Sony have just released version 2.05 of the System Software for the PlayStation Vita and with each new release, new features and bug fixes are added to improve the console. However, there is one thing that has been present with the system since the day it launched – a restriction on the number of icons that can be present on the home screen.
While this won’t be a problem for many users, this is something that has irked me for a while now and it is an issue that is only present on the PS Vita, and not something that has ever caused problems on the PSP or PS3. For those of you not aware, built-in to the console is a restriction meaning that you can only have a maximum of 100 icons on the home screen. This includes the primary system software (Settings, Content Manager, Maps, Near, etc), any apps you may have installed (Facebook, YouTube) plus all the games you download and install.
Now here is my gripe with Sony and an issue I feel that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency in a future update… While this won’t cause a problem for people who download PS Vita games or even PSP titles from the store, it will cause considerable issues for anyone wanting to purchase Minis and PlayStation Mobile games. By their very nature, these are meant to be bite-sized smaller titles and it is very easy to fit a large number of games onto a memory card. On my Vita I use several cards and each one is “themed” for particular game types so I can find things easily – a 16Gb card for PS Vita games, another 16Gb ones for RPGs (which currently has all my PS1 and PSP RPGs – including all the Final Fantasy titles), an 8Gb card dedicated to PSP titles and my original 4Gb card which I have a few apps and all of my Minis and Mobile games.
Having owned a PSP and PS3 before, I’ve built up a considerable library of Minis and because of this, there are currently almost 70 games on that card and I now only have space for four titles left despite having over 1Gb of physical storage left (downloads and card-based games). If, as a consumer, I only had a 32Gb card for my PS Vita that would have left me in a position of having to choose between having a large collection of Minis and PS Mobile games or PS Vita titles and not both as I currently own. I want to support the console and own as many games as possible and now, when I purchase Minis, PS1 or PSP titles it is to play them on the Vita, not my PSP or PS3 but with this limitation I am having to seriously reconsider what I can purchase.
If gamers are going to be able to buy games from the PSN Store in future and continue to support the Vita as we all want to, the something needs to be done by Sony. While we know that some form of announcement is forthcoming in February regarding the Vita (whether this is a console price drop, a memory card price drop or both, nothing has been said yet) but we need a solution to this issue from Sony now. For gamers to be able to continue using their Vita’s trouble-free in the long-run, then we realistically need one of two options:
- Either remove or increase the icon limit taking Minis and PlayStation Mobile games into consideration. As long as this limitation is tied into the memory cards and the data is stored on there, there is no reason why it can’t be larger on larger memory cards.
- Change the layout to, or give us an option of using a PS Vita version of XMB. The pull-down games list works incredibly well on the PS3 and PSP and allows a large number of games to be viewed at catalogued easily. In fact, this could also ensure that games can be arranged by type – PSP, PS Vita, Minis and Mobile in the same way the PS3 allows.
In either case, the data for the menus needs to be stored on the memory cards in question and in a more structured way. If you – as many users do – store games across several memory cards then the position of icons need to be remembers so your home screen also looks neater. As you swap cards, screens can look incredibly messy so the XMB option would be best but as long as something can be done it will be a start.