Dust off your Vita, or go buy one. Things are about to get awesome.
Sony has never made the impact on the portable gaming market that Nintendo did, seeing as they created it and all. The PSP was never as prominent as they probably hoped, though Monster Hunter fans would probably say otherwise. Still, that hasn’t stopped Sony from trying, even with the incredibly disappointing launch and months following of the PS Vita. But now, with the PlayStation name falling behind on all fronts, Sony is doing whatever it can in it’s most desperate hour to get you to stick with them, and that’s good for gamers.
PSone Classics! Finally
It probably sounds a little counterintuitive to want video games from over a decade ago to play on your brand new portable gaming platform, but nostalgia is a virus, and for some of the older gamers it’s entrenched deep in their memories. I have about a dozen PSone classics on my PS3 and I know others do too, and when I had my PSP I loved being able to carry them with me for some bite-sized retro action on the road. Now with a better machine in my hands I would still like to revisit the games that first got me hooked on PlayStation, and at the end of this month that is finally becoming a reality.
Along with the added PSone functionality coming with software update 1.80 comes Cross Controller, which allows gamers to use the Vita as a controller for certain PS3 games like LittleBigPlanet 2, manual controls to control the home screen and applications (thank god), a web browser update, and a few other small things. It’s amazing what these little details do to help improve the Vita experience. Rumor has it this update is coming on August 28, just two weeks to go.
PlayStation Plus Goes Mobile
Sony’s online membership service for the PS3 will be coming to the Vita later this year, which will bring with it exclusive content and functionality for members. For example, the online game save storage capacity has just been upped from 150 MB to 1 GB, perfect for all those PSone save files you’ll need when you play between your Vita and PS3. Perhaps there will also be some Vita games that Plus subscribers will get for free, much like PS3 owners get.
Cross Buy = Portable PS3
This is the dream. The dream of everyone who owns a console and handheld from the same company. The dream of being able to take your gaming on the go, and now that gaming on the go just got a hell of a lot cheaper. Sony already showed us what Cross Buy could do at the Vita’s launch with WipEout, but with upcoming titles like Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time we’re getting an even bigger dose of it. Players who buy the PS3 platform of the game will get the Vita version along with it, which includes cloud saves, allowing you to take your save file on the road with you, making it a truly portable PS3 experience. Other titles that will support this are PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and Borderlands 2 has been rumored to have this functionality down the road as well.
New Big Games: Call of Duty, Killzone, and Tearaway
Wondering where all the big games have been? Well, we did get a taste of Uncharted on the Vita (which was a hell of a lot of fun) and Resistance as well, but coming this fall we’ll get a chance to play Call of Duty on the portable as well. Killzone is also getting an entry on the platform in the form of Killzone: Mercenary. But, the biggest game that is coming to the Vita is from Media Molecule, the makers of LittleBigPlanet. They’ve created a whole new game specifically for the Vita, and it uses all of it’s functionality, as only Media Molecule could make work. It’s called Tearaway, and it looks awesome.
So yeah, you may want to rethink ignoring the Vita for much longer. Sony has been backed into a corner since it fell into last place in the gaming market, and it seems they cranked “Eye of the Tiger” and are training as hard as ever to create experiences that will bring you back for more. Hey, it worked for the GameCube back in the day, here’s hoping Sony can pull it off with the Vita and PS3 this year.