Why the PlayStation Vita is Still Relevant

And why if you have a PlayStation 4, you need one.

Perhaps the PlayStation Vita has never appealed to you, perhaps you own one and see no reason use to it. Maybe, you think the handheld is outdated and in need of another iteration? Let me tell you why I think the Vita rocks.

In 2012, Sony released the PlayStation Vita to various countries world wide, where it gained praise due to its graphical capabilities and interesting control methods. It was a slick looking, cool handheld console that you would not be afraid to show people. If anything, getting out the flashy thing would garner some wicked attention.

At launch, the Vita, unlike many console launches had some great games, but despite this sales still did not exactly sky rocket to success and the Vita was still not the console everyone and their dog wanted to own. With that said, however, it did have a few real gems which managed to shine among the best even still today.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss was just one of those gems that for me personally stood out, and proved that the home console experience Sony bragged the Vita was capable of, was possible on the go. Hours would be spent travelling through the beautifully crafted yet familiar world Sony Bend Studio had created, creating for an experience that was completely memorable. The future had been entered, and boy was it exciting. Uncharted was more than a single-player action adventure game, it was my favorite franchise done right on a portable platform. Once the adventure was over, it became all too clear that the Vita was something special.

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Of course, more games were available, such as Escape Plan and Wipeout 2048, both of which were also big hitters in my opinion. Both of these games looked, sounded and played great throughout. As time went by my Vita library built up with PS1 games, PS Mobile games, PSP games and of course PS Vita Games. This, however, was where I encountered my first issue.

Since the original Vita had no flash memory, I was forced to buy a memory card. At first, I stuck with an 8GB card, but this quickly got full. I then bought a 16GB card and then sold my 8GB card and put it towards a 32GB one. This kind of size is not cheap, ringing in at over $100 just so I could play my games without re-downloading them constantly. This was by far the biggest gripe I had with the system and prices are still ludicrous two years later. It would have been much more logical to let us use a standard micro SD card.

Memory gripes aside, the Vita has impressed me no end.

I stopped using it purely as a console months ago, yet it still continues to strike me as an amazing bit of hardware. No more do I crave a AAA experience and no more do I care to see it show off its already impressive graphics. My Vita is my PlayStation 4’s best friend, and also helps to relive some of my best childhood moments.

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Playing old PlayStation 1 games would be an option on my PlayStation 3, but it is also not the most practical one for me, since it involves turning on not one but two things, as well as navigating through a menu and hogging the television. It is so much simpler to fire up the Vita and relive those memories. With the ability to not only play PS1 games, but also customize how they look and control, the Vita is the perfect machine for a nostalgic blast. Speaking of looks, the Vita really does make those oldies look pretty nice for what they are. Blow them up on the big screen and you are faced with ugly textures and character models ripped straight from a horror film, without a single doubt the Vita is the go to PlayStation 1 game emulator.

But why is it the PlayStation 4’s best friend?

Since the launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony have always been quick to mention that the ultimate accessory for the console is the PlayStation Vita. The Vita can literally do everything the PlayStation 4 can do, providing your internet connection is sufficient to its standards.

Hello Remote Play! This little (absolutely massive) feature can provide you with incredible joy if you have the right set up. On a good day, I can be miles away from home yet still enjoy running around the city in Infamous: Second Son or eliminating targets in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. All of this with little to no lag. When Remote Play works, it works flawlessly.

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Being able to take complete control of the PlayStation 4 through such a small system feels brilliant and never ceases to amaze. On one occasion, I managed to (albeit with a bit of lag), run about the world of Black Flag inside of a Game store using their WiFi, much to their own amazement.

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Remote Play is more than a test of internet stability though, it is a chance for the gamer to receive an unprecedented amount of freedom. Your other half needs to watch some crappy reality TV program? No problem! Just switch over to Remote Play and continue where you left off. Nintendo has indeed already done this as I am sure many of you are screaming out, but not to the extent the Vita has. With it, you have very little reason to ever turn on your big screen.

So okay, we have discussed the games available, the nostalgic appeal and the ultimate PlayStation 4 application. But what else makes the Vita a killer machine?

Cross Save and Cross Buy are both incredible innovations that if you have no knowledge of already, you should really learn about. Starting with Cross Save, here’s why you should care. Cross Save enables you to continue your game wherever you left it. When Remote Play is not an option, and you have to go the old fashioned way, Cross Save is there for you. Just got past a really tough boss on Rogue Legacy on your Vita while on a lovely family trip abroad but want to continue on your TV when you return? No problem, simply sync your save via WiFi and continue where you left off in wonderful 1080p.

Cross Save is great and all, but why would I own tw0 of the same game? Well, that would be down to the wonderful capabilities of Cross Buy! Providing it has released on the platforms stated, some developers will opt to include some of their games in the Cross Buy promotion, and so buying the game once will get you a copy on all three PlayStation platforms.

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So the next time you wonder, “why do I want a PlayStation Vita?”, recall this article and remember exactly why. We do not need another PlayStation Vita, because the one we have does everything we need. I for one, am very happy with my purchase, and will see the Vita through to the very end.

“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”

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