There’s no denying the range and quality of games that are available for the PlayStaton Vita. In recent months, the hard work of people like Sony’s Shahid Kamal Ahmad encouraging an increasing number of indie developers to release games on the platform is to be applauded, bringing us an unparallelled choice of games but that comes with a price…
We all know that memory cards for the PS Vita are prohibitively expensive compared to more commonly available SD cards. Even with the recent price drops, storage can still be expensive when some games from the PSN Store can use anything up to 4gb of space making all but the 32gb cards practically useless. However, even with larger capacity cards, there is a problem that has plagued the Vita since launch and unless this is resolved urgently by Sony Computer Entertainment, very soon gamers may well be forced to make very hard choices before they buy ANY digital games in the future.
Both the PS3 and PSP used the XMB navigation system and had no restriction on the number of software titles that seemed to be able to be installed – in fact, on a personal level I have over 200 games currently on my PS3 – but the Vita suffers from crippling bottleneck thanks to its new icon-based front end.
Currently the PS Vita allows a maximum of 100 icons on its home screens, whether they displayed on the main screens themselves or inside folders. While the Vita’s designer’s may have though that this would have been enough for most gamers, in reality it’s woefully inadequate. Before you even start to install games to your system, 16 icons (or 17 if you have the 3G model) are given over to pre-installed software. However, the real crunch comes when it comes to retail games. Every retail title you own places an icon on the home screen and this icon will be present permanently, even if you use multiple memory cards on your Vita. Got a large retail game collection? Then no matter how large your memory cards are you simply won’t have enough icons available to install many games.
This is most evident when it comes to Minis and PlayStation Mobile. It becomes incredibly easy to fill the 100 icon limit while still having a half-empty memory card. Where does that leave the gamers? Ultimately we are faced with the stark reality of continually transferring games to and from our PCs / PS3s just so we can install new titles or alternatively we have to make the hard decision of cutting down on what we buy. Obviously with all the great games out there, no one wants to miss out on them so either way the gamer loses.
Vita owners have been crying out for this limit to be removed since the console was first released and we now call on Sony to take urgent action to remedy this problem. It is clear now that the Vita’s future lies with digital downloads but without the capacity to purchase them, we can not show the console the love and support that we all want to.
As a website, here at Vita Player we are now PUBLICLY asking Sony Computer Entertainment to release a firmware update to the PS Vita as a top priority to either remove or significantly increase this icon limit so gamers across the globe can enjoy their consoles as they expect to, and contine to make digital purchases and support those developers who have chosen to support the PlayStation Vita platform.
We would urge all PS Vita owners reading this to make this post as widely read as possibly, sharing it via social media, on their own websites, blogs, forums and other outlets and we would welcome an official response from representatives from Sony to answer our request. If, as a community of gamers we can make our collective voices heard then it is my hope that we can encourage positive change.
Site Editor, Vita Player