For the past few months, I’ve been battling an internal struggle. I’ve wanted to play more modern games, so I thought about buying them for the Switch (the only “modern” console I own). But I already own quite a few on PC (via Steam, GOG, Epic, etc). So I thought about getting a Steam Deck instead. Surely, in the long run, it’d be more financially sound to invest in hardware and play the games I own? But then, it dawned on me: I have a hacked Vita! And a gaming PC, and decent internet at home. So, I’m not playing my PC backlog and newer games on my Vita.
What? PC Games on the Vita? But How?
Actually, the ability to play PC games on the Vita has been available for a while, thanks to the efforts of the kind people who ported Moonlight to Vita. In case you don’t know, Moonlight is an NVidia-developed technology that allows you to stream your games from your gaming PC to other devices. Think of it as Steam Link, but you can also play games that are not on Steam.
The catch is, I don’t have an NVidia GPU on my computer. I have an AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB. Capable, though old, but definitely not an NVidia product. Enter Sunshine: Sunshine is a re-implementation of Moonlight that allows you to stream games via the Moonlight protocol with any brand of GPU. Whenever I discover re-implementations of propietary technology like this, I’m very happy. It’s like using FSR on an NVidia GPU, getting 20 free spins no deposit uk 2023, or being able to use YouTube ad-free on the iPhone without paying for premium or jailbreaking the device (thank you, AltStore).
What’s the Catch?
Well, there are a few, but none that are deal-breakers. The most annoying part is getting things set up. The guide I used is the one seen in the video above, but I had to make some modifications. Because my games are spread all over different digital storefronts, I had to follow the Sunshine documentation to figure out how to launch them.
But the most annoying thing was that, because my main monitor is ultrawide, everything I was sending to the Vita was ultrawide, too. In the end, I was able to figure out how to make resolution changes to my PC right before launching a game, and then change it back right after. So now, thanks to Sunshine, every time I launch a game on my Vita, the resolution of my monitor changes to 720p. When I’m done, it goes back to 1080p ultrawide. Honestly, it feels like magic… like when your dad gave you a present on a day that wasn’t your birthday, when you found out about the best 10 pound deposit bonus, or when PS Plus used to give you Vita games as well. Ah, I miss those days.
Obviously, this is limited to whatever you can run on your PC. It also depends on whether the software you’re using correctly detects the Vita as an XBox 360 controller (which is the way it’s set up on the Vita Moonlight client). It’s also a bit of a pain because the buttons are not located in the same places (X is Square on the XBox 360 button).
Also, Sometimes the connection drops. The Vita doesn’t have 5Ghz Wi-Fi so you really have to optimize the stream. I haven’t tried running any emulation on it yet, but to be honest, I can do that on the Vita natively for the most part. What I wanted to do to is run PC games on the go, and now I can!
Finally, your PC must be able to run the games! Thankfully, as you’ll be running them at 720p with medium settings (no point in running them any higher, as the Vita screen won’t display any more detail), even something like my ageing RX580 can handle most modern titles just fine. Ah, and if you want to play outside of your home network, you’ll need a 3G Vita, and a hell of a lot more network configuration.
In the meantime, excuse me while I go revisit Fallout 3 on the go. I think I might just shoot everyone on sight this time and see where that leads me.