From the moment I first learned of the Vita back in 2011 I wanted one. So why did I wait nearly four years to buy one? I’d like to think because I also waited four years to buy a PSP and felt the need to be consistent. But in truth I never really could justify the price until the Borderlands 2 bundle came out. Even then I was hesitant to spend the cash.
I felt I wouldn’t play it as often as I thought I would and didn’t want to waste $200 on a whim even though my PSP still gets a lot of attention. Also I was unsure about the library of games available for the system especially since big triple-A support has seemed to fall off.
Well the day finally came, I had some Gamestop gift cards and a few games to trade in. Normally I don’t trade in my games but I had a few that I knew I would never play again. So I ended up paying about $30 for the system. We won’t talk about the money lost on trades. So as I’ve mention I got the Borderlands bundle that also comes with an 8gb memory card. I immediately ordered a 32gb card from Amazon when I got home for considerably less than what Gamestop wanted.
I fire it up, update it and install Borderlands and immediately call myself stupid for waiting to buy this thing. It’s fantastic! The screen is very sharp and the colors pop. I have the slim with the new LCD screen as opposed to the original’s OLED screen. I realize the OLED screen is better but the LCD screen is nothing to scoff at, it’s good. The unit feels good in the hands and the analog sticks feel good, if not a little sensitive. I feel I don’t have the precision normally present when using a Dual Shock control but that may also be contributed to the screens lower resolution too. Either way, once I got used to it, it was no problem.
For me the biggest draw was Uncharted: Golden Abyss since Uncharted is one of my favorite franchises. That game alone was how I knew a Vita was in my future. I normally won’t buy a new console just for one game but when it’s Uncharted I make concessions.
But as it turned out I didn’t need to make any because my other draw to the system was Remote Play and wow is it great. I can fire up the Vita at home or really anywhere I have wifi and play my PS4 straight from the Vita. It works great, lag is only there when I’m doing it over the internet and even then it’s usually minimal. When on the same network it’s non-existent. I have tried my entire library and it works great. The only issue is the Vita does not have triggers and you can’t push down on the analog sticks so those inputs are handled by the rear touch pad. It works, but it’s a little clunky. Games like Dark Souls II, ESO and anything else that uses the triggers a lot for melee combat is not recommended. But for everything else it’s perfectly playable.
My third reason for pulling the trigger is the library. Sure it’s a little lacking for new releases but there is a great library already available. Aside from Borderlands and Uncharted I also picked up Freedom Wars, Resistance, Killzone, Assassins Creed, Batman Arkham Origins and Hot Shots Golf. The golf one is a guilty pleasure but the others are Triple-A offerings already available for the system and each can be had for $20 new or even less used. If you haven’t seen any of these games running on a vita and are picturing the PSP versions of Creed, Resistance and Killzone then get that out of your head now. Picture the PlayStation 3 versions and now you have an idea. The vita is not quite as powerful as the PS3 but the games looks damn close. They really do look that good.
So if you are looking for a serious gaming machine on the go you should do yourself a favor and check out the Vita. I’m not blind to the Nintendo 3DS and how it’s dominating the handheld market. But that is for another time. The Vita never really got it’s legs in the US market and that’s a shame. It’s worth checking out.