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By T.C.INKWELL

The Playstation Vita. Like the large tattoo-sporting pacifist in the crowd at a NOFX concert, the Vita stands posing a great threat to those who look on with concern. Muscle-bound and mohawk sporting, onlookers would have to assume this guy was capable of something big, right? Sony’s latest handheld appears to have the power to threaten the comfy portable market established by Nintendo, however with a lack of interesting releases on the horizon, it’s hard for even the most dedicated gamer to justify the price of admission. So what’s it going to take for the Vita to rise from the flames of an untimely death? The obvious answer is GAMES. . . GOOD games.

Looking at the line up available on store shelves today, I have a hard time picking more than three titles that would entice me enough to pick up the system, and ALL THREE are games I've played on other consoles: Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Muramasa Rebirth. For the record, Gravity Rush and Soul Sacrifice look interesting. . . While these are good games that I would love to have portable versions of, a mere three ports is not a good score for a system that’s been out for over a year, and the even more troubling news is that there’s not much else on the horizon.


                                                  What game you got in there, Kaz?

Relying heavily on third-party developers to fill their release schedules with quality software may have worked in the PS1 days, but today’s market is one where system exclusives are rare, and convincing developers to pledge projects for a handheld that Sony themselves barely seems able to support doesn’t sound like a safe investment at all. While I’ve always bought and enjoyed the latest Game Boy or DS, it was because I knew at the very least Nintendo was going to back it up with some first-party “must-haves” that would deem the system worthwhile to my palette. My confidence in Sony as a developer is not quite the same as the Killzones and God of Wars pile up. While indie titles and the PSN market are slowly breathing life into the system, I'm still short a solid reason or "must-have" title to get me on board with the Vita.     

Showcasing the system’s ability to play generations of Playstation software, along with the kind of cross-platform connectivity demonstrated in the PS3 and Vita releases of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal are the selling points Sony needs to make to get fans to toss in on the portable Playstation experience. Speaking as someone who paid over $400 for a Japanese launch day PSP only to end up buying five games in the system’s entire lifespan, I can’t help but look to the future release forecast with caution as I consider sinking dollars into Sony’s handheld waters for a second time. The promised PS4 connectivity features are encouraging, but still on a long list of "wait-and-sees" that have to be considered. Not sure what’s in store for Sony's pocket monster in the meantime, but if a price drop is part of it, you might just have me on board sooner than later. –T.C.


          Titles like Dragon's Crown are moving you UP in the world, Vita! Keep 'em comin'
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