The Bittersweet Memories of Playstation Vita Ownership

I finally decided to sell my Playstation Vita after owning it for over three years. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I’d be lying if I said it was a difficult one. I tweeted I was interested in selling it, and within minutes I had a buyer lined up. We talked price and shipping, and money was deposited into my account a couple days later.

While packing up the system I had a bit of a bittersweet moment, so I held the system in my hands one last time. I admired its construction, marveled at the OLED screen, and looked for space where Sony could’ve added two more buttons to bring the system more in line with a Playstation controller. I thought of how many games I had purchased for the system (20+) and how it provided hours and hours of entertainment while the TV was occupied by my girlfriend.

Yes, I loved the Vita. And I still do. But it had to go.

Why?

At the simplest level, I wasn’t using it. My Vita had been sitting on a shelf for the last six or so months. Outside of the occasional PS4 streaming session (which never lasted more than 15 minutes at the absolute most), it collected dust.

When the console flame wars start up, it’s popular to talk about the Vita having no games. While I don’t find it true, it points to something that eventually made me sell it. During the course of my ownership, I owned a number of great games and immensely enjoyed my time with the system. Whether I was playing the portable version of Uncharted, the forgotten Wii gem Muramasa Rebirth, the 2D version of Diablo known as Dragon’s Crown, or the best handheld shooter ever in Killzone: Mercenary, fun was never a problem when I played the system.

The problem is, there just wasn’t enough of it.

Sony took great pride in telling people the Vita has basically turned into “indie-station” and the system is loved by all who own it. They point to high attach rates and customer satisfaction with many video game journalists echoing much of Sony’s sentiments. All of this is well and good, except for the fact that most of the indie games I’d actually want to play on the system, aren’t on the system.

There are a number of indie games that launch with PS4/PS Vita cross platforming. The problem is I either have to wait for a Vita version, or it ends up being an inferior product because the buttons don’t match up. For example, I’ve been dying to play Axiom Verge on the Vita since it was first announced. The game launched for the PS4 sometime last month but the Vita version is “coming soon.” Or a game like Helldivers, that boasts cross-saves so that I can continue the progress of the game from one system to another, ends up being worthless because Sony didn’t opt for two extra buttons and I’m forced to use the rear touchpad…which is a pain in the ass.

When I bought the Vita, Sony discussed how important it was to the ecosystem of PSN and its connection with the PS4. I thought I’d be playing portable versions of Gran Turismo, (new) God of War games, Bioshock and other AAA titles. For a while, it seemed like it would happen. But it didn’t. So I waited. And the longer I waited, the less likely it seemed it was going to happen. So I moved on.

The thing is, if someone asked me if they should buy the system today, I’d fully recommend it. It’s a wonderful little system with a great collection of games and a helluva library if you weren’t a PS1/PSP owner. But for me, it just didn’t fit who I was as a gamer anymore. So it had to go.

 

Goodbye, old friend.

 

 

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