With the Playstation 4 release fast approaching, the future of the Playstation Vita could not look better. With the ability to play your PS4 titles on the handheld via wi-fi is an inescapable win for the Playstation brand, and for those of us whom have handily adopted the excellent hardware into our lives. It can not be, though the only thing that helps propel it forward and makes it a dominant handheld platform.
The PS4 with its ability to mimic the Xbox’s Smartglass tech for tablet and smartphone second screen integration, and its ability to utilize the PS Vita as a second screen for when the TV is being used for other entertainment purposes is bar none an awesome thing. Add in the fact that any game that is cross-buy and cross-save, you can take the game with you on your Vita, play some levels, save your game, and pick back up where you left off right back on your big screen is such a wonderful idea. As well if you were to have a PS Vita TV you can stream the PS4 to a different room altogether.
The fact that the PS4 with PS Vita will allow you to do all that Xbox and the Wii U can do while allowing you to take that device, an awesome handheld, with you wherever you go is so cool and such a winning combination. You are not relegated to just your living room as with the Wii U.
It may be an expensive entry point, $399 for the PS4 and $199 for the Vita. I would say that it is, and will be very much worth it. As well I should think that Sony would be smart to offer, at some point in the very near future a PS4 Vita bundle that offers the complete package for $499, probably a Playstation Plus bundle, as with Playstation Plus you get free games for both systems.
This integration will, in my opinion be one of the forming factors to sustaining the Vita. That is to say that it cannot be the only thing though that saves the Vita from the undeserving brink it looks upon in its current form.
Sony needs to do a price drop, probably at $179 with a 16GB memory card, three months or a year of Playstation Plus to get you in the door with some free games and to get you into the service, and with a hard copy of some game as well. I would also like to see them create or bring in that killer app. The game that brings in the masses as did the Monster Hunter franchise for the PSP. The Vita has a great library of games and has become the go to place for Indies, and it is a start. The platform can only get better from here on out and it starts with the PS4.
That being said I am wholly disappointed with the first slim Vita model. With a paltry one-gigabyte of memory, an undesirable slimming down of the unit, and the less than beautiful LCD screen. One of the selling points of the Vita was its OLED screen, which is a beautiful screen showcasing depth, contrast, and color. The Slim LCD looking washed out by comparison. Plus I do not want the Vita any slimmer, with adult hands the unit in its current form already generates cramped hands from extended play sessions.
What I think needs to be done is not use a cheaper screen but make the system vertically wider and by pushing those sweet analogue sticks up to keep cramped hands from happening. This could allow for a slightly larger screen. As well a longer life battery would of course be welcomed. In addition I would like to see those analogues become buttons as well, just like the controllers for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. If they are going to add built in memory it needs to be a more significant upgrade than 1GB, at the very least 4GB, 16GB if possible as digital sales are a much more important factor these days as many games such as the various Indie titles are download only. And if I may be so bold as to add in a little form factor of the Nintendo 2DS where the top portion is thicker which could allow for bumpers and triggers. I feel that with Sony’s pedigree for beautiful hardware that this is easily possible and doable without creating a larger cost.
As well not every game that comes to the Vita needs to have touch screen integration. Touch screens are not a new revelation; we know what they are, and how to use them. We do not need touch controls shoehorned into gameplay that does not make sense. Touch screens need to stop being used as though they are some tech demo, ruining perfectly good games. Seriously, stop with all the touch screens on everything. Sometimes a button is just better, and a friendlier and easier way to do it.
I feel that this, along with a slew of must have games, and the PS4 symbiotic relationship would turn the Vita into the must have handheld. But with that, they need to add more apps. I want to see an even more robust browser, which being said, it is excellent to use in its current form, a far cry from the PSP’s browser. In addition it very much needs a PDF reader like the PSP had. It needs to stay competitive with the smartphone and tablets in the app department, and be that hybrid gaming focused machine we all want. It has the potential to be that, where as the Nintendo 3DS is stuck where it is. Software additions alone can transform the Vita into that hybrid now. Hopefully with the PS4 out the door here soon, Sony can again turn their eyes to the darling handheld that is the Vita, and take it from pupa to the beautiful monarch it deserves to be.
Let me know what you think. Think the PS4 is the answer to the woes of the Vita? What is your ideal Vita transformation? Sound off in the comments.