Why should you have a PS Vita?
Good question! (since the handheld has not been a big commercial success)
As you might know already, I’m personally a big VITA fan.
Let’s have a look!
1. Quality Handheld Gaming
- Build Quality
The VITA is really a high quality handheld. The dpad is one of the best out there in the market, still if you compare it to the latest home console controllers, and all buttons are clicky and comfortable. Only the L and R button could be a tad more responsive- but they are still good.
I have several Vitas which I’ve been using for years- and never had any issues on any of them. Just as a comparison, I had two broken joycons, and an analogue stick & L button issue on my Switch Lite in little usage.
The Vita is also very comfortable to hold for me, and I can play on the Slim model for hours.
You can use your favorite Bluetooth headset with the Vita, out of the box (Switch needs to connect an additional Bluetooth transmitter for this). Same goes for Bluetooth loudspeakers for your PSTV for example.
The Vita comes with a built-in mic and a voice chat app for your online sessions with pals.
2. The Community aka VitaIsland
Want to meet a bunch of lovely people? Search on Twitter for the #VitaIsland tag and you will see some of the most passionate gamers out there!
- Vita Island Game Club (VIGC)
The VIGC works similar to a book club, we agree on a game for every month, and discuss the game then at the end of the month together.
3. Game Library
- VITA Exclusives
Uncharted Golden Abyss:
If you like the Uncharted series, you will also want to play Golden Abyss, and that happens only on Vita Island.
Ever wanted to be a prisoner, and fight daily to get your sentence down?
Even if that wasn’t your dream so far, you should give Freedom Wars a try!
The gameplay is Monster Hunter-ish, and the graphics are within the best you will find on Vita.
Soul Sacrifice Delta:
This title goes also into the Monster Hunter area, has its own personality though due to its dark story and the focus on magic.
The West has only seen a physical release of its Vanilla version, the Enhanced Delta game can be imported via PlayAsia!
Yes, I will list here also Gravity Rush, even if it had a PS4 port later on- because it’s still Sony exclusive, and Vita its origin and place where it should be played.
The generally feedback on this Vita exclusive title within the LittleBigPlanet universe has been very positive, even though the franchise seems to gather less interest during the last years as it still did during PS3 times. Well, Sackboy has just returned on PS5, haven´t heard much noise about it in the gaming community though. So, I’m not sure if this franchise has still much future. We have here a very fun PS Vita title, that’s for sure.
Same as for Gravity Rush, it has been ported by now to PS4, but you should definitely experience it on Vita- and this is a supercreative game which you definitely should play. It uses all the gimmicky features the Vita has, such as touchscreen, camera, etc. in a meaningful way. A rather short story, but one you should have experienced.
This title is the technical showcase what the Vita can do, it looks brilliant, keeps a steady framerate (30fps though), and offers a fun story mode, challenges + one of the best multiplayers out there on Vita – must have title!
- Japanese titles
I´m currently playing through Odin Sphere– loving it so far. Wonderful art, great beat em up gameplay- must have!
Dragon’s Crown incorporates a (up to 4 characters) party setup into the typical beat um up Vanillaware gameplay- it´s a great game; I would personally give Odin Sphere and Muramasa preference to the “beat em up crown” but tastes are different here.
Years ago, Persona games were considered niche. Nowadays Persona 5 has its own Amiibo. Persona 4 Golden is by many considered THE Vita title; 100 hours of JRPG fun waiting for you- an experience you will probably remember the rest of your life. And if you are into Persona music, you have two rhythm games available on Vita, which are pretty good as well!
The Vita library contains many Japanese games which are not really mainstream in the West- Sayonara Umiharakawase or Dungeon Travellers 2 or Demon Gaze for example. So if you are more of a niche gamer yourself, or at least don’t set gaming equal to Call of Duty and Fifa (which both actually are present in the Vita library), then Vita Island might be a good home for you.
Maybe one of the strongest sides of the Vita library is related to Indie games; many gems found their home on VitaIsland, and are actually still finding it. So, I don´t want to talk you here even through Indie classics like the Hotline Miami games, Spelunky or Severed. Let´s have a look what´s still going on here!
UnMetal is another indie game which has just been sold on PlayAsia for Vita; and also here chances are high that it could stay forever a physical PS Vita exclusive – limited to 2,500 copies worldwide. Why did it get this Vita release – because the developer appreciates the hardcore gaming fanbase which is sitting on VitaIsland (see Interview).
Let’s make this short, the developers here are absolute Vita fans- that´s why they still do Vita games, such as Habroxia 2! Which is a unique shoot em up by the way due to its mixing of vertical and horizontal levels, you should check it out!
This is a fun twinstick shooter which released last year for PS Vita- yes, phyiscal exclusive to VitaIsland, as you might have guessed!
Astro Aqua Kitty:
A kind of sequel to the fun Aqua Kitty game- soon on PS Vita!
—And when you realize that VitaIsland gets this unique treatment from some Indie developers, still in 2021 -almost 10 years after the handheld launched- you know something big happened here!—
4. PlayStation Gaming Network
- Remote Play with PS4
This feature is basically a streaming feature. A remote play app on your Vita establishes an internet connection to your PS4, and receives then the image and sound information from your home console while sending your inputs back to the PS4 to update the game. As you can imagine, this needs to happen very fast or you will experience lag. Therefore, an interesting feature for people with high internet speeds. And a feature which Sony used to promote the Western launch of its PlayStation TV.
- PlayStation TV
The PlayStation TV (originally called Vita TV in Japan) is for Vita fans much more than just a streaming device, it’s the place where you play your Vita collection on the big screen. Thanks to Cloud Saving you can also easily pick up the same save files you are using in your PS Vita, and “switch” between handheld and big screen whenever you want.
Not all PS Vita titles are compatible with PSTV though, since especially the first generation of Vita games used many of the Vita’s features like cam, gyroscope or touchscreen for gameplay elements which are not available on the PlayStation TV. Nevertheless, a must have for Vita fans.
- Cross Features
The PS5 plays most PS4 games thanks to backwards compatibility, thus you have still a wide range of games with Cross Save and/or Cross Buy features available on your PS5. I’ve started a collection of the physical editions of those actually, which you can find here: CrossSave
You can collect PlayStation trophies also on Vita, in the same way you do so on PS3, PS4 and PS5. For me it’s an essential feature for any modern gaming platform. I like to be reminded by trophies of specific moments I had in a game, see what my friends have been “working on”, and what is left in a game to have seen all of it. I would also recommend to set up a (free) account on PSNProfiles to make even more fun out of it.
The VITA is one of the best (maybe THE best) console/handheld to collect for out there. This is due to several reasons:
- It’s a PlayStation console/handheld
- It has great games, and many of those had a very small print run
- Some games are releasing by now in small quantities, and without a digital Vita release
- It’s built quality makes it last for a long time
- The games are on cartridges which is preferred by many collectors to discs
- Value of Vita hardware, games, and accessories is expected to only go up (the BitCoins of Gamers *joke*)
Conclusion: You should definitely have a PS Vita.
This is a joint article between VitaIslandViews and The PlayStation Brahs to help spread the LOVE of PS VITA to the world!