The gaming world has been reporting the demise of the PS Vita almost since the moment of its release back in 2012. There is no denying that production is in wind-down mode (except for Japan, where production will continue – at least for now), but that does not alter the fact that those who have taken the console to heart have done so in a far bigger way that those who have adopted the bigger-selling alternatives.
The last preserve of traditional gaming?
Conventional wisdom dictates that the smartphone revolution brought about the demise of the handheld gaming console. The logic is undeniable – 85 percent of the population has a smartphone, and chances are, most of the 15 percent who do not are unlikely to be into tech and gaming.
The mobile gaming options that a smartphone offers are immense, and the flexibility is staggering. Adoption of cryptocurrency, for example, means that Bitcasino now offers Ethereum games, and given that Vita owners have long been bemoaning the fact that they cannot even play a decent slots or roulette game on their device, it is clearly impossible to compete on that score.
However, the very versatility of smartphones can also mean a dilution of the playing experience. Gaming is just one use to which they are put, and the sheer volume of games that are free to download means there are few gamers who really get immersed and follow a game through to its natural conclusion.
The more limited choice on the Vita has led to a situation in which the opposite holds true. Those who have been around gaming for years will remember those early days of having a dozen games on tapes, and playing them endlessly. You got to know every corner of the game, every possible strategy, and you probably remember them now in far more detail that you might remember an online game you played on your phone or laptop last week.
People play Vita games to the end
According to data released by True Trophies, completion percentages for PS Vita games have steadily risen every year. This has been particularly notable over the past three years, with the figure rising from 29 percent for games released in 2016 to 52 percent for 2017 to a remarkable 72 percent for games released this year.
For those assuming that these figures are in some way skewed by the Vita’s shift towards visual novels over recent years, think again. The top game for this year has been Little Adventure on the Prairie, followed by Midnight Deluxe and Inksplosion. All these games are characterised by following a progressive story arc and, crucially, completing tasks and gathering rewards along the way. These might not be in the form of cryptocurrency, but still, that’s never bothered us before.
Traditional gamers who want to get fully immersed, see a game through to the end and collect all the available trophies still love the Vita, and it could be that its continued existence has them to thank above all others.
Technology moves on all the time, and all things reach their natural end. But like the Commodore 64, The Sega Mega Drive or any other iconic gaming platform, when it is gone, there is a hole left behind that can never be fully filled. So let’s join the die-hard gamers and get the very most out of those Vita games while we still can.
After all, your smartphone will still be there tomorrow, and there will be a dozen new games to download and instantly forget about next week, the week after and the week after that.
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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