When the PS Vita was launched it had one glaring drawback. It was limited to just 100 icons on the home screen. As a heavy user and someone with a large games collection this proved to be woefully inadequate. So we campaigned Sony to increase the PS Vita’s icon limit to be something more useable. The reality is that combining the pre-installed apps, and the need for physical games to leave permanent icons on the home screen meant that the icon limit was very quickly reached.
What Happened Next?
Eventually Sony released a system update to the PS Vita that made a huge difference to gamers across the globe. The limit was increased. An earlier update changed the console to allow icons to be sorted into folders while the 100 icon limit remained. But this update changed all that. We were now able to have a total of 500 icons, use folders, and 10 screens worth of icons/folders. It made a massive difference to Vita owners and made the console useable again for those of us with larger collections.
But that was several years ago. Times have moved on and since then a LOT more PS Vita games have been released. Active PS Vita owners are still incredibly loyal to the console, buying physical and digital games and we’re rapidly running out of space to store them. Something needs to be done to help future-proof our collections.
Time To Increase The PS Vita’s Icon Limit?
The core problem still remains. Unlike the PSP before it, installation and save game data isn’t stored in a separate folder on the Vita. Instead it is attached to the game icon itself. This is fine for digital titles as we are not going to delete them unless we no longer need them. But we can only have one physical game in our console at a time.
Inserting a game card into the Vita automatically creates an icon on the home screen. We all know this. If games have patches or need to install data, this is saved to the inserted memory card. Either way, the icon itself is stored to the Vita’s internal storage and here lies the problem. Even if no data is used and a game is removed, the icon still remains on the Vita. Games that save data also have their icons present. Bit without looking at the information for each we don’t know which are safe to delete or not. This means that the screen can get cluttered quickly, especially if you have a large physical collection.
How Has This Developed?
The last few years has seen a massive increase in the number of physical games released for the Vita. Mainstream retail titles have all but disappeared in the West. This has not stopped a steady flow of games coming out for the console in Japan. Right now if someone were to buy every physical Vita game released the PS Vita’s icon limit wouldn’t be able to cope.
What’s more, games are still being released with more planned from limited edition specialists such as Limited Run Games and Eastasiasoft. Limited Run Games themselves recently confirmed that they have a further 22 titles scheduled for 2019. This is a problem that won’t go away any time soon.
There are two options going forward. Understandably, Vita owners would like some future proofing for the console. We’re in a position now where we have to look after the consoles and games that we own so we can continue to enjoy them for years to come. Many of us will choose to replace our digital games collection with physical copies to protect that further and we need to be prepared for this.
So how can this be done? What we would ask from Sony Interactive Entertainment is for one final system update. While they may have more planned to address bug fixes and security issues, we’d like one specifically to address this. There are two options that could be implemented that could provide a permanent solution to the PS Vita’s icon limit problem.
First would be the obvious fix. Increase the icon limit, ideally doubling it to 1,000. However, this may be subject to restrictions imposed by the Vita’s internal storage and 500 may well be the upper limit. So what else could be done?
The alternative is to change the way the Vita stores save data, and patches. Instead of placing icons on the home screen these should be temporary just for inserted cartridges. Data shouss be saved in a separate hidden folder accessible from the System menu. When games are backed up using Content Manager or similar these would need to be backed up manually but the trade off freeing up icons on the home screen would be incredible.
Will Sony implement either? We don’t know. But if there is even a small amount of consideration left at the company that cares about its userbase then maybe we might see a last helping hand. Afterall, 16 million of us have given them our hard earned money buying and supporting the console. Isn’t it about time that loyalty was reciprocated and Sony have us the chance to enjoy the Vita for years to come?
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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