Vita TV Isn’t The Answer

I’m stuck in a mire of confusion over the PlayStation Vita TV. While I could quickly comes to the defense of the 2DS, I’m struggling to see how beneficial this device will be for the Vita.

 

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I really, really, really adore my Vita. As I’ve said before, it’s a terrific system. I just wish Sony would think so too, as they appear to have done little to make it a ‘must-have’ item. Say what you will about Nintendo’s botching of the 3DS launch and their on-going struggles with the Wii U, but at least I can argue that they give a damn about their hardware. While that care ends up delaying their software by considerable lengths (convenient too in the case of Holiday season titles), those games end up selling Nintendo hardware. Sony however seems content to piddle away whatever goodwill they have left with the Vita, seemingly relying on “dat OLED” memes to sell their latest portable.

They’re certainly released terrific software, but the train needs to keep moving. Soul Sacrifice may not have driven folks to the nearest Target, but it kept Vita owners happy, same goes for Gravity Rush. While they may struggle to deliver that one hit game that forces the public to open their wallet, building up a solid library can make things interesting. I have faith in Tearaway as a great game, but does Sony? It’s set to launch alongside the Xbox One, Super Mario 3D World, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, not the best option for a game that is an unknown quantity. 

So where does Vita TV come in? I’m not sure, as it seems to work against everything I enjoy about the Vita. I’m even willing to leave ‘portability’ off the table, and it still doesn’t manage to impress. My problem is that I don’t see how Vita TV helps the handheld. As I see it, it’s for those that already own a Vita. Where’s the enticement for those without one? While the $100 price certainly helps, I don’t see many diving in who couldn’t justify the recently reduced price of the Vita itself.

As for playing Vita games on your television, the appeal is there. But problems pop up when compatibility comes into the equation. While there’s a great line-up that is supported, anything that takes unique advantage of the Vita’s touchscreen are immediately unplayable on the DualShock 3 (the question remains if the DualShock 4’s touch pad will suffice). Gravity Rush, something I would define as the Vita’s ‘must have’ game, can’t be enjoyed on the Vita TV. What about upcoming titles like Murasaki Baby and Tearaway? Both make extensive and creative use of the Vita’s touch screens, so are they off limits?

If the Vita TV is a success, what does that mean for the Vita? More software is likely, but does the line between a portable game and home console become blurred? Will less titles take advantage of the Vita and its unique capabilities? It’s a lot of unknowns, but I remain optimistic. 

Of course I’m aware that the Vita TV is far more than a Vita for your TV, what with its PS4 streaming and whatnot. But hey, this is a portable gaming blog!

So is there nothing but doom and gloom hanging over the Vita? Absolutely not, while overshadowed by the news of the Vita TV, the redesigned Vita has my interest piqued.

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While there’s certainly something to be said about the loss of the OLED screen, that really shouldn’t be the reason behind purchasing a Vita. With the Vita-2000s 1GB of internal storage, it helps ease new owners into it without screaming “buy a bigger memory card!”, if they opt for purchasing physical cartridges of course. My opinion of the redesign hinges on the price, hopefully replacing the OLED screen with an LCD helps in that matter. If this can come in at a lower price than the current Vita model ($199.99), Sony may be making some terrific decisions.

But, games are paramount, and Sony really needs to show people why they need a Vita in their lives.

 

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