When Sony announced that it wouldn’t try and make a successor to the Playstation Vita, I was pretty bummed out. The Vita is a device that I love, and along with the PSP, they are some of my all-time favorite ways of playing games. But the more time has passed, the more I realized that Sony passing on a Vita successor is actually a good thing. I know, I know, we all want a Vita 2. But let me explain why I think that Sony isn’t the one that shouldn’t be making it.
BETTING BIG ON PSVR
Ever since the introduction of the PSP in 2005, Playstation’s policy has been to have a primary device (the home console) and a secondary device, along with auxiliary services. For a long time, the secondary device slot was dedicated to portables (first the PSP and then the Vita). But at the first sign that the Vita wasn’t doing as well as they wanted it to, Sony stopped supporting it properly and shifted resources to what would become their next-gen secondary device: PSVR. Listen, I like to punt as much as the next guy. Actually, as I’ve said before, there are times when I want to take my extra income and see if I can double or triple it. When that’s the case, to find the best betting offers, site like Freebetinfo.com have lots of bonuses available. So I can understand why Sony decided the time was right to try VR again. But all companies have limited resources, and there was no way PSVR and Vita 2.0 could coexist in the same company ecosystem. The truth is, during the development of PSVR, it was already pretty clear that Playstation was shifting resources away from the Vita and into PSVR, which tied much more nicely with their primary device this generation, the PS4. So, what would have happened if Sony made a Vita 2? It would have had even less resources than the OG Vita. And it would have broken my heart to see it fail before it even got off the ground.
INDIES? WHAT’S THAT?
Another internal policy that makes me glad Sony didn’t make another Vita is their new approach to indies. Whereas from 2005 to 2015 Sony was quite keen to work with indie developers and promote PSN-only games, while Nintendo had a notoriously strict approach to independent game developers, this generation has seen a huge shift in how these two companies handle their relationships with independent publishers and developers. Now, the eShop, particularly on the Nintendo Switch, welcomes most developers and publishers with open arms, while on the other hand, we’re constantly getting reports of developers getting ghosted by Sony. Just today, independent developer and publisher Fabrice Breton (COWCAT Games), responsible for great Vita titles such as Demetrios, Riddled Corpses EX and more, tweeted out that he was being ghosted by Sony reps, which will result in their games not being on sale this holiday season:
Don’t expect to see any of my games on sale on PS4/Vita in Europe this holiday. I’ve been unable to reach the sales team the past few months. I’ve asked other devs I know and it’s the same for them 😑
— Fabrice Breton (@COWCATGames) December 18, 2019
As you can see, it appears that he’s not the only one having issues. It’s a shame, because from the days of PSM and Minis, Sony nurtured independent developers and indie titles flourished on their consoles. It’s arguable that indie devs have been keeping the Vita alive for the past 3 years. But Sony seems to be focusing on AAA studios exclusively, leaving behind all the good, different and unique voices that come with indie devs.
TIME TO SWITCH?
If you want a PS Vita 2, the answer is simple: buy a Switch (particularly a Switch Lite). Sure, your backlog of Vita and PSP and Mini games won’t port over, of course, but you’ll be surprised at how similar the Switch ecosystem is to that of the PSP and the Vita in terms of philosophy. The device isn’t for everyone, of course, as it’s much bigger and less portable. It’s also had its share of issues, particularly hardware-related (the drift of which we’ve covered on our sister site before). But it’s the closest we’ll get, and the games are actually very, very good. Not only do you get an avalanche of indie titles, you also get Nintendo AAA games and some third-party support, too (older games, yes, but good ones). It’s not for everyone, though, like I said, but we don’t live in a perfect world. If you’re more into your old school stuff, though, then I’m sure you’re waiting just as eagerly as me for Analogue to release the Pocket:
So, there you have it. As much as I would have loved a Sony Playstation Vita 2, the truth is that Sony isn’t the right company to make a follow-up to our beloved handheld. It’ll be, perhaps, up to other companies to take up the mantle and, between all of them, satisfy our needs for a handheld gaming device.