The Vita is a powerful system. But specs alone don't sell consoles. Here are somethings lacking in the Vita and things that are keeping it relevant.

3 Things Holding the Vita Back (And 3 Things Pushing it Forward)

The Vita is a powerful system. But specs alone don't sell consoles. Here are somethings lacking in the Vita and things that are keeping it relevant.

It’s been almost 2 whole years since the PlayStation Vita was  released. So far, it hasn’t really done too well in the handheld market. Especially considering that their main competitor is Nintendo, the company that basically revolutionized handheld gaming.

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But I have to admit, going up against a well-seasoned giant like Nintendo, Sony’s “sequel” to the PSP hasn’t completely tanked.

They’ve got some good games (which arguably would be better on the consoles) and a pretty big library of games ranging all the way to the PS1 days. 

Nevertheless, when evaluating how far a console has come since its release, there will always be things holding it back and things that keep them afloat in the market. 

So What’s Holding the Vita Back? 

1. Lack of Exclusives

I know, I know. Chances are you’ve heard this one before, especially if you’re a current Vita owner. There’s actually some pretty good exclusives on the handheld. Sadly, There’s no confirmed news of any exclusive titles for 2015. And it doesn’t help that some of the Vita’s high notes like Gravity Rush and Tearaway are going to the PS4 soon. 

If you’ve been playing the Vita exclusives diligently, It’s safe to say that by now, you might be running pretty low on quality exclusive titles for your Vita. 

2. Vita-specific Memory Card

It’s tough to sell handheld consoles. It’s even tougher to sell them when you have only one specific storage device that’s compatible with said console. Especially when the free one they give you will most likely not contain enough free space for all your games. 

Such is the case for Sony’s handheld. The PS Vita has its own type of memory card, which is much more expensive than the traditional SD cards they use for other handhelds. The Vita has a big library of games, indie to AAA. You’re going to be downloading a lot of games from the PSN and PlayStation Plus services. The last thing you want to happen is having to delete some of your games because you’re memory card is too small. 

Perhaps reducing the price of these PS Vita memory cards, or just switching to the normal SD cards if (and when) they come out with a new model for the handheld could help Sony make a few more sales. 

3. PSN is Locked to 1 Account 

Sony played its cards right when it decided that games weren’t going to be region-locked. Region-locked games are just no fun at all, especially when you’re not from any of the major countries like US, EU or Japan. The PS Vita made it possible to enjoy any game the console had to offer regardless of what region your PS Vita belongs to. 

There are literally hundreds of games on the Vita, but somehow there still isn’t an exclusive game that screams “gotta have it!

However, their PlayStation Network service is only restricted to 1 account. Why’d they do this? I can’t say. This restriction wasn’t there on the PS3 nor the PS4. Sometimes there are just better deals on the UK PSN than the Asian PSN. If I was using a PS3, I could use another account to download their games while still maintaining another account that’s registered to Asia’s PSN.

It’s a bummer that they removed that feature in the PS Vita, and I feel the system would greatly benefit if this obstacle was removed. 

The Bright Spots for the Handheld 

1. PSP/PS1/PS2 Games

The Vita may lack exclusives, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any games on the system. On the contrary, there are plenty of indie titles and old school PSP and PS1 games available on the PlayStation Network. Classics from the PS1 and big hits from the PSP are all there. Crisis Core or Type-0? They’ve got it. Perhaps you’re feeling nostalgic and want to play some of the greatest games of the PS1. PS1 greats like Suikoden II and Crash Bandicoot are all available in the store. 


With the healthy injection of some timeless PS2 classics like God of War and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, perhaps more PS2 titles being ported or remade for the PlayStation Vita might be answer to its struggles. 

2. Remote Play

The PS Vita came packed with a ton of features. It had the innovative rear touch pad, a gyroscope added to the system, and it was decked out with front and rear cameras. Remote Play was just the icing on the cake for the PS Vita. Remote Play is a feature that allows you to play PS4 and PS3 games through your Vita via streaming. 

Think of it as something similar to Wii U’s gamepad. If someone wanted to use the TV for non-gaming purposes, you could just switch to your Vita and continue playing your game. Just imagine: Last of Us, Uncharted 3 and Final Fantasy 13 in the palm of your hands. 

3. PlayStation Plus

I feel that PS Vita owners are the ones that benefit the most from PSN’s PlayStation Plus service. It’s a monthly service where you get free games and better discounts then you would otherwise get on normal PSN accounts. That being said, there aren’t many “must-have” titles coming out on the PS Plus.

Generally there are about 3 to 4 free games for PlayStation Plus members ay any given time, but usually only half of them are really worth playing. But hey, they’re free, so gamers don’t really have much to lose do they? It’s a win-win situation between Sony and its consumers if you ask me. Hell, the PS Plus games were one of the reasons I had bought the handheld in the first place. 

Overall, the Vita is struggling right now. Anyone that says otherwise is a Vita owner in denial.

There are literally hundreds of games on the Vita, but somehow there still isn’t an exclusive game on the system that screams “gotta have it!” the way that Last of Us did for the PS3 (or Halo for the original Xbox). 

A solid… no – An EXCELLENT AAA title that goes the whole 9 yards (and I mean great graphics, smooth frame rate, with a good story and voice acting) will be the only thing that can really please Vita owners, and may be the way to get more people buying the Vita as well.

Let’s just hope that a game like this comes out before it’s too late. 


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Author
Farrel Nobel
I've been playing games since I was small but only started to really observe and critique a few years back. Been writing reviews for games (albeit, old games because not everyone can have a crazy fast rig). When I'm not writing about games, I generally do some photography as well, so check that out if you've got some time.