Buy or Not to Buy a Playstation Vita

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The PlayStation Vita is an amazing piece of technology. Vita graphical capabilities cannot be compared to any device ever made. Sorry Nintendo, but Sony really knows how to make an amazing hardware, even though I do think in terms of software they are not so great. However, Sony has failed to become Vita’s popular. Besides for Japan, where Sony and every PlayStation product is incredibly popular, Vita has been a failure everywhere else in the world. According to Sony, they sold only 10 million PS Vita worldwide, which is already the least famous PlayStation console ever created. I have absolutely no regrets about buying my PS Vita a couple months ago. Sony has almost successfully implemented a common environment for all PlayStation devices (PS3, PS4, PS Vita and PS TV). However, I’m always wondering why Vita is a failure in terms of sales. I decided to point it out what I do and don’t like about my Vita. The bad things first:

What I dislike on the Vita:

  • Ports are not well done on the Vita: Well, it was kind of expected, but some of the ports seem unplayable. I’m looking for you Jak and Dexter Collection. Some of the games are playable, like God of War Collection and Borderlands 2, but they don’t keep the same quality at all. Frame rate drops a lot of sometimes, but still fun if you enjoyed these games on the PS3.
  • The memory card is very expensive: I don’t need to talk about it. It is the worst thing on the Vita by far. Sony could not use proprietary memory cards by any means. SD memory cards are so cheap and well stablished on the market. Vita’s memory card, which could be a simply SD, are very expensive. It was a huge mistake for Sony, if they want to continue on the handhelds market, which I wish they will, they cannot keep proprietary memory cards. However, I got surprised the games that you buy physically, which I do prefer instead of digital, do not install on the memory card. I’m still very upset with these last two generations (7th and 8th – PS3 and PS4), because in most cases they install the entire game on the hard disk even though you’ve bought the physical game. There’s no difference between going digital or physical in this case. It is really annoying.
  • No AAA games at all: Sony have kind of gave up on the Vita. The system was labeled a legacy device by one of their executives a couple months ago. They will not make AAA games for the Vita, and it annoys me is so many ways. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Gravity Rush look amazing on the Vita, and they should keep trying to give us quality games.

What I really like on the Vita:

  • Remote Play: It works almost perfectly on the PS4. There are a couple games that even implemented a Vita interface for playing their games such as Destiny and Far Cry 4. Playing PS4 games on the bed far away from the console is an amazing experience.
  • Indie games run perfectly: If you are like me and don’t like to play Indie games in a big screen, the Vita is your perfect choice for playing those games. Indie games are just perfect for the Vita, the 8-bit quality runs amazing on Vita’s screen. I strongly recommend playing games such as Guacamelee, Shovel Knight, Rogue Legacy and Hotline Miami on the Vita.
  • Vita has an amazing library: Besides the already amazing Indie games, Vita has a lot of good games. Persona 4 Golden, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Gravity Rush are great games. Otherwise, some ports work just fine on the Vita like Final Fantasy X.

So, if you are thinking about getting a Vita, I think overall it worth your money. Sony has made some questionable decisions with the Vita. But, I still think the console is amazing. One of the most underrated gaming consoles of all time.

The PSTV is Nothing, But a Failure

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I was one of the people who got really excited when Sony announced the PSTV. Even though, Sony gave me good reasons to buy one at full price, I wisely decided to wait a while to get mine. After using it for a couple months, I can tell the PSTV is nothing but a disappointment for me. There’s a lot of frustration on it, mainly when the PSTV seemed to have so much potential that was wasted. How awesome will be having such a small and cheap device that can connect to Netflix and YouTube, and it is still able to stream PS4 games and let us play PSN games. Should be amazing, but it isn’t. The first big concern is related to the lack of applications for PSTV. If Sony has developed the PSTV to compete against Chromecast and Apple TV, they were not able to provide the consumers the most basic apps. The PSTV doesn’t have apps such as Netflix and YouTube. It doesn’t make any sense. Even the product’s name is misplaced in this case. They should not call it PSTV, there’s no really much “TV” on it. It is not a huge deal as long as the other PlayStation consoles (PS3 and PS4) still got those apps.

Moreover, my biggest concern with PSTV comes from where it should not fail by any means: the gaming department. In theory, players are able to play most Vita games on the PSTV. But just in theory, because at least half of my games don’t work on it. I mainly bought the device because of this feature. PS Vita has so many good games that deserve being played on a big TV. Unfortunately, due to Vita’s touch screen, which could not be implemented in a regular TV, many games are not compatible with PSTV. However, Sony screwed some games that should work just fine. One of the examples is the game Hot Shot Golf: World Invitational. I have been a fan of the series since the PS1 era. So, I decided to give it a try after playing it on my friend’s PSNow account. For those who don’t know, PSNow is a paid subscription that allows players to stream a bunch of PlayStation games. The majority of the games come from the PS3 generation. It works like a Netflix for games. For my disappointment, even though Hot Shot Golf is available on PSNow, it is not compatible with PSTV. There’s almost no touch screen feature on that game. Sony should work on adapting most of the games that are not compatible by now. If I own the game, I want to be able to play it on my PSTV.

I don’t regret buying the PSTV for two reasons: I spent only 39 bucks, and I’m able to play Persona 4 Golden, which is by far my favorite Vita game, on the big screen. But, I’m kind of disappointed with Sony. They don’t invest on PSTV or PS Vita. Both devices have a lot of potential. They are just concerned with PlayStation 4 success. Shame on you Sony, you guys could be even bigger than you already are.

Some Tendencies Need to Die (Part I)

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I consider myself neither an old school gamer nor a modern kid who only plays new stuff. I usually play a lot of modern games for sure, but my favorite games come from the 6th generation, the PS2 generation to be more precise. However, there are a lot of things in this last two generations (7th and 8th) that annoys me so much. One of them is the online gaming. Don’t get me wrong, playing online is awesome for most kind of games, but they don’t work for all of them. Besides, a few games should focus on online gaming. Call of Duty is a good example of a game that should provide a better online experience than offline. However, I don’t want to see even a game such as Call of Duty not having an offline campaign (they already did it for PS3/Xbox 360 consumers in the new Black Ops 3). The industry seems not to believe on me, they do think online gaming should be implemented in every single game. Furthermore, they are really into focusing on online gaming for many titles that really doesn’t fit the style. I tell you, it doesn’t work like that. I miss playing games offline with my friends. But, it is not the only problem. Some games are even not considering offline campaigns anymore, in order to provide a better online experience.

One of my big disappointments comes from one my favorite racing franchises of all time: Need for Speed. I remember having a blast playing games such as Need for Speed Most Wanted, Carbon, and my favorite Underground 2 in my PS2. When they announced that a new Need for Speed was coming out this year resembling the classic underground series, I almost have a heart attack. Could even throw away more than 60 bucks for a game like that. However, as almost always, the industry is doing something wrong once more time. The new Need for Speed will be an online game. They have already done the same thing in the last installment: Need for Speed Rivals, which is a barely average game. This decision disappoints me in so many ways. I think an online component can enhance the player enjoyment, but it should work much more like an additional experience, by any means the unique experience the game will offer. I remember myself playing the old campaigns on the PS2, and it was amazing. Why the industry thinks the online component is so important for gamers nowadays. Another huge problem comes from the lack of balance that most gamers face online. Many of us (like myself) don’t have time to play games all day long (I wish I had). When you play against guys who play almost every single day, it is not fun at all. These 12-year-old kids will destroy most of us who don’t have time to practice very often.

A good solution for the industry is a better analysis of the games that do need an online experience and those who don’t. It is unforgettable that a racing game will offer an online-only experience. FPS and RPG’s are more susceptible to online-only gaming experiences. However, most kind of games should not be online-only. Playing online is awesome for every game as long as it works as an additional feature, not the main and only one.