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Why I Love My PS Vita in 2018

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The Plastation Vita is my favourite game console and I don't believe it was a complete failure in the market (it's a shame Sony deemed it as such). I'm writing this because I just wanted to give the Vita some love.


The Operating System

I'm a huge fan of free software, but I have a soft spot for the Vita's firmware. The bubble icons are totally adorable!

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I can't help but be impressed. It's all so intuitive! You can access the "Quick Menu" by holding down the PS button, where you can change brightness or toggle Wifi. On a 3DS you'd need to suspend the application and go to the main menu to change these settings.

I also love the variety of colours and effects available for backgrounds (you can use an image, too)!

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If you press the PS button in the home menu, you'll see a neat, clean little list of all your open apps!

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Rear Touchpad

Some people say the rear touchpad is a bad thing, but I think the idea is actually pretty cool!

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The PS Vita 2000 implements the rear touchpad better by adding larger pads to rest your fingers on, but the 1000 isn't unusable.

Sadly, very few games utilize the touchpad, but when they do I feel like it's pretty cool!

  • In Little Big Planet, there are items that you need to activate via the touchpad.
  • In the Web browser, you can scroll with the touchpad.
  • In DJMAX, some notes require you to tap the touchpad.
  • In Jet Set Radio, there's an option for touchpad camera controls.
  • In Tearaway, you can use the touchpad to activate bounce pads.
  • In Sound Shapes, you use the touchpad for the stage builder.

Maybe it's a gimmick, but it's a fun gimmick!


Library

The Vita isn't known for having lots of games, but… The Vita has good games!

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I was never a "hardcore gaymer", so I guess I can't say too much about this, but I was always satisfied with the games available on the Vita! First of all, there are a number of REALLY good showcase titles, like:

  • Gravity Rush
  • Tearaway
  • Little Big Planet
  • Freedom Wars
  • Killzone
  • DJMAX Technika Tune
  • Sound Shapes

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After the showcase games stopped falling, good games kept on coming! Really awesome games, too, like:

  • Hohokum
  • Limbo
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Proteus
  • Minecraft
  • The Miku games
  • Death Mark

The Vita is doing extremely well even without official support!

Update 2021: Things are slowing down now, and I don't play much anymore, but it's still a fun console!


Battery Life

I've heard people say that the Vita has a bad battery life, but mine lasts all day when it isn't connected to the Internet! I also disable notifications and removed my "Start on boot" programs. I don't think you need to check for updates every time you boot your system!

The 2000 model's battery life is an hour longer, thanks to the LED display!


The Cons

As much as I love the Vita, there are things that I'm no fan of. Let's go over a few:

Sony hates it

Everyone loved the PSP, it was a huge hit, so I could only imagine that they wanted to create a system just as successful as the PSP. The problem, as I see it, is that they wanted the Vita's success to be instantaneous! When the Vita didn't explode & kill the 3DS in the blink of an eye, they decided "welp! Must be because no-one likes it!", turned their heels and walked away.

Even without Sony's support, especially in the west, I wouldn't say the Vita was the "Dashcon" or "Fyre Festival" of game consoles.

Lack of colours

The Vita was available in black, unless you got the special white edition. I love my black Vita, but people love having a choice of what colour, and I'm sad that Sony didn't bring the same marketing trick to the west!

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(Image credit goes to whoever made it. I love you, don't sue me.)

Glossy finish

I'm a clean freak. The glossy finish of the 1000 model made it kind of awkward, since fingerprints get all over it! Later versions of the 2000 model had a matte finish, and that's nice, at least!

The Camera

I wouldn't call this a con, in fact I don't find cameras on a game console that helpful at all, but the Vita has one (and some games make good use of it). Here's a few example photos I took in a nearby forest:

Looking up at a tree

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I call this one "Athletic Man"

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This one has some direct sunlight in it

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This could probably be an article on it's own, but I want to say that low resolution cameras function just fine for artistic expression. Photography as an art, in my opinion, is about telling stories & expressing emotion. The resolution of your camera doesn't always matter so long as you can portray that emotion in a photo!

Memory cards

Sony sold proprietary memory cards for the Vita & they cost a fortune! I found a 64 GB card from a nice man who charged me $85 (CAD) for it, and that's considered a good deal! Of course you can install custom firmware and buy a MicroSD adapter, which I eventually did.

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Conclusion

I love my Vita and you should love yours and I'm going to have a tea and go to bed.

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