Discussing: Vita Rant

clip_image002Following the announcement of the Vita’s North American release date, details on the PlayStation Vita have been filtering out. These include PSP games transferring and which ones can, PSone classics, your PSN account, and the memory cards. When the new Sony portable was announced, I was excited that Sony was going to try again. You see, I like the PSP and although it didn’t sell that well and I ended up playing ports on the handheld, I enjoyed its versatility and design. When the portable was revealed to be the Vita, I wasn’t crazy about the name but it grew on me and now I think it’s a pretty good name. Then the price was announced. Considering all that the Vita is promising, it was a steal at $250. However, since these details have been discovered by various news outlets and the such, my excitement for the Vita has plummeted drastically, because with the exception of one story about the price of digital versions of Vita games, it’s been all bad.

First off, you can’t play your PSP games without paying a fee and even then, all games won’t be available. Sure, this can be changed but this sounds as bad as backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360. I remember when the PS3 was first released, it was compatible with PSone and PS2 games. I always though Sony had backwards compatibility down. Then they removed that PS2 functionality. Now we have this problem. I know the focus of any new piece of hardware should be the software made with the new technology it has but I thought we had already reached the point where easy backwards compatibility was standard. The only one who seems to have gotten that right this generation is Nintendo…oh wait. The new console took it out. And charged the same price for it. Son of a switch. Adding to the backwards compatibility problem is the fact that PSone classics won’t work with the Vita at launch. No word if it ever will though. Why is this so hard? The Vita can probably handle PS3 games, let alone PSone. At this point, just tell us that none of the stuff we have now will work on this new piece of technology. Stop teasing us. Also, gamers’ PSN account will only be able to work on one device. If you get another, you have to deactivate it on the first device before using it on the second. This doesn’t bother me too much but having to deactivate it first is annoying. It should just automatically deactivate the first one when you use the second device. It sucks you can’t have your account on more than one device but I understand why.

The memory cards however. Oh my god. Seriously, Sony. WTF is your problem? $120 for 32 GB of storage? I understand you want your proprietary memory cards to fight piracy but those prices are insane. What made this worse is I learned later that the Vita has no system storage. To save anything, you need the memory card. To download anything, you need the memory card. Some games require a memory card to even boot up. What I’m getting at is you need a memory card when you buy the Vita. The cheapest option is $30 for a 4 GB card. So with the Vita being $250, a memory card being $30, and taxes, you’re going to pay around $300. 4 GB isn’t a lot and you’ll probably fill it up by the third game you download so you’re going to want more. So while $300 may be the cheapest option, it isn’t the most logical. Let me go at this another way. The Vita is being marketed to the hardcore community. As such, many core gamers are going to want to buy the best option they can get. That would mean buying the 3G model and the biggest memory card. So that’s $300 and $120. That’s $450 with taxes and I haven’t even mentioned games yet. That’s actually not a realistic number because the hardcore wouldn’t pay that because the hardcore know they’re being screwed by Sony. Especially in this economy, that is too much money to be spending on a handheld. Why would I spend money on a handheld that costs more than a console? It’s strange to me that this device needs a memory card when most devices now have onboard storage. I could be more forgiving if this was just if you wanted to expand the memory beyond what’s on the device already but this is required. Sony has really shot themselves in the foot and I feel that gamers that were planning on dropping $300 bucks this upcoming February on it are now going to wait until the price drops.

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