Whenever I am told this when talking to friends, or overhear it in conversations in stores, it makes me smile. It’s a popular misconception about the PlayStation Vita that has been with the console since day one – that there are barely any games available for the system. When gamers look at the shelves on a retail level, they often see the same old titles that have been available for months, with only the occasional new title (and this is even the case for staff in said stores) and you can understand why.
In my local branch of Game, just one small half-height bay is dedicated to the Vita, with only three of those shelves containing games. In total there are probably less than 30 games on display. Compare that to the 3DS that has a couple of full-height bays and even the DS has more floor space devoted to it. The hard part that we have to do as a PS Vita community is to educate people on what is really available for the console. Once potential Vita owners know what the real diversity of titles is like, then the decision to buy the console should be made much easier. While it could be argued that this should be Sony’s role to do this, how many of us have been persuaded at one time or another to buy a console by a friend?
The Future Of Gaming
Whether we like it or not, gaming is going digital. While Vita titles don’t show up in sales charts, games do sell better than people may realise and a large part of this is down to digital downloads. Thanks to the vast array of games available through the PlayStation Network Store, it’s easy to get games delivered directly to the console in a matter of minutes. Games that would never have been possible through retail are readily available and there is an incredible indie scene with some stunning games. It’s not just indie titles though. Can’t find the retail game you want? Just download it. And that’s not forgetting PlayStation Plus – For the price of a game, Vita owners have been able to enjoy access to a vast number of titles including some stunning games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, Rayman Origins and many more.
So finding games at retail may be difficult but it doesn’t mean that games haven’t been released. There are those that argue that nothing of note has been released for the system but I – and countless other Vita owners – would have to disagree. Even looking at my own collection bears testament to that…
As you can see from this picture alone, it’s quite a varied collection with some high profile and high quality games covering most genres – racing games, platformers, RPGs, sports titles, beat-em-ups – pretty much something for every type of gamer. More significantly, this is only a fraction of not only what is available for the Vita at retail but of what is in my PS Vita collection overall…
The Digital Connection
So moving away from retail, digital downloads have a major part to play with the Vita. Whether you want to consider “full” retail games available as downloads or smaller indie titles there is an incredible range of games available. You want the latest Ratchet and Clank game? No problem. Rather download Call Of Duty instead of buying the boxed copy? Simple. However, if you’re looking for something different then the store offers an incredible selection…
While I know I’m preaching to the converted here, we’re treated to two superb pinball games with Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball Arcade offering 60 tables between them, indie greats like Guacamelee, Thomas Was Alone, Velocity Ultra, and games that have been released at retail overseas such as Ragnarok Odyssey. Your friends still not convinced? What about the free titles such as Frobisher Says, Treasures Of Montezuma Blitz, Fireworks… the list really is never ending.
It’s Not Just About New Games Though
I’m sure you can see what is coming next… gaming on the Vita isn’t just limited to new games. While the 3DS can run DS games comfortable, people often overlook the fact that the PS Vita can run PSone and PSP games… and there just happen to be a lot of them available through the PSN store! Want to relive the PSone days? There are well over 100 to choose from including some real classics including Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy you say? Well you can actually download the first NINE in the Final Fantasy series if you also take into consideration the fact that the PS Vita can also make use of an extended PSP catalogue which includes some stunning titles including Gran Turismo, Kingdom Hearts, the Sega Megadrive Collection… the list really is endless.
And who could forget PlayStation Mobile. For quick bursts of gaming on the go, there’s the spiritual successor to the Minis range (which are also Vita compatible adding another 100+ games). PlayStation Mobile currently adds another massive collection of low cost games with some starting for as little as £0.40 with everything from puzzle games to shoot-em-ups, platform games to racers… something for everyone at pocket money prices and don’t let the fact that they are mobile phone-friendly put you off as there are some real gems here.
Totalling all of these up, it’s safe to say that the PS Vita has access to the better part of 1,000 games already and with more being made available and announced daily, you will never be short of games to play. All we need to do now is just make sure that people know about it!