We've put off copping a Vita for too long. It was always a combination of price, laziness, and skepticism that prevented us from finally breaking down and just investing in Sony's handheld. No more. The time is now and here's why:
People bitch about how the Vita is awash in ports while lacking a robust library of original titles. What's the problem with that? Hotline Miami, Spelunky, and Terraria look and play flawlessly on the handheld and remove the need to be tethered to a laptop or a console. The Vita's originals like Tearaway, are massively enjoyable and utilize every feature of the portable console to endearingly memorable effect. Have you seen Persona 4 Golden?
Final Fantasy Tactics has been close to our favorite game of all time for about as long as we can remember. The Vita's ability to play the entire back catalogue of PS1 and PSP titles via the PlayStation store is easily worth the price of admission. Resident Evil 1-3, MGS: Peace Walker, GTA: Stories, and yes, Final Fantasy Tactics are all available to play and look stunning, glowing in the palm of your hand.
Future Indie Titles
Rogue Legacy, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and La Mulana are all indies heading to the Vita. If you've spent any amount of time playing past indies on the Vita (again, Hotline Miami) you know the titles look stunning on Sony's touchscreen.
The OLED touchscreen, microphone, camera, and rear touchpad all combine to make the beleaguered portable console a favorite for developers. Nearly any type of game from any type of genre can be developed for the Vita, making a remarkably flexible gaming platform.
Sony's big push behind doubling down on the Vita has largely been thanks to the PS4 and Vita create an ecosystem all its own. With the Vita's ability to mirror the PS4, remote play is shockingly lag-free when used to stream PS4 titles directly to the handheld. This is one of the slickest work-arounds of living in a house where the television may be in danger of becoming hijacked, leaving your $400 console running cold.
Sony's Going to Support the Vita for the Long Run
When Sony removed the backwards compatibility for PS2 titles early in the PS3's life cycle, gamers were obviously pissed. Sony has reiterated that it plans to support the Vita for years to come, but fans are still rightly skeptical. The Vita’s beastly enough to exist independently, but it needs to start moving units for it to remain worth a developers investment.
Sure, it's a subscriptions service, but the ability to listen, save, and play music from Sony's vast library is only one tier of the service. Allowing user to play whatever music is in their library while they're playing a title on the Vita essentially lets players to re-score their favorite titles. Don't want to listen to the original music for a game? Just change it.
While ports and indies may make up the bulk of the Vita's library, the original titles for the handheld are easily just as impressive. Tearaway, Gravity Rush, and Olli Olli are all fire on the Vita.
$199.99 is steep for a handheld system. This is true, but compared to a $399 PS4 or a $499 Xbox One, the Vita is downright thrifty. Adding a 16GB or 32GB memory card will push the price up, but when all is said and done, you're still coming out ahead of the initial purchase of a next-gen console.
Get Slim to This
Sony has recently announced a new redesigned 'Slim' version of the Vita hitting the states this spring. The price will remain at $199, but will come bundled with Borderlands 2 on top of the reductions in both the Vita's weight and width. The Borderlands 2 bundle will also come equipped with an 8GB memory card.
Now is the time to finally pull the trigger on getting yourself an early Christmas present. We're saving our pennies and will finally be copping when the Slim drops this spring. You should do the same.