Vita Misconceptions

The PlayStation Vita debuted in North America on February 22nd, 2012 with a very impressive line-up of exclusive titles, fun downloads, and an implied assurance that support for the Vita would exceed that of its predecessor.  About a month after launch, I quickly accumulated a backlog of games and although content release has definitely slowed down, it has not stopped.  There are firmware updates in the works that will greatly expand the Vita’s PSN store and we will soon be able to have our favorite PS1 classics available to us on the go.  Despite all of this, it is becoming a popular belief in gamers’ minds that there are “no games for the Vita”.  I have been hearing and seeing these kinds of quotes from both internet and word-of-mouth sources, and they have challenged me to find an explanation of why such misconceptions exist.

When it comes to the PSP, I believe that the criticism it received was both fair and warranted.  About halfway through its life cycle, support seemed to dwindle greatly, not much was being released, and gamers were left with a piece of hardware they sometimes deemed useless.  Sony was being hit very hard by piracy on the PSP front and the negative effects reflected upon the system.  New models of PSP’s were being developed and released to show that support was still alive but Sony’s efforts were being made in vain.  Gamers had given up on the PSP, and a majority of people still using it were stealing content.

At first, I explained away the Vita backlash by understanding the idea that the PSP negativity was still in the air.  Consumers may be expecting a repeat with this new generation of handheld, dooming the Vita from birth, despite the record breaking content on launch day.  PSP’s bad reputation was rearing its ugly head in the form of dismissive statements about the Vita.  Were gamers really that blind?  Could they be so unforgiving as to not even give the Vita a chance?  Maybe, but a friend of mine proposed another theory.

Why aren’t Nintendo’s handhelds viewed in the same negative light that Sony’s are?  I believe that its because Nintendo aims to create experiences that are exclusive to the handheld systems.  When we think about the success of the DS, titles like Pokemon come to mind.  The RPG feel and Pokemon universe coupled with the enjoyable leveling up and intricate gameplay (strategy, breeding, fight technique) create sought after entertainment that gamers can only get on the DS.

If we take a look at the biggest PSP games, God of War:  Chains of Olympus and God of War:  Ghost of Sparta may come to mind.  Although these are great games in their own right, they tend to be prequels or sequels of Sony exclusives that we already know and love, and do not necessarily add or subtract from the IP’s overall story.  Gamers could technically play God of War 1 through 3, as well as Uncharted 1 through 3 and never miss a thing by skipping out on the handheld iterations of these franchises.

I was excited to purchase a Vita because of the rumors I had been hearing about a Mortal Kombat game exclusive to the platform.  I wholeheartedly expected that I would be getting a single player, action-adventure beat-em-up like Sub Zero: Mythologies or Shaolin Monks.  Although it is impressive that the full PS3 game can run on the Vita at a crisp 60 frames per second, I have to say I was ultimately disappointed to learn that it would just be the same game with a few new features that take advantage of the Vita hardware.

The ideas of transfarring and being able to share saves between the Vita and the PS3 are unbelievable technological breakthroughs but may not be all that gamers are looking for.  An immediate disadvantage that I see comes in the form of cost.  If I want to save my game in MLB:  The Show on my PS3 at home and continue playing on my Vita during my commute to work, I would have had to spend $60 for the PS3 version and $40 for the Vita version.  Sure this represents gaming capabilities only available to Sony consumers but it also took $100 to make it possible for only one game.

Perhaps what the Vita needs is some exclusive content that is available nowhere else.   I hesitated when buying Rayman Origins for Vita because I knew I could download it on my PS3 if I chose to do so.  Maybe if we had more never before seen IP’s that created experiences exclusive to the Vita and Vita alone (unavailable on blu-ray, unavailable on PS3’s PSN store, and unavailable on any other platform), Sony’s new handheld may be received with open arms and much more enthusiasm.

Written by Emrah Rakiposki

Emrah Rakiposki

– Food
– Video games
– Rap music
It has been my life’s work to properly order the list of this world’s greatest pleasures. There is no right answer.

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  • himdeel

    I do strongly agree that the Vita needs it’s own games but there is plenty to play.  I appreciate the option of playing versions on the console games on the Vita but really get excited about new games IP’s like Gravity Rush for instance.  That is a game for the Vita that can be played no where else.  I really appreciate those gaming experience as a person who owns a PS3.  I also really like the console experience on the go and the price of these games is a real plus for me 🙂  

    • Vampiric

       since when is plenty 1?

      • himdeel

        As a non PSP owner I stand by my comment.

        • Vampiric

           non psp owners are easy to spot out

  • Great points but it doesn’t get to the real issue. The so called gaming media, they hype stuff up till its about to be released. Pre-release Vita games are viewed as master pieces, but when the game is headed to the market it gets trashed. Just check IGN’s coverage of Resistance and Gravity Rush. Before these titles were the cream of the crop, now that they are out or coming soon they are trash WTF!

     The Vita has a ton of great games on store shelfs, or downloadable on the PS Store. Maybe Sony came out too strong with the impressive Vita launch, but to think for one second that the Vita has no games is a mistake. Feeding into the negative press would be such a big mistake for any gamer. 

    The Vita is a PSP on overdrive, not only does it improve psp games graphics, control, and load times but it offers new games as well. Motion control and touch gaming have been done before but not like on the Vita. 

     Didn’t mean to rant but really give the Vita a chance to shine, dont compare it to other systems on the market enjoy it for all it has to offer. As for games there are a bun

    • Vampiric

       dont patronize us, this article was bias, generalized horribleness

  • Vampiric

    Your nothing more than a sony fanboy. Not a single good point

    “When it comes to the PSP, I believe that the criticism it received was both fair and warranted. ”

    Oh really? Is that why gamers spoke and it was an amazing system of games?

    The psp launch lineup was so much better than vitas, the vita still hasnt managed to outsell the psp in any given week

    • Right, so even though he is criticising the **SONY** PSP, you dismiss his article as he is clearly a “Sony fanboy”. How does that work? 

      Also, to try and make a case for the Vita having a poor launch line-up is crass and ill-thought out. Look at it objectively. The games were (mostly) top quality and there was a wide variety of genres and, perhaps more importantly, a vast range of price-points covered. 

      Don’t get me wrong, it was not a perfect launch. The system was overpriced outside the US, the memory cards cost a little too much, etc. Overall though, it was a decent launch and the system is showing promise for the future. Look at some of the great cross-platform deals we’re already getting, as well as the upcoming games and drastically falling prices of the existing games.

      And before you completely write off a console before it’s even had 6 months, think back to the PS3. That took 2-3 years before it properly got going, and now look at it. Just have patience.

      • Vampiric

         The vita didnt have a single third party exclusive at launch………….not a single damned one

        the psp launched with darkstalkers, metal gear………..need i go one?

        • Lumines: Electronic Symphony, Touch My Katamari, Army Corps of Hell, Dynasty Warriors: Next, Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen and Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack might have something to say about that chief.

          6 > “not a single damned one”

          Might wanna check your “facts” before spouting off so definitively next time 😉

          • Vampiric

            lumines wasnt exclusive, neither was dynasty warriors

            touch my was shovelware as was army corps

            seriously your comparing an exclusive metal gear to that launch shovelware?

          • Don’t go back on what you said now.
            ” The vita didnt have a single third party exclusive at launch………….not a single damned one”

            I gave you six. Now you’re ignoring that by calling it all launch shovelware.

            Please, do tell what other platforms I can use to play Lumines: Electronic Symphony and Dynasty Warriors Next because I’m not aware of any.

            And let’s not gloss over the fact that the Metal Gear you keep referring to was Metal Gear: Acid, a turn based strategy card game that, while good in it’s own right, disappointed a large number of consumers and reviewers looking for a true Metal Gear game on the PSP.

    • embelievable

      If you read the article carefully, you’d notice that I wasn’t referring to the PSP at launch. Also, the definition of “Sony fanboy” would be someone that praises anything Sony. There is clearly no indication of that sort of bias in this article. Lastly, its just an opinion piece so take a deep breath, relax, and keep the ignorant comments to yourself please.

      • Vampiric

         the only ignorance is comin from you dude

  • Vampiric

    The psp sold 80 million units………it was such a huge success and with a library of over 800 titles

    the vita can only beg for that kind of success

  • Kurosakiuzu

    The PSV should’ve launched with a handful of good games that can give gamers a longer time to play. But despite all that, I am not ready for the PSV even though I really want it and love it.

    A developer of the PSN game called “Fooseball” said “Purchase the game once and you can use it on both the PS3 and PS Vita.”

    This is something I have been wanting on every game to come in the future that is related to cross play. I really wish Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for PS3 would be free on PS Vita as well but its a shame we have to buy two separate games for two separate platforms -_-. But Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is an exception & it will be the only game I am willing to pay for both platforms. I don’t own a PS Vita yet, I am waiting for a price cut because its not worth paying $250 for despite its reasonable price. As much as I love the PSV & am loyal to SONY games only, I just don’t think PSV is enough to satisfy me at $250/$300. It doesn’t have 720p for both front and rear camera, doesn’t have 8MP camera, doesn’t have internal memory with at least 32GB/64GB or so, is only limited to one PSN account per memory card but must reformat the PSV system if we want to use a different PSN ID with a new memory card, there is only 32GB for memory card that is larger and its at least $100 bucks, and there is so much more reasons why I wouldn’t get it at this time for $250. I love the PSV but its just not for me right now for such a high price. If it came out 2 or 3 years ago as it should’ve then I would’ve probably bought it. PSV has too much restrictions due to the incident of the PSN outage and hackers. So, as much as I would like to get some games and PSV, I am just gonna wait it out until the time is right or until PSV has a slimmer version or whatever SONY intends to offer an improvement for it.

  • No offense to EM, but I think this would have done better as a forum post…

    At least half the article is about the PSP.  I understand the need to recognize the Vita’s roots, but this isn’t a PSP article and ultimately the Vita will succeed or fail on it’s own merits.  Yes, the general public may view it as “the new PSP”, but Sony marketing will eventually fix that if they would like the Vita to survive.

    About transfarring…  MLB is probably the most extreme example that could have been used for a cost comparison.  The flipside would be Hustle Kings, Pinball Arcade or Motorstorm RC.  $10 gets you any of those on both platforms.  Progress for Motorstorm affects both systems, although I don’t believe it does (yet) for the other two.  Yes, I realize that’s not full “transfarring” if you want to get technical, but I don’t believe there’s a title yet that completely lets you play the game on both systems seamlessly.

    I think a part of the problem is that the Vita isn’t sure what it needs to be.  Most consumers probably aren’t sure what they want it to be either.  Personally, I telI myself that I want a PS3 I can take with me and play anywhere.    The above titles I discussed show that it’s pretty close to possible.  I think Mortal Kombat reinforces that (I don’t have MK yet).

    But, I usually find myself using the Vita in a different way…  I’ve played more Hustle Kings than anything else since I bought the system;  not because it’s like the PS3 version, but because it supports asynchronous play.  Pure Chess will probably be the same (and I don’t even really like chess), and Hot Shots Golf will see a LOT more of my time if we ever get some kind of message play.  

    Yes, we’re seriously missing that big RPG… Monster Hunter, Persona, Disgaea, whatever (Jeanne D’Arc, plz)…  It’s coming.  That will probably shake up the Vita reception a bit and give it a kick in the pants.  If whatever that is sells well, it’ll start the cycle of publishers seeing that good titles can make money on the Vita.  Hopefully that’ll get us more titles and will help the Vita (and consumers) figure out what it really needs to be.

  • Breaking out facts for the Vita haters:

    Vita launched on Feb 15th for NA. From Feb 15 till May 29 (3 1/2 month span), the Vita had:
    8 Metacritic 80+ scores
    9 Metacritic 75-79 scores (17 total over 75)
    Plus part of the PSP and Mini’s library.
    And trophies.
    No big deal 😛

    PSP launch: March 24th for NA. From March 13th till Sept 13 (6 month span), the PSP had:
    7 Metacritic 80+ scores
    5 Metacritic 75-79 scores (12 total over 75 in longer period of time!).

    DS Launch Nov 21st for NA. From Nov 16 till May 16 (6 month span), the DS had:
    2 Metacritic 80+ scores
    2 Metacritic 75-79 scores (4 total over 75 in longer period of time!)
    In fact, it almost took a YEAR for the DS to get the same number of 75+ scored games that the Vita has in 3 1/2 months.

    People say Vita has no games, that PSP had better launch, the DS is a better handheld…I call BS. Quality > Quanity

    • Vampiric

      stop pretending like metacritic means anything about quality

      the psp owned the vita at launch.

      • Do you realize, in the face of FACTS, that you make zero sense? Trololol

        • Vampiric

          you presented no facts.

          using metacritic is like saying broken figures mean something

          • Build a better argument and I’ll continue this discussion. Facts are facts, good sir, whether you agree with them or not isn’t relevant.

          • Vampiric

            metacritic isnt factual.

          • It’s as close as we can get with the average review score per game that I know of. Show me a better source and I’ll take it into consideration.

            But as it stands now, the Vita has better reviewed games than the PSP did at launch. There are several other problems that need to be addressed. One is with the consumer base, who already owns either a PSP or PS3 and don’t want to spend more for a Vita (I don’t blame them). It’s more of a luxury item than a console, with the same price point. If Sony would take a slight loss on selling Vita’s to get them in homes, then they’d make money with software (take a hint from the 3DS). The lack of a major advertisement campaign is bad as well. I’m all for saying the Vita is currently in big trouble, but don’t blame it on the games.

      • You drop a claim, no facts to back it up, and demand facts from anyone who disagrees with you.

        So Dracula, prove to me that “the psp owned the vita at launch” with facts.

  • Vampiric

    the vita needs games for it to compete.

    Right now, its getting 3ds owned in every region

    not only that, it isnt even close, its dead last