I’ve discussed before about my reluctance to moving on to owning a next gen console. With all the reservations I had, it took several years to even tempt me to consider getting a PS4, although my plans to do so back in 2020 were thwarted. The Nintendo Switch joined the PS Vita as a second handheld in the collection and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how I’ve taken to it. But on Father’s Day, my daughter gave me the surprise of my life when she handed me a PlayStation 5 and copy of Spider-Man Miles Morales. But truth be told, I wouldn’t have even been interested in staying loyal to the PlayStation brand for as long as I have been if it hadn’t been for the PS Vita…
My Life As A Gamer
I’ve owned a lot of systems over the years. When I say a lot, my current collection still comprises of around 40 computers and consoles. And I’ve sold or given away even more than that in my lifetime. Starting off in the 1970s with a Soundic TVG-101 Pong clone, I’ve had everything from LED handhelds like Astro Wars and Defender, to most of the classic 8-bit computers, living the the 16-bit console wars and more. During times when I was more selective sticking to a single platform (as I did for the 90s, I ended up picking up older systems years later so there are few that have escaped my attention.
But only a handful really captured my imagination and loyalty. The Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga (which sparked my writing career and where we spent years releasing our own software) and then the PS Vita. In fact, the Vita is the only time where we’ve launched a dedicated website to a platform (although we did release several Amiga fanzines).
What About The Vita?
But for over a decade now, the Vita has been a very important part of my gaming life. I got my first PS Vita as part of a bundle with a mobile phone contract. I was due an upgrade and had the chance to stick to roughly the same phone package or pay about £10 a month more and get a wi-fi 1000 series Vita. It was really a no-brainer!
The Vita has travelled with me all over the UK, has made me some wonderful friends, and it’s helped me cope with long hospital stays and times when I’ve been forced to spend time away from my family. This very website is testament to my dedication to the platform, and I genuinely think I’d feel lost without my Vita.
But what has all of that got to do with the PlayStation 5? I’m coming on to this right now…
Sony Haven’t Always Been The Bad Guys
Despite the mistakes they have made as a console brand, Sony have got a few things right. The most obvious one that springs to mind for many was the introduction of PlayStation Plus back in the days of the PlayStation 3. Times were much simpler back then. At the time, the service was very much about the free games and not all of the added perks we are used to today. Online gaming was always free, so the subscription fee was primarily there to access a great selection of goodies every month.
From day one, we were offered regular PS3 titles, along with selected PSOne Classics. Once compatability was added, we even received a sprinkling of titles from the Minis range as well. And over time we were all able to build up a healthy library. Now when the PS Vita burst onto the scene, things got interesting for anyone taking out a PS+ subscription…
Sony immediately started adding Vita games to the service and while there weren’t many games it was still great to see. But more importantly for long time subscribers, all those PSOne Classics and Minis we’d accessed before were now available for us to download to the Vita as well. So from day one of becoming a Vita owner, we had plenty of games to get us started.
Throughout the Vita’s lifespan, more games were added to PlayStation Plus, boosted even more through titles offered with Cross Buy support. And naturally our collections grew even more as we bought games, many of these offering Cross Buy with the PS3 or PS4. That, combined with my love of PlayStation Mobile and physical titles is why I ended up with well over 1,000 titles in my Vita collection right now.
Enter The PS5
And this is where the PS5 comes into my story. When I first thought about getting a PS4 when they were first announced, I made sure that I started added all of the PlayStation Plus games to my collection that were offered. I gave up after a while when I realised that I wasn’t too bothered about getting one, but I must have added a few years worth of games to the collection.
Fast forward to this weekend, and after spending a while setting up the PS5, reactivating my dormant PlayStation Plus account (that’s a story for another time) and installing Spider-Man in the background while getting everything ready, I started to explore the PS5’s menu structure. I knew that storage was going to be an issue, especially with the larger games on the market (NBA 2k23 uses a frightening 171gb for example!), but I was hoping that I’d have ample space for a few of the PS4 games I already owned that I was tempted to run.
Imagine my shock when I took a look at the software library and saw what was in there…
Waiting for me was a staggering 300 games, stretching back well over a decade! Headlining this list were the current PlayStation Plus offerings, but supporting these were a handful of other PS5 games I’d added previously. But the majority was made up of an astonishing number of PS4 games including many of the system’s launch titles such as Knack and Resogun.
As I mentioned before though, it’s the Vita that really breathed life into this library. There was an incredibly selection of games I’d previously purchased now available to me once more thanks to Cross Buy. Or others I added in the past as PS Vita games from PlayStation Plus over the years and now the PS4 versions were being offered to me. In some instances, free PS5 updates were available as well making it even more appreciated.
But who would have thought that years after the last units rolled off the production line, and several years after support for the PS Vita was dropped from PlayStation Plus that the old machine has had one last gift up its sleeve for me. PS5 games may be astonishingly expensive, but with over 300 games to choose from on the first day of owning my PS5 at least I don’t have to worry about deciding what games to play for a long time to come…