The PlayStation Vita (or PS Vita for short) is largely considered to be a commercial failure. While it received an overall positive reception from critics, the clear abandonment of first-party support from Sony drove the relatively expensive handheld’s sales to the dumps. Despite releasing in 2012, it’s only barely reaching the 15-million-unit sales figure. For comparison, the Wii U sold around 13 million units, and we don’t really consider that a “financial success”. If we REALLY were to rub in the salt, we can compare it to its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable, that sold ~80 million units worldwide as of September 2020.
PS Vita 2020?? When There’s Something Called A Switch?!
Anyways, as much as I’d like to deny the PS Vita’s death like the good ol’ days, today’s article is about why it’s perfectly viable to own a PS Vita in 2020. And no, those two arguments aren’t the same as the PS Vita is definitely dead at this point.
That’s not to say you should only own either a PS Vita OR a Switch in 2020, however; both systems have their perks. While the Switch and the Vita share a few common blockbuster indie titles, the Switch is on a roll with new exclusives continuously releasing on the handheld.
But before the conversation drags on any longer, here are NINE perks of owning a PlayStation Vita in 2020!
1. It has a Solid Library of First-Party Titles
I previously mentioned that the PS Vita was severely lacking in first-party support from Sony. A number of cancelled triple-A titles like a Bioshock game, Final Fantasy Agito +, Hyper Light Drifter, and a slew of others escaped the handheld’s inferior and limiting hardware.
That being said, that doesn’t deny the amazing titles that did release on it. Classics such as the Metal Gear Solid Collection, Final Fantasy X/X-2, Sly Cooper Collection, and more provide a nostalgic on-the-go (or, in my case, on-the-bed) experience. In addition to that, it also introduced some banger titles of its own as well: Killzone: Mercenary, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Freedom Wars, Soul Sacrifice Delta, and more.
With the PlayStation Store still regularly offering sales and discounts for PlayStation Vita titles, such as the currently ongoing “Big In Japan” sale, gamers can get ahold of these exciting games for reasonable prices in portable format.
Which leads us to point number two,
2. This Portable is actually Pocketable!
The Switch is great for bringing on trips with friends. Playing 4-player Smash Bros. Ultimate in the back of the car is a great time-killer, and yelling over orders in Overcooked! is a great way to ruin the upcoming trip. However, it’s not something you can easily fit in your pocket; there’s still the entire process of keeping it away in a carrying case. While you can still technically force it into your pocket if you have larger-than-average pockets, more so with the Lite, Joy-con Drift is an awfully nasty possibility.
Let’s say you’re alone on the public commute on the way to work. While whipping out a Switch to finish-up that kaizo Mario Maker 2 level would be ideal, the hassle and anxiety of a hasty 10-second tuckaway during a sudden influx of passengers might be more trouble than its worth for some. This isn’t the case with the PS Vita! It fits much more easily into your pocket, has a much more solid form factor for easier handling, and at this point of time is relatively cheaper in terms of maintenance cost should ghosting occur.
Coupled that with point number one, it’s the perfect handheld to squeeze in some gaming time.
This point unfortunately doesn’t apply for EITHER handheld if you wear skinny jeans or skirts. Chuck that junk in your bags kiddos, and please give your balls space to breathe.
3. PS Vita: The Second Screen Device of 2020
The PlayStation Vita has a few media streaming apps. Netflix is available, albeit a bit lagging in its UI. Despite so, the library is still updated to the latest titles (Enola Holmes has my attention).
The Vita also has anime streaming service Crunchyroll, which surprisingly still runs smoothly. If you still own a Vita, chances are you’re a fan of JRPGs and anime, so having Crunchyroll is a great way to legally stream your favorite shows.
As someone who loves doing nothing more than rolling around in bed all day, I’ve disconnected myself from my phone and used my Vita as an alternative media streaming source countless times now.
4. It’s Home to Several Beloved Platformers
As a 90’s baby, I can’t think of a more nostalgic gaming genre than platformers. Whether it be 101 Dalmatians, Pac-Man World, Crash Bandicoot, or even Nintendo’s Mario titles, I always find myself associating great childhood gaming experiences with platformers.
The PlayStation Vita not only has a Classics library to access some of these older platforming titles, but they are also home to several modern ones. Tearaway is a Vita-exclusive title that utilizes exclusive Vita controls in its platforming. The Vita is also home to the legendary and critically-acclaimed Rayman games. From Sly Cooper to Oddworld to Guacamelee, the PS Vita has hundreds of hours worth of fun and engaging platformers, making it a top tier modern nostalgia machine in 2020 and beyond.
5. Playing PlayStation 4 Games via Remote Play (PS4 Link)
One of the main PlayStation Vita features Sony Japan markets is PS4 Link or Remote Play. The PS Vita is capable of streaming your PlayStation 4 onto the PS Vita screen, replacing the need for a TV.
It requires a strong Internet connection, but when it works, it works great. It’s best for playing JRPGs or games that require a lot of grinding. You can just lie down in bed (yes I know that staying in bed is a repeating point I bring up and could be concerning) and grind some dungeon floors with your character before you go to sleep. You can even have decent online Call of Duty matches, and though it’s not the most superior method to enjoy the game, it is a viable one.
6. A Great Indie Machine
Indie games are almost always underrated. We can’t really blame ourselves for being extremely hyped up for blockbuster titles like Ghost of Tsushima or The Last of Us II, but it’s very obvious that smaller scale projects are criminally underrated.
We all know of indie megahits like Stardew Valley and Undertale, but there are countless more great titles that have not received even a hundredth of the recognition because they just aren’t given the chance.
With the PlayStation Vita, you can give them that chance. The Vita houses a range of great indie games. From action packed titles like Bastion and Hotline Miami, to quick time burners like Olli Olli and Guacamelee! From psychological thrillers like Limbo and Darkest Dungeon, to games with heavy stories like Thomas Was Alone and Titan Souls, there are always titles to keep you entertained!
7. Classics Library
It’s already been hinted several times throughout the article, but the PS Vita has an entire “Classics” library dedicated to PSOne and PlayStation Portable titles.
You can access classic games from the 90’s like Tekken 2 and even the classic Final Fantasy titles. Though they aren’t the entire library, there are a good deal of gems to dig into. Megaman X4, Pac Man World and even PSP gems such as Tekken 6, Soul Calibur and Final Fantasy Duodecim are available. These games even have ad hoc multiplayer working, so you can match yourself offline with local friends.
8. PlayStation Sales are Frequent, and Prices are Lower than Ever
We, or I, rather, have mentioned the rich diversity in the Vita’s game library. Having a solid selection of JRPGs and indies, with a sprinkle of triple A titles make it a worthy machine with plenty to play. Not to mention, PS Vita classics are generally price cut in 2020. Most of them are not a full 50 or 60 dollar game on a normal day.
But hey, Halloween and Black Friday sales are just around the corner! Check out our list of the best PlayStation 4 horror games on sale right now! While you’re at it, why not prepare for the best regional sales by reloading your PlayStation Wallet with SEAGM? US Region PlayStation Network cards get an attractive limited time 3% discount on checkout!
9. PS Vita 2020 | Mod Machine
Googling “is it legal to mod a console you own” leads to a very mixed response. Going on the assumption that modifying something you own only breaches the manufacturer’s terms of service rather than the actual law, there is nothing illegal about modifying your console unless you use it to avoid paying for games.
That being said, modifying your console’s firmware can lead to a ton of benefits that are completely legal and not at all wrong to enjoy. Considering that the PlayStation Vita discontinued manufacturing in Japan in January 2019, it’s safe to say there won’t be any real reason to not mod your console in 2020.
Why Mod a Perfectly (Not) Fine System?
The PlayStation Vita is running on super outdated hardware. I hate to say it, but a lot of the games ported to PlayStation Vita don’t exactly run smoothly. Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom has this thing where the blood looks like pink fever medicine and Borderlands 2 runs at a jittering 17-24 frames per second. Even PlayStation Vita exclusive game Caligula runs at 20 frames at best with tanks going down to as low as 12.
But this all changes with a modified Vita. Modified Vitas are capable of overclocking, meaning you can fully max out the hardware’s potential. From personal experience, Borderlands 2 and Minecraft run significantly better in terms of consistent framerate.
The mods you can make for your PlayStation Vita in 2020 are too many for a single article, let alone a portion, so here’s an example list of things possible on a modded PS Vita:
- Overclocking it to run demanding games smoother
- Running Gameboy Advance, PlayStation One and PlayStation Portable and other emulators to play all the retro games you own on one device.
- Patch Japanese exclusive games with community made translations for games like Digimon World: Next Order and Catherine: Full Body
-and countless more!
Well, that concludes this article’s “9 Reasons to own a PS Vita in 2020”. I hope I’ve satiated any interest you may have had. Go on out there and get yourself a baby Vita!