How the PlayStation Vita Made Me Eat My Own Words

Where do I begin? A little over a year ago, I went to great lengths to explain why — at the time — the Nexus 7 tablet from Asus and Google was a safer bet than the PlayStation Vita (no seriously, let me finish, this gets good). So much so, that I went out of my way to write an editorial on how I was trading in Sony’s handheld for the new piece of Android tech.

What have I done?

Let me preface by saying that the Nexus 7 turned out to be a great purchase, one that I don’t regret. I’ve enjoyed it so much  that this summer I’ve already upgraded to the newer model. But in retrospect, was it worth to trade in the PlayStation Vita in its infancy? No, not so much. Sure, I do get to kick around some addicting casual titles here and there, but now my gaming thirst is yearning for something more, an itch that the Nexus 7 just can’t scratch. Not yet at least.

So how did this newfound love for the PlaySation Vita come about? Well it happened three times, all around Gamescom.

First when Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, took to twitter to troll point out the intricacies of remote play and how it’s finally going to be done right when the Vita is paired with the PlayStation 4. Sony achieved this feat by taking an “add on” feature out of the hands of developers, who just like with the PS3, would seldom go out of their way to add remote play functionality for the handheld in their respective games. And instead, Sony built it in as a core feature at the system level on the PlayStation 4. Instantly catapulting the Vita as the must own peripheral for any self respecting PS4 buyer.

The second time the Vita recently gave me butterflies in my stomach was during Sony’s Gamescom press conference. More specifically when Shahid Kamal Ahmad, Senior Business Development Manager at PlayStation, took the stage and relentlessly unleashed one indie title after another re-instilling faith that the platform is not only very much alive — but if anything — it’s arguably evolving into something better than it was.

The third and final nail in the coffin was the price cut. Sony announced that the Vita’s MSRP for all SKUs (3G, Wifi, pack-in game bundles, it didn’t matter) would all be receiving a new sticker price of $199. On top of that, the Vita proprietary memory cards received a desperately needed price cut as well. Although the memory price cuts weren’t as steep as many had hoped for, any savings is a good savings and the new lowered MSRP will certainly bring down prices even more so for online vendors, namely Amazon.


Sony just nailed a hat trick. The Vita had my curiosity. But now it has my full attention. And once again, just like I did in the beginning, I’m doubling down on Vita.

A big part of growing up is admitting when you’re wrong. The PlayStation Vita combined with a price cut, amazing indie support, and the proposition of a PlayStation 4 in my pocket have managed to make me eat my own words. My colleagues on the site (and especially the readers) told me that I was crazy a year ago and that I’d regret it. And they were all right (you can rub it in my face now guys).

With all that out of the way now I just need to know: what should I pick up along with a new Vita?

Join the Discussion

  • Chris Yuen

    Indies don’t count for much over at my side (my Vita is locked to my R3 account, since I’m from Singapore). Other than Limbo/When Vikings Attack in recent memory, there aren’t really a lot of titles that really attract my attention.

    If Shahid/Yosp or anyone on the team is reading this, I wonder if it’s possible for the Vita to forgo that “your region will be locked based on the memory card” thing and just go for the fuss-free regional account switch-in/switch-out aka the Playstation 3. I’ll be happier if I can have access to different stores on the SAME memory card instead of having to do the troublesome switching.

    Not only will I have access to a larger library of games, there’s the chance that I can come across more deals as well e.g Persona 3 Portable is like SGD70+ (USD50+) on the R3 portable store…really? If not for the ability to switch to my R1 account, I wouldn’t have come across Persona 3 FES on the US PSN store for USD $9.99. as well…and it was the Persona 4 Golden Solid Gold pack that sold the Vita to me in the first place.

    Also, now that there’s a price drop, think there’s any chance that they might throw some sort of early-adopter package at the Vitabros who stuck with it in the first place? Heck, even a couple months of free PS+ would be nice.

    As for the games, I’m heartened to see that there are quite a few new titles announced. Looking forward to the Tokyo Game Show in September to find out how it’s like on the Japanese side of the developers.

    Still awaiting the good news regarding #jrpgvita. (Especially Valkyria Chronicles 3. We will wait for it as long as we must. Heck, even a confirmation of a localized Valkyria Chronicles 4 will sway me to buy a PS4 day one.)

    Just my humble opinion. I still trust in Shahid, Yosp and the rest of the team to bring us the goods in the days to come. Cheers.

    • Jed ‘Papa Doc’ Arain

      Tweet your idea on the memory card/region lock to @yosp. I keep tweeting him each and EVERY day to try to get him to sign my PS4 (when I get it at launch) if I overnight it to him, lol… :p

    • Kayseur

      I agree with the memory card region lock thingy. Or you know, even if you can’t have them on the same memory stick, it’d be already waaaay better if we didn’t have to FORMAT our Vita everytime time we switched. Figures, whenever I do that, since I want to keep my settings and all, I’ve got to restore my backup : and since the transfer rate is kinda crappy, it takes me a full hour for only 6 Gb of datas to do so.

      So yeah, just as Jed Arain says, you should tweet that complain to @yosp. I already did it twice, but I think that if more and more people do it, they / he should eventually get it. Since he does read everything he gets, apparently (which is kinda cool by the way).

      Really, this account lock is my ONLY big complain I have with this device that I love. I’d like more people to express their anger about it toward Sony, so that it can change effectively. Because just as you, I want to have access to more deals, and especially to more games and to more DLCs. There are games I refrain from buying because I just can’t (having a JP account, and wanting to buy a digital-only eng translated EU game), or because I can’t get their online passes, that’s just not right.
      And I don’t want to go through the hassle of wasting one hour each time I want to play a different game.

  • Steel

    Get Soul Sacrifice first. Easily a 70+ hour game with tons of replayability and the best graphical game on the Vita IMO, also feels completely unique gameplay-wise which is more than I can say for most console titles this year..

  • MyBodyIsReady

    Murasaki Baby was my game of the show.

    But yeah, pick up Killzone Mercenary/Soul Sacrifice/Persona 4 Golden. Support these great developers!

    • KuchikiSentou

      Same here. Murasaki Baby was the most interesting game of the entire show.
      Shadow of the Beast is also great; I was oddly reminded of Akuji the Heartless.

      • ZalAamir

        same here!
        i initially thought it WAS Akuji the heartless, until i looked up on the game again and he only has one blade.

    • Amikya

      it’s even better if they localize Toukiden..

  • theodor70941

    You should get Killzone Mercenary/Soul Sacrifice/Persona 4 Golden/Gravity Rush/Muramasa Rebirth… You shouldn’t get resistance burning skies because it suck!

  • JimmyHACK

    I think now is the proper time for those on the fence to jump on a Vita. I think your decision of going with a great tablet, and upgrading to it’s great new version this year was the right call. Now jump in and enjoy vita.

  • Barrybarfly

    PS Plus, Killzome mercenary is very good. Plus you get free stuiff every month and you’ll need it for PS4 anyway! :D.

  • 13attle

    Gavity rush will always remain as my favorite vita game, there’s also:


    Lbp vita

    Soul sacrifice


    Sly cooper

    Ps all stars

    Sound shapes

  • KuchikiSentou

    Out now; Soul Sacrifice, Uncharted, Gravity Rush, AC3 Liberation. LittleBigPlanet, Unit 13, Escape Plan Dokuro.

    Look out for: Killzone Mercenary, TearAway, Toukiden, Ys Memories of Celceta, KickBeat.

    I tried to keep the list as VITA only as possible.

  • Nathan

    Playstation Plus. AC 3: Liberation, Soul Sacrifice, Killzone Mercenary, LBP. PS+ PS+ PS+

  • Suzushiiro

    Must-haves: Gravity Rush (free with PS+,) Persona 4 Golden, Muramasa Rebirth

    Games I love but may be a little too weeaboo for your tastes: Virtue’s Last Reward, Atelier Totori Plus

  • Andres Gonzalez

    Great Console, Persona 4 is the best of Vita’s catalogue but also has Gravity Rush, Uncharted GA, Soul Sacrifice, Tearaway, Toukiden, Ys Celceta, Muramasa, etc, I only hope that all these titles (Muramasa, Ys Celceta, Toukiden) finally arrive to Europe. Yes, European fans are waiting for this games!! ( in physical format please 😀 )

    Sorry for my english, i’m Spanish 😛

  • faysal

    must have: killzone!, LBP, gravity rush, thomas was alone, when viking attack, uncharted, sound shapes, soul sacrifice, and meny more to come like dead nation and flower!

  • jujubee88

    lol I remember that article! 😀

    Also, the PS VITA audio quality is my fav feature. Playing Killzone, I can hear just about everything in my noise cancelling headphones. The only two times in recent memory I got lost in a video game was on the VITA playing Persona and playing this most recent killzone beta.

    Fun times.

  • islan

    Good Games to Get on Vita:

    Persona 4 Golden
    Gravity Rush
    Muramasa Rebirth (if you didn’t play the Wii version)
    Mutant Blob Attack
    Stardust Delta
    LBP Vita (I am told it is the best LBP game)
    Soul Sacrifice (haven’t picked it up yet, but I’m gonna; they keep releasing free DLC for it)
    DJ Max Technika Tune (only one of the best rhythm games I have played)
    Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (if you haven’t already played it on 3DS)
    Wipeout 2048
    Ys Celceta and Tearaway are coming out soon, and I’m a bit excited for them

    And that’s just the Vita-specific games. If we look at the Mobile section:

    Cytus Lambda (also should be available on the Nexus 7, I think)
    Super Crate Box
    This one game where you’re a cat sub and you’re shooting stuff and it’s a fun little game.

    And don’t forget about all those indie games that you already bought on the PS3 that have cross-buy with Vita. I was surprised to find out I got the new Limbo game on Vita for free having bought the PS3 version long ago.

    But I say avoid Uncharted Golden Abyss, I found it to be pretty poor.

    • Carlo

      I’m more of a JRPG person. I’m thinking of getting some old psp games in there. Since there are more from there. Im on the fence on p4g just because I already played its original one. Y’s is definitely a grab for me soon. Looking through games right now looking for a classic JRPG :O

      • islan

        Well there are plenty of PSP titles that fit that bill.

        • Carlo

          True valkyria chronicles is up on my list atm

          • islan

            I highly recommend Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Best RPG I have played since FF6 and Chrono Trigger.

          • Carlo

            I was hovering on that one earlier :3

  • Carlo

    I just got a Vita myself for the same above reasons but as much as I like indies, Vita still needs a lot more AAA titles. Hopefully with the upsurge in consoles in the wild. 3rd parties will publish more on it

    • Daverost

      AAA titles don’t really happen on handhelds, though. Japan usually doesn’t put them out and western developers don’t really care about handhelds. That’s the way it’s always been.

  • Matt Conroy

    Gravity Rush and Rayman Origins, best two titles on the Vita.

  • Xis That Kid

    I FKN Love my Vita hell I’m using it to type this msg we are practicaly in separable

  • Sebbal

    Get Playstation Plus. Free games, discounts, etc.

  • vicfermino

    Vita is reborn. A new life; a new Vita (which is fun because Vita means life). I’m getting one, as soon as I get another job.

    • This comment is full of the feels. Thank you bro.

  • Nicholas Perry

    If only the Vita was as viable as it is now at launch. Because at launch it was a steaming pile of turd and a ripoff.

    And parts of it are still absurd and piss me off. PSP owners were given the middle finger. And their response was “oh games are cheap digitally just rebuy all your UMD games /troll” . Some UMD games still not available digitally.
    Memory Card Prices are still absurd
    Downloadable PS1 game amount in the US is laughable compared to Japan and many games you have to have a PS3 in order to transfer it to your PSV because it’s not listed officially as compatible and that’s because
    PS1 games are Emulated. THROUGH AN EMULATOR. Yes that is how lazy Sony is. They took all that time before PS1 games were playable just so you could play PS1 games emulated through the PSP emulator’s PS1 Emulator. So the image is being upscaled to 480×272 and then to 960×544.
    Can only transfer media through a proprietary application that is slow as hell and REQUIRES an internet connection.
    System has screen resolution far too big for the amount of power they have under the hood. Very little of the PSVita library actually is 960×544 or even has a decent framerate. You never had this problem on the PSP. No 3D game was sub-native resolution and framerate issues were unheard of for the majority of games.
    Ports of PS2 games can’t even run at native resolution

    I can understand 960×544 vs 480×272 because it’s exactly 2x multiple W/H and 4x Resolution. But going for 2.25x resolution (720×408) would’ve been a better idea, it would’ve allowed better framerates and near always native resolution.

    Developers shouldn’t have to constantly struggle just to maintain Native resolution and decent framerates on a fixed display portable.

  • Jason

    The Vita is an amazing piece of hardware and anyone that says otherwise must not have spent much time with one. Currently my library of games (thanks to PSPlus) sits somewhere around 20 VITA games with added PSP and PS1 games. I have logged over 50 hours on multiple games on the Vita which has NEVER happened to me with any other handheld device and I am honestly playing it a little every day.

    That being said I do have a few complaints though… I was hoping Sony would announce a bigger memory card! 32 GB just doesn’t cut it and I’m constantly deleting and reinstalling games which takes FOREVER when you are downloading off their digital store. Sometimes I feel the tilt/touch screen functions glitch out but powering down my console and turning it back on always fixes the problem. Sometimes the online connectivity can be annoying because if you send your console into standby mode and turn it back on it lost its connection. If an iPhone/iPad/etc. can keep an internet connection while in standby then I don’t see why the Vita can’t as well. One time I made the mistake of leaving my Vita in the car while I was at the gym and I guess it got too hot and it forced me to have to format my whole memory card losing my progress in every game (this was before they had implemented the PSPlus cloud save upload). I would think that a portable gaming system would be a little more resilient to the heat personally and ever since I have felt a little paranoid about bringing it somewhere where I am not sure if I’ll have it with me at all times in the A/C. As a gaming device though I couldn’t be happier.

    I absolutely LOVE my Vita and with the vast library of games that cover every genre I know there is something out there for everyone. With all the various game lists people are posting I feel I need to add Need for Speed: Most Wanted to it as well. The game has the entire city from the PS3/360 version with all the cars, security gates, billboards, etc. and I’m currently working on the platinum for that after I already got it on the PS3. Open world racing is a perfect fit for the Vita, but I do wish Criterion would release the DLC packs on the Vita! If you are a gamer then you owe it to yourself to get a Vita for your portable gaming fix… you would be disappointed. Oh, and also buy Plus… it’ll pay for itself within the first month or two easily.

    • Jason

      **You WON’T be disappointed** LOL

  • Vita Wi-Fi Model, 5 Games, 20 GB of Memory and a case starting at $200 on eBay.

  • lmidmani mohammed

    Vita needs just a GT_vita and the order will be established for good.
    PS: I own a vita and it’s every day joy.