Although my little profile box proclaims my love for Nintendo, I also have a special place in my heart for Sony. I love my PlayStation 3 — it opens up multiplatform gaming to me, and despite how great Mario, Pokémon, and Zelda are, there are times when only Yakuza, Resistance, God of War, and Killzone will do the trick.
In addition to this, I am also a handheld gamer before a console gamer. In my opinion, the Nintendo DS is still the greatest console to ever exist, and that’s coming from someone who has been well familiarized with the glory that is PlayStation 2 and Super Nintendo. With this said, it may come as a surprise that I never picked up a PSP. Sure, God of War looked great, as did some of the exclusive RPGs, but I just could never justify spending upwards of 200 dollars on a system with only a few games I wanted to play. WTF and a portable LittleBigPlanet looked cool, but the DS has Mario, Zelda, and four (soon to be five) Pokémon titles, in addition to the other 86 games in my collection.
So, a while back, NGP was confirmed to be Sony’s next portable system, and by the time it became PlayStation Vita, it had near-console graphics, trophies, full PlayStation Network integration, Uncharted, Wipeout, and a massive back catalog of PSP games I never ended up playing. I was in heaven anticipating it.
As some of you know, the Wii U was announced at the same time the Vita was fully confirmed and unveiled. Not having a job and being 17 at the time, I had to put my money towards the home Nintendo console before the handheld, especially since I had already owned a 3DS to satisfy my on-the-go needs. Eventually, earlier this year, the Vita launched, lots of people enjoyed it, plenty of games were confirmed, and I wanted one more and more. I started a second pool of money to save for the Vita after my Wii U funds were saved, and by the time I had graduated high school, had more than enough money, and had all of the time and reason to buy a Vita…except I didn’t. Here’s why:
I could not justify buying a PlayStation Vita because there were clear signs that Sony barely valued their own console. First off, I noticed that most first-party games (with the exclusion of new IPs) were all regarded as “almost as good” as the PlayStation 3 game equivalents. I made the move to find out why. As it turns out, Uncharted, Resistance (both of them), LittleBigPlanet (both PSP and Vita), God of War, and several more are not made by the original console developers.
Even though Uncharted: Golden Abyss is widely regarded as competent or “really good”, or that the God of War games are pretty decent, I absolutely hate the fact that Sony feels the need to contract other studios out for this because apparently, their console developers are far more valuable for PlayStation 3 than PlayStation Vita. Even if you hate Mario, Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, Kid Icarus, and everything Nintendo stands for, you have to admit that , at the very least, Nintendo will put their AAA teams on AAA games. And, even when they don’t, like with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, at least they’ll put another top-notch team on it rather than contracting out to studios they usually don’t even own.
Of course, you could say that Sly Cooper and the new PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale game are making their way to the Vita from the original developers, but with that said, why is it impressive to simply down port something? Why don’t we have Sony Santa Monica working on a God of War sequel for Vita rather than another spin-off game made by the spin-off studio? Or, even worse, we get an Ascension port, which then becomes the spin-off version.
My final issue to light when I simply list every single original game that I’d like to buy or that is in development for the Vita (ports and re-releases do not count): Hot Shots Golf Invitational, Touch My Katamari, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, LittleBigPlanet, New King’s Story. That’s 6 games being accounted for over 10 months (counting everything announced for the rest of the year). That is not enough for me. Heck, based on the sales, I don’t think that’s enough for most people. Yes, Bioshock and Call of Duty are coming out, but those are not games I want on my handheld.
Listen, if you can find enough reasons to purchase a Vita and love it, go ahead. There are more than six games on the system obviously, and I bet those who own one may be able to find well over six games to purchase. But I can’t. Based on what I love about PlayStation 3 and its games, the forecast for Vita games coming out is downright anemic in my opinion, and for a handheld gamer who expects both console and handheld to be equal yet different, Sony seems to be treating Vita like a second-class citizen, using second-class studios to make mostly second-class games. That’s not okay, people. That’s downright disgusting.