It’s coming up on two years since the release of the PS Vita and on the whole, as a Vita owner myself, its been quite lacklustre in its content. Ragnarok Odyssey was naff. Resistance: Burning Skies was fun but after one play through and with so-so multiplayer it lost appeal quickly. Rayman Origins was an incredible port but sadly not large enough to make it a killer app. WipeOut was great fun especially upon the arrival of the crossing with PS3 to bring the tracks from HD and Fury onto our tiny little screens. Even Soul Sacrifice which was tipped as being the Monster Hunter for the Vita was amazingly good but didn’t garner enough interest to emulate the success of the PSP, the DS or even the Gameboy before it.
How are Sony going to help their ailing hand held? One of the ways they have chosen goes along with that of the PS3 and PS4. Offering indie titles which will bring a new lease of life to PSN. When Sony first announced that they were going to be supporting indie developers completely and offer them whatever they could to bring the best of their work to PlayStation systems some were very skeptical, myself included, but how wrong we were. It has worked very well for Sony and brought their black slightly curvy box a Unique Selling Point in the console market which far outweighs that of Microsoft which does allow indie games on, but with quite heavy restrictions. Lets take a look at some of these indie titles coming or already out for the Vita and what they could do for its player base.
Presented in a monochromatic art style from indie developer Playdead, Limbo has been all around the consoles and platforms with versions on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. However the Vita version is the only version to come to a handheld format and it fits the game incredibly well. With the monochrome style first being used on the Vita with the brilliantly cruel Escape Plan Limbo just shows how deep the dark environments can go on this little bundle of amazing platform. An incredible little game that fits very well on this little platform. Is Limbo alone enough to save the platform though? Sadly it isn’t but it does add to this library.
Another of Sony’s darlings Guacamelee is a digital distribution only title which arrived not only on PS3 but on PS Vita on the 30th of May 2013 to massive critical acclaim. Presenting the same game on both the Vita and the PS3 has become something of a trademark for the developers of Sony titles. Using a combination of full on melee combat and platforming Guacamelee is a true gem in the new swathe of smaller titles brought to Sony’s platforms and has lead to a number of Vita sales amongst those who maybe didn’t have a PS3. When added to the mass of independent titles available right now on PSN it becomes an even more remarkable joy.
Spelunky lies in legend amongst some gamers. Myself for one. And with its upcoming arrival to the PS Vita a simply remarkable sight beholds us just in this article alone. Three incredible indie/smaller titles that are taking the PSN store by storm and bringing the Vita more recognition for the achievement that it is. While the Vita may be the last title Spelunky is coming to with its small size and capacity for many hours of play the Vita could become the perfect place for you to go delving deep into tombs and the difficult challenges that lie deep within
Don’t forget here though that even though the first party support for the Vita may have been somewhat lacking its coming back in force from three different angles. The first angle is, obviously, new first party titles. Guerrilla’s Cambridge studio has been working on the brilliantly impressive Killzone: Mercenary which is looking to do what all Guerrilla software does, shows off the potential of consoles. After reading this go find a gameplay video from E3 or the trailer for it. Thats all in engine on Vita. Simply astounding! Also with other software like Tearaway on its way and the very good but sadly undersold LittleBigPlanet Vita in the Vita’s library why this console isn’t doing so well is a little hard to work out. Or is it? While it does have some amazing titles none of them have grabbed the public and pulled them to put their money onto buying a Vita combining with the next thing coming to the PS Vita minds may be changes.
Last year there were rumblings of Sony purchases Gaikai the streaming service. During the PS4 announcement this was confirmed but the reasons were still a little blurry. E3 arrived and the announcement of what Sony was doing with Gaikai became totally clear. They were going to use it to offer the PS3 library as a streaming service for PS4, PS3 and most importantly for the purpose of this article the PS Vita. Now think of this. You’re sat in your living room and you want to play Last of Us but the other person in the room is sat watching TV being a nuisance. No problem. Just put on your Vita and there you go, streamed PS3 game right to your Vita. With this being a cloud streaming service all of the information and computations are dealt with server side. All you have to do, is push the buttons and watch what is basically a video be sent to your screen. This bit alone is the reason this gamer is buying a Vita again. While its not going to hit the world until 2014 with the US being first that fact that it will exist is enough to excite and entice many people to the Vita and to the PS4.
Finally the last prong on this trident is a big one, especially for those aiming to purchase a PS4. Remote play. As long as your PS4 is on and you are using a wifi connection you can stream games from your PS4 to your Vita. Sony announced that this would be a main focus that they requested of developers and thanks to the frameworks of the Vita and PS4 going together like peanut butter and chocolate its easily done. However it is unclear if the feature will be added to all third party titles but with the use of the front and rear touch screens for R2, R3, L2 and L3 its not going to be particularly hard to implement. Letting you play your favourite games anywhere as long as your PS4 is on along with your internet or the internet of where you are is on. Killzone Shadow Fall at work can be done, as can playing Knack on the porcelain throne.
Could we finally be seeing the Vita becoming the success it truly is thanks to the PS4. Or with an increase in the size of its available software lead to people picking up a Vita just as a Vita? Leave us your thoughts and comments in the box below or throw them at us on Twitter @n3rdabl3