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Does the Vita Still Have a Place in Your Gaming Life?

In the two years since its release, PS Vita has struggled to get a foothold in the industry, with wild sightings of the handheld few and far between. As an owner of a Vita since Christmas, I can safely say the experience is certainly an enjoyable one. The use of PlayStation Plus (and the recently announced PlayStation Now) greatly increase the usability of the Vita, let alone reduce the cost of the experience. Shopping around means you can pick up a first generation Vita, Tearaway, Little Big Planet Vita and a 16GB memory card for around £135. Notice I mentioned the first generation Vita, which in the opinion of a lot of reviewers, is probably the better option between the two versions out, mainly because of the gorgeous OLED screen on the first gen version.

One big selling point to the Vita is it’s compatibility with the PlayStation 4. This remote play feature is a potential selling point for PS4 gamers, but it doesn’t make the Vita less of a standalone purchase. Vita’s gaming experience is strong, with games designed to run at 60 frames per second and at 720p. A perfect example of this is the game Injustice: Gods Among Us, the way that game runs is fantastic. There may be an occasional graphical hiccup but it is outweighed by the seamless nature of fights. The experience of having this graphical ability in the palm of your hands is invigorating.

GoldenAbyssVitaArticle

The main game library is going to be the most important part of anyone’s decision making process. In my relatively short time with the Vita, I have found the selection to be pleasing, but not spectacular. There has been a slight lull in releases, but the future looks incredibly bright. Original titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Little Big Planet Vita combined with newer titles Tearaway and Killzone Mercenary has expanded the library successfully. The prospect of Borderlands 2 on the Vita is enthralling. Packing that game into the Vita’s ecosystem sounds like a difficult task, but managed successfully and that game could be a system seller. The obvious questions about future God of War games are always relevant, with nothing ever ruled out.

The Vita not only supports new titles, but has a huge back catalogue of PlayStation 1 Classics, PSP Classics and some PSP Mini games. Having Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Crash Team Racing back in the palm of my hand is fantastic. In truth, I have put way too many hours in Crash Team Racing considering I still have Guacamelee and Gravity Rush to play.  There is something for everyone within the classics store, meaning plenty of choice is around. Take the Spyro: Trilogy for example, a classic that was on everyone’s PS1 played list. Its appearance in the store is nothing short of amazing. Playing these games is mostly seamless, with options for virtual memory card support, as well as screen sizing options.

Guacamelee

Living in the PlayStation (and more specifically the Vita’s) ecosystem isn’t difficult. Don’t want to shell out for new games and just want to play what you can? Well there is a plan for that. For the price of PlayStation Plus, you can download a couple of free games per month (dependent on region and offers) for your Vita. So far I have for free: Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Guacamelee, Gravity Rush, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Soul Sacrifice. Not bad for a £40 flat free right? You get to keep these games as long as you have a subscription to PlayStation Plus. There has also been a couple of additional games to download, but I chose not to because of space restrictions and a lack of interest in the idea.

Is there a downside to owning a Vita? Of course, battery life can be somewhat disappointing and memory cards are expensive. You would think you can slip any memory card into the Vita, unfortunately not. It’s a proprietary memory card, with an extraordinarily high mark up. However, picking up a deal like the one I did, you will pleasantly surprised with the value for money.

PS Vita Colours

The big question to be answered here is whether the Vita is worth it in your lifestyle? It’s all down to personal experience and whether you are willing to jump into a new ecosystem or want something to accompany your shiny new PlayStation 4 with. I had wanted to jump in for a while, and although it’s not the first thing I grab in the morning, it’s always on me. I have loved my experiences with the Vita so far, and for the price you can sometimes get it, it’s well worth a look.

Do you own a Vita? If so, what’s your favourite game? If you don’t own a Vita, has any of what you have read made you think about getting one? Let me know in the comments and let’s start a conversation.

 

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Avid gamer and technology user. Have a lot of opinions on games and love talking about them. Mainly PC gamer, wasting far too many hours on games like Football Manager and the Total War franchise. Add me on Steam (ryangoodyman) and follow me on the social networks.

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