For the last few years the PS Vita community has struggled to expand. While we all know how great the console is, convincing others hasn’t been easy. Websites, including us here at Vita Player, have discussed whether it’s worth investing in the console for potential new owners each successive year. But with the new developments from Sony is 2021 really the time to buy a PS Vita?
In fact, before the announcement from Sony we would have said that the PS Vita still had a future as a gaming platform, albeit a reduced one. Our own writer, Jamie, even recommended the console still in his guide earlier this year. But it’s remarkable how quickly things change in the video games industry, especially where the PS Vita and Sony are concerned.
The greatest concern to would-be owners has to the games. From the end of August, 75% of the Vita’s digital games library will disappear forever. All that will remain are the titles available through the Cross Buy initiative. That will still leave well over 300 games, but choice will be sorely restricted.
This may make you think that the choice to buy a PS Vita would be a bigger risk than play online casino without registering but it’s not as bad as it first sounds. As a region free handheld, you’ll also have access to physical games from around the world. Combine these and you will still have close to 1,000 games to choose from.
But those physical games won’t be getting any cheaper. Prices have been rising slowly for a while, ever since Sony stopped game production in the West. And now things are getting progressively worse. The PS Vita and its games are heading towards collectors item status with prices to match.
And accessories are even worse. Chargers, carrying cases and grips are in short supply. More importantly, the essential memory cards have risen to astronomical levels and show no sign of dropping in price any time soon. Both factors will make Vita ownership more expensive, but perhaps make you a more selective gamer as well choosing the best of the Vita’s catalogue.
One thing that has hurt gamers more than anything regarding Sony’s decision is the loss of legacy content. There are hundreds of PSP, PSone and Minis that will be lost after August. Many of these have never had a physical release. Some of those that have – Suikoden on the PSone, for example – are prohibitively expensive for the average gamer. Legacy gaming made it possible for Vita owners to enjoy classic games at an affordable price.
For the last couple of years this has been talked about as being the saviour of the Vita. Getting your Vita modded will open it up to the world of homebrew software and will give it a new lease of life. Firstly memory card worries will be a thing of the past as you will be able to use MicroSD cards thanks to the numerous adapters available.
Most importantly will be the games themselves. Your Vita will now be able to run retro gaming emulators for classic computers and consoles, but also fan developed games. There’s a huge community of programmers out there bringing titles out continually and you’ll have no shortage of new games to play.
It could be said that the PS Vita is now getting its second wind, and it’s all thanks to Sony. With no official support from its manufacturer, the community has pulled together and is stronger than ever. Developers – usually eager to promote and focus on their own games – have been working together. Websites and the Twitter community have taken to promoting all positive activity surrounding the platform. And the homebrew scene is moving on in leaps and bounds.
If retro computers like the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum can still have new software developed for them almost 40 years after they were released, there’s still hope for the PS Vita yet. And even though it’s coming to the end of its life as a commercial platform when it comes to new products, there are exciting times ahead for Vita owners new and old and perhaps there’s never been a better time to join their ranks and buy a PS Vita.