The PS Vita was Sony’s attempt to break into the handheld gaming market – a market that has been dominated by Nintendo for decades. However, a combination of poor pricing and game selection upon release hindered the success of the handheld and it soon fell into obscurity. It is considered by some to be one of Sony’s biggest flops, a remark which is a little unfair. With the release of the Nintendo Switch, it seems that Nintendo have now well and truly cornered the gaming market, but for those of you who can’t afford to pick up a Switch, there is an alternative on the market.
As the gaming industry has developed, the PS Vita has suddenly found itself becoming more and more relevant. The initial third-party support for the PS Vita was impressive, leading to a huge back catalogue of games for you to wade through nowadays, but that isn’t the only reason why you should consider picking up a PS Vita as we close the door on 2018.
One of the Vita’s biggest selling points in 2018 is price point. The Nintendo Switch is still retailing at around $350 (£340) depending on which bundle you decide to pick up and that does not include the hefty AAA price tag that is attached to the Switch games. In comparison, most second hand game stores, eBay and Amazon are now selling the PS Vita for as little as £80 in the UK. This opens you up to an outstanding piece of hardware that also includes a full HD screen, interactive touch pad and touch screen technology. Although the memory cards are fairly expensive, it still works out cheaper than buying a Nintendo Switch.
The catalogue of games available for the Vita is huge with the online store boasting games for as little as £3.99 and sometimes even less. There is a host of hugely underrated games for the PS Vita such as Uncharted: The Golden Abyss which is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful handheld games ever produced. There is also a God of War game and Gravity Rush is considered to be one of the best games available on the Vita to date. Titles such as Final Fantasy VII, Dynasty Warriors, The Warriors and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories are also available to download, which is why spending slightly more money for a decent sized memory card would be considered essential. Although you may struggle to find physical copies of these games on the shelves of supermarkets, second hand game shops still stock them as they are traded in, so it is not unlikely that you will come across some of these gems.
If you own a PS4, then the PS Vita is now the must have accessory. The Remote Play feature allows you to link your PS Vita to your PS4 and play whichever game is currently in the console from your PS Vita but only some of the games have this functionality. Another huge plus for the PS Vita is the cross-buy system that Sony introduced. If you purchase a PS4 game that is also available on the PS Vita, you are automatically given the right to download the Vita version if the option has been given by the developer. To put it simply, it is gaming in one of its easiest forms.
The cros- buy function also opens up the ability to hunt for trophies and build up your rep. I am personally not a trophy hunter, but I know a few who are always trying to find every trophy and 100% a game – something which isn’t always an easy feat. In other words, you can buy a game the once and have two different trophy lists to go through for certain games.
What Sony has done with the PS Vita is everything a handheld should be and although it fell hard upon release, it is slowly starting to gather a cult following among gamers. For those of you who want to jump into the handheld console scene but can’t afford the initial outlay of the Switch, then the PS Vita could be for you.