I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted to believe in the Vita. No really, just check some of my older posts and you’ll see. I really believed in the “dual stick” handheld future that Sony’s trying to push on all of us, and nothing pains me more than to say that I’ve pretty much giving up hope at this point and I’m moving on and trading it all in for a Nexus 7.
My colleagues at the site, have told me that I need to give the system “time to mature.” And you know what I say to that, especially after the poor showing the handheld had at E3 this year? F*ck that noise.
Here’s the thing. This concept that the Vita is meant to be your console experience on the go is somewhat of a sham. Sure, because of it’s two stick configuration it’s certainly the closest, scratch that, it’s the most familiar way to enjoy games since it parallels the experience you’ve become accustomed to at home. But outside of that, you’re looking at just another handheld, and from what we’ve seen so far, much of the same watered down experiences that we’ve become accustomed to with on-the-go experiences.
While “core” gamers waste their time complaining about “touch” gaming not being the same thing on mobile devices and handhelds, when you take the physical controls out of the equation, the mechanics are very much the same, regardless of the platform. If anything, every first and third party Vita title that I’ve played thus far has forced touch controls — in one way or another — on the player anyway. Sony makes it a point to show off the Vita as a “core” gamer device, yet most experiences currently available showcase otherwise.
So now with that out of the way, and the lines between the Vita and other mobile devices blurred, why in my right mind would I continue to spend anything over $15 on games? The Nexus being an Android device gives me access to the Play Store, where not only are there 200,000 games available (I’ll admit, mostly of the shovelware variety) but then there’s also all of the other content consumption apps as well, most of which cost around 1/10th of the price of a Vita title.
Besides physical buttons (and first party favorites) what am I really giving up? I’m shifting to a device that has a quad core cpu and gpu with a faster clock speed and powered by NVidia. Sure, it only fits in your back pocket, but the Vita isn’t exactly the most pocketable device either. The Vita has a 5 inch 960×540 resolution OLED display, while the Nexus has a seven inch 1200×800 IPS panel and yet it manages three more hours of battery life than the handheld. The only concession being made here is the rear camera where the Nexus only has has a front facing shooter, but the Vita’s rear camera is so mediocre that it might as well not even have one.
E3 was where I really began to rethink my Vita purchase. The only two standout titles that were being spoken about were PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Black Ops 2: Declassified. Neither of which helped to instill me with a renewed faith in Sony’s handheld. If anything, it seemed like Wonderbook was a bigger priority for the company. I’m pretty sure they name dropped J.K. Rowling’s more times than the word Vita was said throughout the entire pre-show press conference.
Besides the reasons listed above, I think the biggest one is the initial value. Not only am I getting a device that does more than what the Vita can currently offer outside of gaming for the same price, but it ships with internal storage that I don’t need to pay extra for. Google also throws in $25 in Google Play tore credit to get you started. On top of that, any games I already own on my phone will simply download and work as soon as I sign in to my account.
No jumping through hoops and paying outrageous prices for titles and storage. No downloading older PSP games to my PS3 and then transferring. Just pick it up and go. That’s the convenience I need and want with a handheld device. And it’s what the Nexus 7 offers.
Will the Vita be good when it eventually matures like my colleagues tell me. Sure, I don’t see why not. I’m just not the type to sit around and wait for it to happen, nor am I willing to pay a premium price for what essentially is becoming (from the titles I’ve played thus far) a casual experience with buttons. A while back I wrote an editorial title, “Everyone Relax, The Vita is Not Just Good, It’s Going To Be Great”, if only I can go back add to it “…as Long as it Isn’t Abandoned” it would probably be a bit more accurate. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have a date with the clerk at GameStop.