comfy oversized couch; it was a different way to play and it took what so many loved about the PSP and made it even better.
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It wasn't perfect, not by a longshot, but it was a much better experience than the community gave it credit for and that's why my system will never, ever leave my collection. What about you? What were some of your favorite PlayStation Vita memories? Sound off with your thoughts over on Twitter @PrimaGames, or hit me up over at @DirtyEffinHippy to tell me I'm completely off my rocker - your choice!