The PlayStation Vita was released in Australia early 2012 to vastly positive reviews but unfortunately also released to poor sales. Perhaps due to its high pricing and expensive but also lacklustre launch titles. Though recently, however at both the PlayStation 4 reveal and Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) a revelation was exposed for this struggling powerhouse of a portable console, which certainly has the power to turn the tides for the struggling Vita. Not only to improve sales for the vita but to cement the upcoming PlayStation 4 as the dominant gaming platform of this generation. Through interconnectivity and innovative gaming.
Personally I find the Vita to be amazing for my personal needs, gaming on the go as I have travelled interstate and overseas not to mention the movies and songs that can be stored on there and the availability of the PlayStation Network (PSN) at my fingertips to delve into even more games as my tastes required but enough about me, let me tell you how there is going to be a much greater focus for the vita!
Remote play was a feature that made its debut on the PlayStation 3 for connectivity to the PlayStation Portable, providing players with the opportunity to remotely access your PS3 with your PSP for the purpose of viewing or listening to media and to play (very) select PS3 games. Unfortunately this amazing opportunity wasn’t taken full advantage of and this feature was put somewhat on the back burner. Now entering a new generation of gaming, Sony has realized where they have ‘dropped the ball’ so to speak in inter-platform connectivity.
To rectify their ignorance of such a great gaming opportunity. Sony are looking to make every PS4 game remote play compatible (bar games requiring other peripherals such as the PlayStation Eye), which is fantastic for pushing this feature but I know what you are thinking. How will the amazing visuals of the PS4 transfer to the PS Vita’s screen, a screen smaller than some smart phones? Well it seems this is an issue Sony has thought of well in advance, the PS Vita boasts a resolution of 960×540 now this may not sound like much but this figure is exactly one quarter of 1080p the display that PS4 will be running which means no messy conversions rates on the downscale from PS4 to the Vita, perhaps a few finer details will be missing but will still look amazing.
The real issue in this situation all comes down to the individual’s internet, if your internet can handle the data transfer then all systems are a go! Speaking of internet connection. The Vita along with playing local PS Vita games and PS4 games remotely can also play PSP, PS1 via purchases in the PlayStation store but with the power of both Sony’s consoles backed by the power of Gaikai, a cloud based gaming system capable of instant streaming without needing to have completely downloaded a PS4 file. Using this system there is no doubt in my mind that in the not too near future that the possibility of playing PS2 and PS3 remotely will soon come, given that the Vita can already comfortably play PS4 games comfortably in terms of aesthetics PS2 and PS3 games will be a breeze thanks to the PS4 on board encoder allowing more power availably for the Vita. A function the previous generation done in reverse. Looking at this basically the Vita has the potential to play the entire catalogue of PlayStation games throughout the gaming generations, all in the convenience of your pocket.
Talking more based in the lounge room though, the Vita’s connection via Bluetooth to the PS4 gives the function of providing second screen play, depending on your game of course. Some games may allow a track layout displayed on your vita or quite simply a Heads up Display (HUD) function but I’m sure that Sony will elaborate on this as the release of the PS4 draws nearer.
A few people have been asking about an update of the vitas layout by providing a L2 and R2 button, which currently are not present on the vita. Whilst personally the addition of those buttons and the dual stick pressed L3 and R3 are amazing ideas. I highly doubt we will be seeing an update on the vita anytime soon. At launch of the vita in early 2012, Sony expected this product to open to amazing numbers and as history shows it was almost quite the opposite in fact. I’m willing that at the moment Sony have thousands of PS Vitas waiting in warehouses, unopened, primed and ready to go. What would be a great opportunity to push sales in my opinion would be a bundle deal of purchase of the PS4 and Vita or quite simply a price drop. Not so long ago Japan received a price drop of the vita and sales nearly quadrupled! At the moment the price drop stands only for japan but seeing these results would almost certainly have Sony executives thinking about a price drop worldwide.
With all these amazing features rolling out and the release of the PS4 that is set to launch later this year plus the Gaikai service coming in next year. There is so much potential for the Vita to make up for lost ground over the last 18 months. I cannot wait to see what other forms of innovative ideas Sony produce to take full advantage of this amazing technology.