Our next console special podcast recording (TBC) - PlayStation Vita

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ratsoalbion
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Our next console special podcast recording (TBC) - PlayStation Vita

Post by ratsoalbion »

Here's where you can contribute your memories and opinions of the PS Vita handheld console for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.
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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Magical_Isopod »

I have never owned a Vita, and I can't say I've ever even physically held one. So my commentary here will be that of a gaming enthusiast from the outside, looking in.

I have a general rule when it comes to console purchases - if I can't find 5 games I want to own for a console, I skip it. And that was always the case with the Vita. I owned a PSP, but I distinctly remember it fading away over time, in a way consoles normally don't. I always felt like it hit a peak around maybe 2008, and by the time the Vita launched, it was releasing very few new games, and even fewer were compelling. Remember, too, that the PSP Go had launched at that point, and despite being somewhat fondly remembered now for its design and emulation utility, it was reviled when it launched for being digital-only - especially when most of the PSP library could be had far cheaper physically than the digital asking price, with many titles having no digital counterpart at all.

Fast-forward to the Vita launch. Not only is the machine rather expensive compared to the PSP and 3DS, but the prices for proprietary memory cards were absolutely absurd. The console also featured no backward compatibility with physical PSP games. Even from Day One, it was a tough sell, and at no point did the games library ever compel me to own one. By the time prices had started to come down, the games release schedule had thinned out to basically nothing, and many of the top-rated titles had been ported to PS4.

I distinctly remember when the PSTV, a device heralded for its amazing utility as a homebrew device, dropped to $100 brand new... And I still could not justify purchasing one. Support for physical media was not 100%, and by late 2014, when I bought my PS4, I saw very little reason to make that relatively small investment.

The Vita is undoubtedly a great piece of tech, but it's an incredible case study on how not to release and market a console. Outside of a handful of niche titles in niche genres like visual novels, the console had no support after the first year or so. With the 3DS having a fairly scant lineup in its first few years, Sony had every opportunity to build an interesting platform... But they sent it out to die, and never really looked back.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Alex79 »

When the Vita was initially released I had little to no interest in getting one. No idea why as I really liked the PSP. By the time I eventually got round to getting one I had amassed a decent collection of games through Playstation Plus, and so the initial collection I played - Uncharted, Wipeout and Gravity Rush etc. I was suitably impressed by the power of the little wonder.

When my younger two children were born the Vita quickly became my main console. I'd steal what time I could to game after going to bed, or on lunch breaks at work, and I was consistently impressed that I was getting what felt like fully fledged console games on a handheld. Sure, it had some drawbacks - criminally overpriced propriety memory sticks and a lack of support from AAA publishers, but it was such a quality console with a fantastic library regardless, it was easy(ish) to overlook these flaws.

And then there were the indies. Back when the Switch was still but a twinkle in Nintendo's eye, the Vita established itself as the machine to have for any self-respecting indie game fan. Games like The Swapper, Guacamelee, Salt & Sanctuary and Thomas Was Alone were all fantastic experiences that I didn't really have time to play anywhere else.

I could go on for hours, extolling the virtues of Sony's probable final handheld, but I'm sure other people can put it better than me so I'll finish with a small selection of my favourite games for the machine, in addition to the ones mentioned above. Tearaway, Persona 4 Golden, Rogue Legacy, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and I'm sure countless others.

My now hacked Vita primarily serves as a handheld emulation device these days, and it does a great job of that too, running everything up to the PS1. I hope the Vita wasn't Sony's last handheld though, I'd love to see what they could do if they had another crack at it.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Wuqinglong »

I never have owned a Vita proper despite loving my PSP. I had too many other games and couldn't justify the purchase at the time and when I was ready to look at the Vita library it had already been all but abandoned by Sony. I picked up a Playstation TV for $40 on clearance to play one game and maybe one day I'll use it to explore the Vita library further. Upon further reflection while writing this out I realize the that I probably wasn't hooked by the Vita because it never had a brand new Monster Hunter title.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

Hardware-wise, the Vita is just a Nintendo Switch with functioning control sticks and a smaller screen. It's serviceable, it fits in my pocket, and it can be used freely and unconditionally without my having to worry about a character walking to the left despite my not inputting it.

But it is through software that the Vita captured, and still maintains, my attention. As a rhythm game enthusiast, having access to titles such as Superbeat XONiC, IA/VT Colorful, the Persona Dancing series, and entries in the Project Diva and Taiko no Tatsujin series alone is worth the price of admission, even though all but one of those is now available for other consoles (including, frustratingly enough, the Switch).

The Vita also has a secret weapon for such titles with its very layout: if your game requires quick maneuvering from the control sticks to the face buttons, they're positioned symmetrically. When precise and accurate movement is needed to pass a particularly sinister song, knowing that your hands don't have to worry about the sticks being in opposite directions makes it easier to concentrate on the task at hand.

Of course, rhythm games are a niche genre without a giant plastic peripheral, so the Vita would never be able to survive on them alone. If nothing else, I hope that the next gangbusters-selling handheld console throws me a bone and puts the control sticks where my thumbs can reach them easiest.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by CormoranStrike »

The PlayStation Vita is a console I have very strong emotions about. It’s a console I was so enthusiastic about, and love now, but also a console that disappointed me so much, and was never what I wanted it to be.

In 2011-2 I was really skint, and it was a struggle to buy new games at all, let alone a console. The 3DS had been a big financial outlay, 280 euro! and the first year of that console was pretty rubbish. But I loved my PlayStation 3 so much, and the Vita was described by a Sony person at E3 2011 as ‘a portable PS3’ or words to that effect. It was shown to have a proper fully 3D Uncharted game! Wow. So I scrimped and saved, traded in stuff in, and could just afford, for 300 euro on launch day, a console, uncharted, and a 4gb memory card. I had pre ordered, so I also got a Vita starter kit that came with a 50% discount code for either Super Stardust Delta or Escape Plan, so I snapped up stardust.

And for the first month or so, I was in. The vita console was and still is a gorgeous machine. Graphically, it blew the 3DS out of the water. Uncharted portable! Even if uncharted golden abyss turned out to be poorly running tech demo for the console, it was still uncharted. Then… nothing. The kind of games that had come out for the PS3 and made it my favourite console of all time, never materialised for the Vita. Of course there are good Vita games, like gravity rush, Persona 4, Tearaway, Killzone Mercenary. But the portable PS3 promise, never happened. Third party support never materialised, and Sony seemingly didn't want to pay the development costs of home console games for a handheld that didn’t really take off, it was a sad situation for me. It was also the time that it seemed as though gaming on a smartphone really had a chance of making traditional portable consoles obsolete, an idea the Switch has successfully disproven.

The Vita ended up as the home of inferior ports. Cross buy for games was nice, but the usually ran poorer on vita than on PS3, and particular PS4 (Did anyone else ever try Resogun on the Vita flipping heck). Despite this, I can’t hate the Vita. It was the right console at the wrong time, with so much wasted potential.

Does anyone know what Near is, or how it works? Even now, I don’t understand it.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Magical_Isopod »

CormoranStrike wrote: March 23rd, 2023, 2:56 pm Does anyone know what Near is, or how it works? Even now, I don’t understand it.
I wasn't really a fan until Near Automata.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

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NoMoreSpearows wrote: March 20th, 2023, 9:36 pm I hope that the next gangbusters-selling handheld console throws me a bone and puts the control sticks where my thumbs can reach them easiest.
Get the Hori Split-Pad Pro for the Switch.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Magical_Isopod »

Will Marley wrote: March 24th, 2023, 6:42 am
NoMoreSpearows wrote: March 20th, 2023, 9:36 pm I hope that the next gangbusters-selling handheld console throws me a bone and puts the control sticks where my thumbs can reach them easiest.
Get the Hori Split-Pad Pro for the Switch.
Don't even need the Split Pad Pro honestly, I find this doo hickey here helps A LOT. Especially if you mod the Joycon D-Pad into, well, a proper D-Pad.

OIVO Switch Pro Grip with Upgraded Adjustable Stand for Nintendo Switch, Asymmetrical Grip with Upgraded Adjustable Stand/Cartridge Holders and 5 Game Slots- 4 Thump Caps Included https://a.co/d/fHp0Xc0
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Will Marley »

There are plenty of options, yep, but I think the Split Pad is easiest and best.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Truk_Kurt »

The PS Vita is my favourite handheld of all time (well it was until the Steamdeck). I had always dreamed of home console gaming on the go. That dream partially came true with the PSP but it was hamstrung by the lack of a second analogue stick which made certain games difficult to control. As soon as I heard the Vita would be rectifying that I was delighted and could not wait for the console to come out.
I pre ordered one alongside a memory card and a copy of Rayman Origins and when release day came it did not let me know. It felt like a really high quality piece of tech with a gorgeous OLED display. Whilst not a trophy chaser per se, I did take great pleasure in being able to pick up trophies in my favourite games whilst on the bus to uni each day. I loved it so much it became my main console as I would sit at home playing it. I have great memories of getting platinums in Hotline Miami, Velocity Ultra and more. Even though I was craving that home console experience on the go and did get it to an extent with games like Unit 13 and Uncharted. The Vita became my indie machine which I'm sure will be a sentiment echoed by many other listeners. Favourites of mine included the aforementioned Hotline Miami, Velocity series, Guacamelee, Severed, The Swapper and many more.
It's a real shame that Sony don't seem interested in the handheld space anymore as they have proven on two occasions now that they can make really great handheld consoles which are a pleasure to play on. It would just need them to learn from their past mistakes and support the console more and I think they would have a winner on their hands.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by CormoranStrike »

Playing god of war and Spider-Man on steam deck gives me big Vita vibes. What could have been if nothing else.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Seph »

The Vita is one of the biggest "what ifs" in modern gaming. If Sony had backed it properly and done a better job at synchronising it with its big brother consoles, would we have the Switch? Yes, definitely, but the success of that showed there was hunger for a powerful handheld machine that could be home to actual mainline games. The problem with the Vita is that it was seen a landfill site for shoddy and gimmicky side games instead of getting focused releases like its predecessor. Instead of something like Crisis Core and Peace Walker, the big companies gave us crap like Black Ops Declassified and Fifa games that were just the old version with new cover stars.

I'll be the first to admit that many of its best games, especially the Japanese ones, don't have wide appeal; but then a series like Phoenix Wright shows how successful something can be if you actually get behind it. Before the Switch, it was the best place to play Metroidvanias, visual novels and 2D platformers. And it was a fantastic place to play older games. This was the console that introduced me to the Zero Escape series. It's where I played Symphony of the Night for the first time. It's where I fell in love with the Danganronpa series. I discovered The Walking Dead game because of this. It has the best version of the best Persona game. In my opinion, games like Rayman, Hotline Miami and Velocity 2X are much more fun on the Vita.

Why do Sony seem to be ashamed of something that is a technical marvel? At least it got some foothold in Japan. While it's not the biggest thing ever, it still occupies a lot of shelf space in game stores and a lot of great games can be picked up for under £5-10, even ones that never saw a full western release. Since arriving in Japan I have increased my Vita catalogue by 10 games, all for the price of what it would cost for one game back home.

I will say things weren't helped by the memory card system and the ridiculous prices you had to pay. Even stuck in the past Nintendo knew you had to use SD cards and the like and not forced people to shell out tens of pounds on a small memory card, on top of the high game prices.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by ColinAlonso »

I bought the Vita in August 2013. It had been out for a while and it was already obvious that Sony had little interest in it but my curiosity, and a growing PS Plus library, got the better of me and I forked out a, not insignificant, €200 for one.

The Vita is my favourite handheld to simply hold. The 5 inch screen, larger than its predecessor but still really neatly and smartly packaged, feels comfortable and my hands fit nicely around its curved sides. The thumbsticks should be more pronounced and the back touchscreen was pretty pointless, but the Vita still felt nicer than the larger and heavier portables that followed. That OLED screen was stunning for a 2012 machine too.

I played and tried lots of games on the Vita from the games the larger publishers sent out at the start through the later indie push. Uncharted Golden Abyss was the most graphically impressive game i played on the Vita and I liked it as much, if not more than the first game in the series at least. Gravity Rush was a brilliant idea. Maybe not executed as well as it could have, but it had a lot of charm and is one of my favourite games on the machine. Lumines Electronic Symphony is my favourite Lumines game and just so easy to pick up and play.

I played some great indie games such as Thomas Was Alone, OlliOlli 2 and the wonderful Rogue Legacy for the first time on the Vita.

I also replayed some older games on the go such as Rayman Origins, Jet Set Radio, and Ridge Racer Type 4 (through PS Classics). Persona 4 was already my favourite game at this stage and while I prefer the less bloated PS2 version having it on a portable device was brilliant.

Although originally on the PS1, I played Suikoden 1 and 2 first on the Vita. The second game is quite special.

Everybody's Golf is the game I played on the Vita the most. I played a lot of online games with its tiny Western online community. I think the most people I ever saw online at the same time was 150. 10 people were needed to start a competitive round, so games only really stared from 8pm European time and the North Americans would show up later. While there wasn't much chat, I would see the same names all the time and it was clear who some of the best players were. I would usually play just before bedtime and after a lot of trying worked my way up through the ranks from G3 to G0.* Beating, in my opinion, the best Western player (MrPinHigh) to win a G0 round was a brilliant moment.

The Vita has plenty of flaws but that was €200 well spent and I love that little machine.

(* Does G mean grade, I never questioned it. Ranks went G4-3-2-1-0)
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.6.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Pconpi »

My love for the Vita has all come since 2021 when I purchased a used one from Japan. In those two years I have had some amazing experiences on this beautiful device. It has been a way for me to catch up on Playstation's catalog that I have missed over the years. By having the PS one classics, PSP games, and remastered PS2 games the options were incredible for someone who didn't own a PlayStation system until 2014. I played Metal Gear Solid 2 + 3 for the first time on the Vita. I was on my Vita for 50 hours to be blown away by Xenogears. And, I got to experience the joy of little singing blobs of LocoRoco 2. None of these were released for the Vita but they are "Vita" games to me.

As for the Vita specific titles they are few but mighty. Gravity Rush and Tearaway in particular are such creative titles it is a shame Sony seems to not have an avenue for these kinds of games anymore. Tearaway in particular is such a lovely game and highlights all of the features and untapped potential of the device.

As for the physical features of the Vita I still think the OLED screen looks beautiful and especially love the way some of the colorful PS1 games look on it. Legend of Mana in particular looks stunning. I love that it actually fits in my pocket. One of the reasons I still play the Vita so much is that it fits in my pocket compared to my Switch which I have to carry in a bag. I hope Nintendo releases a Switch 2 iteration that will be the size of the Vita. The vita also has my favorite d pad of all time. The plastic has a wonderful soft feel and the depression is the perfect resistance and no stickiness. One complaint I do have is that one of my analogue sticks has completely eroded to leave only plastic. I have looked into replacing them but there aren't great options for the OLED model. I might just have to purchase another one, long live the Vita!
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Kasuga-san »

Playstation Vita is by far my favorite non-Nintendo handheld until the arrival of Steam Deck. I bought the system fairly late in its life cycle mainly because PS Plus was giving away free games for it, it was on sale, and I wanted to play Uncharted: Golden Abyss (which I didn't really care for in the end). I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall Leah referring to it as her "Persona machine" sometime in the past few years on an episode. Yeah, that's exactly what it was until Atlus and Sega finally brought those games to modern consoles and PC. The Vita single-handedly reignited my love of JRPGs with Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 (though oddly, I never played the Trails of Cold Steel games until I got back into PC gaming a few years ago). The second I fired up P4G, I knew I was in for something special. I'd only heard about the series before, spoken in hushed whispers of reverence by game store employees. The Ys series was also rediscovered by me on this system. The last time I had played one was a partial translation patch of Ys 4 or 5 on an SNES emulator in the early 00s. I ended up playing almost every single one that was available between the Vita and PSP releases: Oath of Felgana (of which the original SNES version was my first introduction to the series), Ark of Napishtim, and Memories of Celceta (got Lacrimosa of Dana for Switch). I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention other great standouts on this system: Gravity Rush, Muramasa Rebirth, Tearaway, and Severed along with a bunch of games I ultimately played on other systems. I think the system could have been more than it was, but honestly, a "Persona machine" was enough for me.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC) - PlayStation Vita

Post by RyanPlugs »

I’m relatively new to the Vita (and to the C&R forums) only picking the handheld up from eBay in May of last year for what I thought was a bargain price. When it arrived, I only got a few days use out of it before both analogue sticks and the circle button started acting up. I ordered replacement sticks and a daughter board for the buttons as well as a new battery, and put it all together (a surprisingly easy console to fix in that respect). Finally, my Ship of Theseus/Trigger’s Broom Vita was ready to use!

I was happy to see that I already had a lot of titles available to me that I’d already purchased on my PS4. As a big handheld fan, it felt right to be playing these smaller indie titles on the Vita instead of on the TV; games like Fez and Titan Souls just felt at home being played in the hand.
I’ve since discovered new favourites in the likes of the Danganronpa series and Hotline Miami that I’ve bought and tried playing on other consoles, but found they really clicked for me whilst playing on the Vita.

As a handheld it truly feels like it was ahead of its time - that screen still looks gorgeous and can imagine at the time it was a real knock out. It feels like Sony’s apathy towards their own hardware really doomed this handheld from the start; no matter how technologically impressive the Vita is, it just doesn’t have the library to do it justice. That, along with Sony’s choice of proprietary (and expensive) memory cards, meant that it never really got the chance to make as big an impact on the handheld buying market as it could have. It does feel that every time I went to look up if there was a Vita release of the usual Sony franchises, they weren’t to be found - where was the true Metal Gear Solid game for the Vita instead of the ports we got? I dream of what Hideo Kojima or Fumito Ueda could have done with such impressive hardware at their disposal. Ultimately, as good as a time I’ve had with it, the Vita still feels like the little console that could have been.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC) - PlayStation Vita

Post by BearFishPie »

Ah, the Vita. I had initially written it off as an overly expensive buffed up version of the PSP, but came around to it a year or two down the line around the time it had begun to pivot into the remarkable portable indie game machine I primarily view it as. I enjoyed Gravity Rush an awful lot, Rayman Legends was an absolute hoot and Tearaway took a firm hold on my heart, but most of my time spent with this excellent device was on the indie catalogue and other downloadable delights. Spelunky, TxK, Luftrausers, Proteus, The Binding of Isaac, Geometry Wars 3, Hotline Miami, Sound Shapes and a raft of other wonderful games - some via PS+, some without, played like a dream on this marvellous machine.

The other major facet to my Vita gaming was diving into a genre I'd previously had little experience of - Visual Novels and VN-inspired games. Steins;Gate, the Danganronpa series, the Nonary Games series, and most prominently my first Persona and one of my all time favourite games, the incredible Persona 4: Golden.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (28.5.23) - PlayStation Vita

Post by Alex79 »

CormoranStrike wrote: March 23rd, 2023, 2:56 pmThe Vita ended up as the home of inferior ports... Did anyone else ever try Resogun on the Vita flipping heck.
Yes! I honestly thought it was a brilliant port! Played loads of it on there before I had a PS4.
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Re: Our next console special podcast recording (TBC) - PlayStation Vita

Post by AndrewElmore »

I really wish that I loved the Vita. The PSP was a monumental paradigm shift for me, and I continue to discover new gems in its library even to this day. But there's precious little for me on the Vita, it seems. When I think of the PSP's library, my imagination is bursting at the seams and I don't even know where to begin. When I think of the Vita's library, my most enthusiastic addition to the conversation is "Shinobido 2 was pretty all right, provided you got some nice tall thumbstick caps or something.". There are (of course) exceptions, but my recollection is that the majority of the platform's software lives in one of two camps: awkward ports of the most visibly successful indie games of 2012-2014, and a nearly endless flood of terminally horny anime games. Other than that, it's mostly HD remasters of PS2 releases, Japanese rhythm games, and a few bigger-budget spin-offs of first-party IPs before Sony cut the tide rope and let the Vita sink into the sea. Its flaws are obvious and well documented to the point that it's probably not worth my going into them here, but suffice it to say that the PlayStation Vita's legacy is largely one of unfulfilled potential, even in regions where it saw sustained success.

The most curious part of the Vita's legacy to me when looking back now, is the way that the Vita's library in relation to that of the PSP is illustrative of the shift in PlayStation's priorities as an organization. The PSP released into an era when Sony was coming off of the ridiculous highs of the PS2, and into the first half of the PS3's life cycle, when they were happy to make, fund, or publish all kinds of fun Weird Stuff. The Vita was released into an era where PlayStation was transitioning towards consolidating resources in favor of their stable of Western studios and house style of gigantic-budget narrative games. The Vita was released by a PlayStation that was months away from closing Psygnosis/Studio Liverpool, and well on their way towards becoming the kind of company that would close the doors on Studio Japan. That's just not the kind of platform host environment that's particularly conducive to creative experimentation.
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