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Playstation Vita Review: Fancy Hardware, Bad Firmware, No software.


You may already know that the PS Vita is in trouble. Big trouble. Just a mere few months after release sales bottomed out. News on the future of the system are limited to say the least. Few games are announced for the rest of 2012. There's even a few like Bioshock Vita, that have been delayed for an unknown length of time. Even Sony has failed to give reassurance of the Vita's future, much in the same way as they did with the PS 3 in it's first year. WHY!? Why has the Vita hit so hard? Is it bad timing? Does it suck? Well, here.....we......GO!

Let's do a compliment sandwich up in here shall we? First, the PS Vita has all the bells and whistles that all other mobile devices have, all shoved into one sleek little handheld, but support for said features are hit and miss, BUT Uncharted: Golden Abyss proves that the Vita is the greatest and most powerful handheld ever made. Well, that's a pretty good start. Now, let's just get going a little more here. The PS Vita isn't just super powered. It's insanely overpowered. I mean, the specs are insane. We are literally talking about a handheld that not only crushes it's peers, but rivals it's home console parents. This thing is crazy. That seems good, until you consider $50 handheld games. The fact may come to be realized that a handheld can not support games that demand a 2 year, 50 million dollar production cycle, meaning you will be using 4 cores of power (and paying for them) to play Angry Birds......

Overall, if you ignore the current lack of a software the Vita is amazing, but there is a bigger problem then just a lack of Vita games.

Lies. Lot's and Lot's of lies. Instead of building up the ACTUAL capabilities of the Vita, Sony decided they could make up lies even better. These lies are the reason the Vita has crashed. Sony has been shoving the PS Vita at gaming journalists making big claims. This is not the result of unconfirmed rumors. This is straight from Sony's mouth. Let's do a little Sony Bullshit round up....

1.) Sony claimed the PS Vita could use Remote Play to play any PS 3 game through Wifi, or 3G. At E3 Sony showed the PS Vita playing Killzone 3. This was one of the three major features of the PS Vita. REALITY CHECK: The PS Vita is compatible with almost none of the PS 3 library. The only "Next Gen" game it is compatible with is "Lair"......but so was the original PSP. Sony claims they "Hope to have an update" sometime in the future. Sony didn't say "The PS Vita may someday be able to remote play PS 3 games." They said it did, and showed it doing so. They have in no way stated a possible release of said update, and didn't even confirm they were working on one. They merely say they hope maybe, someday, eventually, it will happen. The exact same thing was said for the original PSP.

2.) Crossplay! Man, it's gonna be so awesome. One of the biggest reasons for getting the Vita was the fact that you could play games on your PS 3, and then continue them of your Vita. Sony wouldn't confirm how you could do this, but very strongly suggested you would download the game to the Vita's hard drive, and play it that way. The reason they kept it so vague is that it was basically total Bullshit. First, you have to have the PS 3 version. Then a developer has to make a compatible Vita version. You then have to buy both of them. Currently only four or five games are supported, all of them being shit. You'll probably say, "Is one of the compatible games Killzone, Skyrim, Call of Duty, Bioshock, Need for speed, Mass Effect, Saints Row, GTA, or Red Dead Redemption?" I'd reply, "No. Hustle Kings, MLB 12 The Show, and Wipeout 2048." Pool, baseball, and hover car's. Now you'd say, "Well, it just came out! You have to give it time!!!!" Actually the consumer doesn't have to do anything. That is the cold hard truth of business.

3.) Backward compatibility: The PS Vita is cutrrently capable of playing many of the PSP games that were available for the ill fated PSP go. Not all of them mind you. This would have actually been okay IF, other features would have been completed on release. having most games work is good, but Sony really needed to do something right. Something to fall back on. Add the handful of missing PSP titles, the lack of PS1 classic support (currently you can only play PS one games via remote play) and the fact that the PS Vita can't even play all of the Mini games, and it just looks like a mess.

Now, if this was all just technical hangups, or momentary set backs, maybe they could be forgiven, but it's not. It's firmware. The PS Vita can in fact do all these things right now, but Sony locked all these features with firmware. They openly advertised these features and then locked the features once they shipped the product and only released the fact that these features were missing after launch. Hell, until launch, everyone thought the thing flipp'n was a phone. Even game journalists were surprised when they received the system to find what it was not.

At the end of the day the PS Vita is an iPhone, that isn't a phone ,but may someday play really cool ports of PS 3 games you played 2 years ago. It's not completely worthless. If you don't have an iPhone, or iPad some of the current features will seem amazing, but when put head to head with the iPhone, and iPad, the PS Vita is crushed. There are a million ways that the PS Vita COULD have been amazing. The ability to take your PS 3 games with you to work through cross play or remote play, as a fancy PSP, or as a flip'n PHONE, but as is the PS Vita is 100% dependent n games made especially for it that no developer can actually afford to make. Hell, big developers are even scaling back console support. Without these features to take advantage of existing assets the PS Vita will starve to death.

To sum up my experience with the PS Vita, I give you this:

In desperation I thought to myself, well at least it can be a cool little micro console that i can connect to my TV......right? Now, of course I can hook the PS Vita to an HD TV.....right......RIGHT!? OH WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? ARE YOU TELLING ME I CAN'T EVEN HOOK THIS UP TO MY TV EVEN THOUGH I COULD HOOK MY PSP UP TO MY FUCKING TV!!!!? FUCKING, COME ON SONY!!! ARE YOU FUCKING BRAIN DEAD!???? WHY CAN'T I HOOK THIS PIECE OF SHIT TO MY FUCKING TV!!!????

SONY: "We are currently looking into expanding the features of the PS Vita, but currently have no comment on future additions to it's functionality."


SONY: "We are confident that our fan's are pretty used to being repeatedly butt raped, so we have no intention of rushing around trying to make them happy. In fact we kind of hate them and hope they die. It was actually the only reason that the PSP GO existed. To condition our fans for being shit on."

ME: "Oh, I see. I understand. I mean, there is honor in just yielding to Nintendo, Microsoft and Apple and admitting when someone is clearly Superior to you in every possible way. It would just be pathetic if you were actually trying."


In all seriousness, the PS Vita is not what it was, and still is advertised as being. Is it kind of cool? Yes, it is very cool, but the exact same way that the 3DS is cool. The big problem is that it's not worth buying right now. Sony has a lot of work ahead of them that should have all been completed before launch. Which is exactly what Sony is not known for doing. The PS 3, PSP and PSP GO, all suffer from Sony's knack for making huge claims that are unsupported at launch and making promises that they never keep through out the entire life cycle of the hardware. It's pretty obvious that the chances of "Remote Play on any PS 3 game, further support for PSP titles, and mini's, or a less costly way of cross play" are not going to happen. Instead we will see security updates, and anti piracy measures.

IF Sony comes through, and expands PSP support and Remote Play, all the while gaining a few major titles under their belt, by this time next year the PS Vita will be a cheaper must have. As of right now, it is fancy hardware with bad firmware and no software.
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About tonicmoleone of us since 1:08 PM on 11.08.2010

I am tonicmole, the prince of unicorns. Straight unicorns.....that breath fire and crap rainbows of destruction, like in the bible. They also feast on the souls of fire imps and pee on them....with fire. They constantly sing a wonderous song about the dangers of premarital sex, and how the danger is what makes it fun. I ride them to the top of Mount Airious where I cry to the god of good feelings known as The Southern Dandy to show me the way to the Happy Land. He replies, "All you have to do is believe in the magic of imagination." I then track his voice through the clouds and harpoon him in the face. As the god plummets from the sky he cries out, "Why!?" and I reply, "Because I am god damn tonicmole!" I then pee on him.
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