Is the PlayStation Vita Dead?

The PlayStation Vita and PlayStation Portable are two of the most overlooked consoles to come out in recent years. The PSP was succeeded by the Vita in hopes that the Sony handheld could be a competitor for the DS. This of course never happened and the system flopped pretty horribly in the states. Why was this system the massive failure it turned out to be even with all of Sony’s pushing? Is it even still being supported by the company at all? If so where can I get my hands on one now? This guide will answer all your questions about the PlayStation Vita that you have.

What Does it Do?

The Vita can play Vita games and use the PlayStation store to help you download digitally. It can’t play PSP games which I feel was one of its major setbacks when going up against the 3DS. It does have a pretty cool touch screen feature that interacts with some of its games. Other than that it’s not all that different from its predecessor. The Vita can help you play some PlayStation games via remote control which is a pretty cool feature similar to taking your Switch on the go. Of course, this is only as long as you’re in range of your home console.

There is another version that you can get the Vita called a PSTV it is extremely cheap and can play most of the games. This hooks directly into your tv like a home console and can help you stream your PS4 games to another room This gadget barely got any marketing and is, in my opinion, one of the coolest little gadgets you can buy for the price. In fact, if they marketed the TV more I believe the Vita games may have actually sold a lot better than they did.

The Vita also has the ability to use PlayStation Plus. This means that every month you can get free games for your Vita. These games are generally pretty good as well if you are into things like visual novels. The Vita even had multiplayer although I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of it being used. All around Vita owners are a pretty hard bunch to find for quite a few reasons other than the lack of support. It does have a pretty good use as a music player though if you don’t mind not having space for your game saves.

Why it Failed

The price for owning a Vita is pretty high compared to the 3DS. There were to version at launch a wifi version for 259.99 and an At&t wifi version for 299.99. If you bought the 299 plan it was on a data plan through At&t you would then have to pay a bill for every month. This wasn’t the best marketing strategy due to the systems high price. Especially when instead you could get a brand new home console or Ds with a few games. The games also ranged around 49.99 which was $10 more than Ds games sold for and $10 less than console games.

Bad pricing aside, the console never got the support from Sony it needed in games. One of the top hits on the Vita was Gravity Rush and not even that was enough to pull in fans. Other than that they tried to put the Jak and Daxter collection on the system. The collection ended up being nothing more than a buggy mess that made supporters even less satisfied with their system. A lot of the games were indie titles that were put out fast for the launch. This made the catalog one of the worst that had happened in recent years.

If all the wasn’t bad enough the Vita has a huge problem with the price of its memory cards. You can’t use an SD card and can only use cards made especially for the Vita. The only problem is, that these cards are insanely expensive even now. If you want a 64GB memory card the cheapest you will find it for is $109 on Amazon. That’s way too expensive to have a good amount of room on a system, and yes the saves do take up quite a bit of space.

The issue with the memory cards basically makes having an online store a pain. Most users can fit maybe 1-2 games on the memory card they own. This means to download their PlayStation Plus games they must constantly delete and redownload games to play them. This has made the system a hassle to use. Even now the Vita doesn’t really sell for lower than $159.99 pre-owned meaning it is still more expensive than a 3ds to buy. If you need accessories for your Vita you will only be able to shop online as most game stores don’t even carry them anymore.

Sony also dropped support of the system randomly and just stopped producing games for it. This means that its own developer gave up on it halfway through. They don’t even make new Vita’s to sell anymore in the states. At least with the PSP, they tried for quite a bit before giving up on the system. I feel like the Vita wasn’t really given the treatment it needed to survive here and was thrown away entirely too early. Seriously, we just need cheaper prices to really make the console sell better.

If You Like JRPG’s

The system is pretty great if you’re into Japanese titles. The Vita was actually completely successful overseas and companies love making titles for it. That means that some companies like NIS still are coming out with titles over there. A lot of visual novels and Rpg’s are only available on the Vita making it a must-have system for anyone who collects these games. In fact, the popular Danganronpa series was exclusive to the Vita for years in the states before being put on Steam.

The console may not be made, but it certainly still has support. You can buy Vita games at retail stores still and even pre-order the upcoming ones. Most trade stores take in the systems and sell them still as well as the memory cards. The PSTV is also a popular item for people who can’t afford the high price tag of the full system. So, while the console isn’t exactly booming like Sony first hoped it has carved its way into niche gamers hearts and is still standing strong their.

So, I guess the answer to this is the Vita is still going strong, but only for a certain type of fan. The system has just too many flaws to bring it back and I doubt the 3DS can be matched in popularity at this point. I would pass up the Vita if you’re into more triple-A titled games as it will mostly be a waste of your time and money. Even if you generally have all the console just forgo this for the TV like I mentioned above. The Tv cost around $29.99 and plays almost all the games in the catalog. The only ones it won’t play involve Vita’s touch screen and are few and far between.

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.