First, let me start this by saying I have been a fan of the PlayStation brand of consoles for 15+ years. As a teen I saved some money to buy my first PlayStation and have been hooked ever since.
Jumping forward to last year and I finally managed to trade in my PS3 for a PS4 and was so pleased with all the improvements. This is when I first started with my PlayStation Plus subscription.
Onto the subject of this article and in August of this year I decided to purchase the Vita, I was attending hospital appointments 3 times a week and needed something other than books and Netflix to keep me occupied. I decided to go with the Vita slim model (which isn’t always a popular opinion) for 2 reasons, I was concerned about the screen issues of the phat Vita and also I wanted to be able to use my Android phone charger, so as to not have to carry multiple chargers.
Onto the device itself I was so surprised by how light the Vita is, remembering the weight of the PSP I owned around 10 years ago I expected something a little lighter but the Vita slim is marginally heavier than a DualShock 4 (I actually weighed them both and there’s only a few grams difference) also both analogues are very smooth and responsive to use.
The first issue I had when I purchased the Vita at a 2nd hand store was I had no memory card and only 1GB of space built in so digital games were limited. On the bus on the way home the excitement of having a new toy was too much, so I decided to try remote play feature I was so looking forward to using. I turned on my wifi hotspot on my phone entered my PSN details and we were away. Suddenly I was looking at my PS4 dashboard flicking through the icons of all the games installed on my hard drive, I selected what I considered to be the least technically demanding game to try, this was Rayman Legends. All I can say is the game played beautifully and I managed to play through most of a level before my uncharged vita battery died on me. Once I got my 16GB memory card I decided to look at some digital games, what I had forgotten was for the previous 15 months I had purchased all the PS+ free games every month whether they PS4, PS3 or PS Vita so suddenly I had a reasonable catalog to try.
The first game I wanted to play was Grim Fandango Remastered which I originally purchased for PS4. The Vita handled the game as well as I would’ve expected the PS4 to do. I also downloaded the demo for Tearaway and loved the use of all the unique controls the Vita offered whether it was the 6 axis we have had since the DualShock 3 or the front touch screen and rear touch pad, I haven’t ever experienced the level of immersion like Tearaway on Vita before.
I have tried many titles from my back catalog and also purchased others I probably wouldn’t have bothered with on a home console as I would be too busy with the big AAA titles to play these little indie or classic titles. Having the power of a smaller PlayStation console in my bag for the hours spent in waiting rooms has been so worthwhile and rewarding not only in additional trophies but also in the worlds I have managed to explore that I wouldn’t have seen without this brilliant little piece of kit.
One of my favorite things to do now is to go to a coffee shop, plug in my headphones and crank out some Vita gaming. If I can find somewhere with a good wifi signal I can also play my PS4 games while out, this includes the bigger PS4 games. I managed to find all the Odin Ravens in God Of War to work towards the platinum and also play some levels of Batman Arkham Knight via remote play while away from home. The only downside to remote play is where the game requires use of the L2/R2/L3/R3 buttons as the Vita only has and L&R button which act as L1/R1 on remote play. It is possible to use the rear touch pad for these buttons but as it is a pad and not triggers it can be difficult to use. My intention is to purchase a remote play grip to add triggers to the touch pad.
Overall if you are a PS4 owner like myself and want to expand your gaming to portability while expanding your gaming catalog the Vita is an amazing option to consider that I would recommend to all.
- Portable and lightweight
- Remote play of PS4 games
- Great for indie titles and non AAA games
- Can be used as an additional controller for PS4
- Titles exclusive to the Vita
- Lack of support so not many new titles coming
- Vita memory cards are still expensive
- PS Store still available on vita but doesn’t fully update.
- A lot of apps have been discontinued like Netflix, YouTube etc
Even with all this taken into account I couldn’t be happier with my Vita and look forward to playing many more of its amazing titles.
Many thanks reader if you made it to the end of what turned into a lengthy love letter to the Vita, good luck to you whether or not you decide to purchase the console.
I am off to finish Guacamelee (if I can beat the final boss that is)
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