PS4 remote play on PS Vita was a heavily advertised feature when it first was announced, but it’s under-utilized due to the awkwardness of having relevant controls on the back and front touch panels of Sony’s portable console, which makes games like shooters quite uncomfortable to play.
Last year, the Japanese manufacturer Joetsu Electronic Industries released a clever grip that solved the problem with the back panel, including two new triggers that simulated the touch in a much more ergonomic way. Released first for the newer PCH-2000 Vita, and then for the original PCH-1000 one, it made Remote Play more enjoyable.
That said, the issue of having to awkwardly reach for the front touch screen, used mostly for L3 and R3 remained, and Joetsu just came up with a second grip, adding a third set of triggers on top of the stock PS Vita ones. The new accessory is intended to more comfortably activate features assigned to the front touch screen.
The new grip is now available for pre-order in Japan, and will be released just in time for Christmas, on December 24th. No western release has been announced, but importers like Play-Asia have made the older models available for purchase to western customers, so hopefully it’ll happen this time as well.
At the moment it appears that only a black version has been announced, and the price is 2,980 yen plus taxes (about 26 bucks). Having enjoyed the older grip quite a bit, I definitely plan to give this a go the next time I am in Tokyo.
Below you can check out how the new accessory works in a video, and a batch of screenshots.
Why didn’t Sony come up with something like this on its own? I’ve been asking myself the same for quite a while, but I guess this is the nature of the beast, and where official support won’t come, third party manufacturers will provide.
The funny part of this all, is that Joetsu Electronic Industries isn’t even a company dedicated to gaming. Their main business is lighting, including the design of hydroponic cultivation tech using LEDs to grow vegetables indoors, which is an industry that has become quite popular in Japan over the past few years. Looks like they might have a very clever gamer among their engineers.