Sonys PlayStation Vita solid proof that theyve learned absolutely nothing from the PSP Go.
Sonys already killed the PlayStation Vita. Seriously, I dont even want one anymore. Ever since the ambitiously designed portable successor to the PSP was officially announced at E3 this last summer, each news story about the systems drawbacks really has me rethinking that $249 purchase.
(Or, $299 if you want to deal with AT&Ts 3G service.)
If anything, theres now a huge laundry list of reasons for not buying it at launch: its expensive, the battery life is frustratingly limited (but you can buy a power pack!), compatibility for PSOne Classics wont be available at launch, they're making you pay twice for the UMD games that you already own, the launch titles list is weak, and you don't even get to choose where your saved game data goes.
Sonys not selling me a revolutionary portable touch-screen gaming system, theyre selling me a giant headache.
Its almost like they didnt learn anything from the PSP Go, which failed for exactly the same problems that still arent being addressed with the PS Vita. In fact, thats the entire problem with the PS Vitas design. All of the shiny new features that the device comes pre-packaged with are being used to mask the systems flaws. Who cares if I can use the PS Vita to listen to music, take photos, surf the Internet, and post random stuff on my Twitter feed? Thats what iPhones and Android phones are for and theyre a lot more convenient to use.
"Hey, guys! I can do the Twitter thing, too! Guys?"
Everything wrong with the PlayStation Vita reeks of either rushed development, or willful ignorance of customer needs. Even through bad marketing and horrible advertising, the PSP still sold very well, especially considering how much better the Nintendo DS line-up turned out to be. But all those PSP games you enjoyed with the old hardware, like Crisis Core, Dissidia, and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep? Sonys not going to make it easy for you to play them on newer hardware, because you already own a PSP so suck it up, gamers. But whats worse is that Sonys handcuffed themselves in a way that they couldnt possibly have fixed the PS Vita to make it more appealing.
Take the UMD situation, for example. Despite the large library of PSP titles that Sonys been pushing since 2004, theres never been any sensible plan to make newer systems backwards compatible or at the very least, making the games easy to transfer. Since the PS Vita insists on using "NVG" data cards, the burden is on the gamers to take the extra steps in transferring their titles, as Sony needs to make some kind of profit off of several PSP games that many people probably bought second-hand. Who cares its convoluted and costly, right?
Oh, and dont forget, so far only 200 titles are confirmed to (eventually) be supported out of the 701 official games, with a huge portion being UMD releases. Well, thats just terrific. Not only does a huge portion of the library get pushed to the curb at the start, but now I have to hope that my obscure favorites like Yggdra Union and Jeanne dArc actually make the cut.
Hell, even the storage space is a problem, since the PS Vita only accepts specialized memory cards that cost more than an actual game. Really, Sony? Letting me use my own five-dollar 4GB SD card was just too convenient?
Between the PSPs over-designed successors and the Nintendo 3DSs lackluster number of compelling titles, its no wonder that Android and iOS are killing both Sony and Nintendos presence in the handheld gaming market. With gadgets like the PS Vita, the allure of upgrading to the next system just isnt there. Instead of spending $250 on it, I would rather take $129, replace my broken PSP 3000, and wait a year or two for Sony to make a handheld gaming system I can actually use.