I’ve recently returned to the PS Vita and, as usual, it’s a good time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the system doesn’t have a dedicated thread here on RGB, so… Here we go!
Sony released a dual-stick handheld on December 17, 2011 as a successor to the PlayStation Portable, which was pretty popular. The PSP put up more of a fight than Nintendo had ever experienced in the handheld space. Yes, the DS caught fire and ended up leaving its rival in the dust, but Sony fancied another bite at the cherry. It made sense at the time… The Vita, like its predecessor, would have more power than Nintendo’s offering, this time, the 3DS. It would have a higher resolution screen and a host of multimedia capabilities. Let’s get the specs out of the way:
|Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
|512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM
|1 GB flash memory (PCH-2000 model only)
|Proprietary PS Vita memory card (4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 GB)
|5-inch (16:9) OLED (PCH-1000)/LCD (PCH-2000) multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, approximately 17 million colors, 960 × 544 qHD at 220 ppi
|Quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4+
|Stereo speakers, microphone, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Bluetooth
The Vita has a touchscreen, rear touchpad, motion sensing tech, front and back cameras (0.3MP), Wi-Fi and some models even have 3G… What could possibly go wrong? In a nutshell, a lot. Few cared about those multimedia capabilities because smartphones were ubiquitous, unlike during the previous generation. The proprietary memory cards were expensive and unreliable. More important, though, is the simple fact that Sony bailed on this thing. Riding high on the back of the original PlayStation and PS2, it was not. Rather, the company was reeling from a slugfest with Microsoft in the home console space. In the end, the PS3 just about managed to save face. The truth is, when the going got tough for the Vita, Sony just didn’t have the stomach for the fight — the PS4 was the priority.
But that’s all ancient history. I’m still playing the Vita today. The device is unparalleled in its look and feel. I like the lighter model:
I’m sure there’s a decent DAC in there because the Vita can produce a nice sound, given the chance. Tearaway is undoubtedly the most interesting exclusive. I’m a fan of Virtua Tennis 4 and Dead or Alive 5, which look great and play phenomenally well. It’s also my favoured way of playing the Metal Gear series — MGS2 is a game that made a big impact on me, so I return to it every so often.
In any case, for many, the Vita was, for a brief moment in time, the way to play indie games. I’m sure you have one such game that you remember playing on this system. For me, that game is Runner2. I had played Bit.Trip Saga on 3DS and enjoyed it. I remember that I was living in Hong Kong at the time, with a friend in a tiny studio, and there was a small monitor knocking about. We decided we needed some kind of gaming vibe to liven up the space. We couldn’t afford a big console but, frankly, that would have been overkill. So we went across to Kowloon and discovered the Golden Computer Arcade. Man, there were all kinds of stuff in that place, legit, not so legit, and everything in between. Among endless rows of overflowing cabinets, we stumbled upon a small white box called PS Vita TV. It was just the ticket! We took turns playing Runner2 until we beat it — it’s a simple, yet well executed game. Today, listening to the music and looking at the trophies bring it all back…
Anyway, that’s enough from me. I’d just like to note a useful RGB thread about the Vita, filled with digital recommendations:
The Vita is dead, long live the Vita!