If you would all stop making fun of the Vita now that would be great. Yes it’s been just over a year now and we all know it didn’t do as well as everyone hoped. Especially Sony. You don’t need to remind them of that anymore, even they admitted it. I will admit too, as somebody who woke up early on launch day to drop about £300 on one, I am a little disappointed. Not with the actual machine (the handheld itself is awesome!) it’s the lack of support it seems to be getting not just from Sony but from everyone.
Developers don’t want to touch the damn thing because well… they can’t make any money if nobody’s buying it. The Vita suffers everyday, like so many forgotten children. Gamers, especially the ones who use forums, seemed determined to kill off the Vita before it was even release. A common complaint before release related to the “sub-standard” battery life, which is a notion I always found to be ridiculous. I mean, how often you charge something depends entirely on how much you use it, right? If you’re playing the console non-stop, running multiple games and apps for lengthy periods of time then of course the battery will suffer, that’s true for any piece of tech.
Sony showed us their plans and for some reason everyone hated it. Poor Vita, all you ever wanted was to be loved. It’s a shame considering the amount of potential it has.
Sony didn’t do it any favours either by not only making the memory cards no larger than 32 gigabytes in Europe but the memory cards were extortionately expensive, with the 32GB cards retailing at around £59.99. By today’s standards of technology I consider that to be a lot of money for a small amount of memory, especially when I could probably buy a Terabyte hard drive for my computer at a similar price.
I actually ended up buying a 16gb Card for the bulk of my games and a 4gb for mobile games and minis. I don’t know what went wrong in the Sony boardrooms, somebody clearly made some bad decisions that ultimately lead to disappointing sales. At this late in the game I don’t really know what could been done about it either. As far as affordability goes, I think the Vita didn’t sell because, much to Sony’s dismay, it costs more to make each unit than people are actually willing to pay. They had to try an recoup their losses somehow.
Despite the disappointing sales, what you have to remember is there are people who are incredibly happy that they purchased a Vita on launch day. It’s the most powerful handheld console that’s ever been created. It has some wonderful features and some awesome games, some of which, for the privileged PlayStation Plus subscribers, are completely free. Titles like the action packed Uncharted Golden Abyss, the thrilling Wipeout 2048 and the wonderfully charming Gravity Rush. There’s plenty of good stuff on the horizon in 2013 too.
All I need to do now is get a lot more memory. That’s always been the biggest speed bump. On the whole my experience with the Vita this past year has been very surprising. If you’d have told me ten years ago that I’d be able to play a perfect port of Jet Set Radio on the go I’d have slapped you. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is to revisit a classic like that whilst on the toilet at work. Smart As impressed me with it’s enjoyable logic puzzles and genuinely improved my mathematical processing ability. Sound Shapes acted as a form of therapy form during some tough times,with it’s relaxing, melodic gameplay. Games like PulzAR and Table Top Tanks, despite being more of a novelty, proved that Augmented Reality tech can potentially have some really cool applications.
The Vita is just an odd little thing, it’s the guy everyone forgets to invite to their house parties; it’s a console experience on a mobile device, but people want to have console experiences at home, on their console and fun little, casual mobile games on their phones. The market for people who want a combination of the two is just too small to be profitable. Or at least it was back in 2011 when it shipped from Japan.
As for the question of “was it worth it?”, well… I think time will tell on that one. When I bought my Vita I considered it an investment. I knew there was going to be a drought of desirable games but I went out on a limb and I think now… it’s starting to pay off. The advantages PlayStation Plus alone make me happy I have the system and the promise of some awesome games in the future keep me faithful. Oh, and don’t forget the touted relationship between the Vita and the impending PlayStation 4.
If anything else, I’m confidant that the Vita console will go down in history as the pinnacle of handheld gaming technology and a statement as to why it should never be attempted again *insert angry emoticon here* We can pass the torch on to the telephones now.