Saturday, October 18, 2014

Let's Talk - "PS Vita"

For the longest time now Sony's PS Vita has fallen under the scrutiny of gamers, and like-minded biased journalists who haven't even experienced the console for themselves. Like most products on the internet, one biased, and uneducated journalist/gamer spouts nonsense about what he/she doesn't know about the console, and in turn has all of their followers believing the same damn thing. This act of leading the gamer astray then leads to more of the negative news spreading through other journalistic outlets, and the internet itself. The fact that Sony does little in the way of promoting the underrated handheld through informative ads, and commercials further leads potential buyers to believe what they hear in regards to these rumors/gossip.

There's actually a lot Sony could be doing to improve upon sales of the PS Vita, and they could be thwarting the threat of falsely biased opinions by doing said things, but they act as if they don't want to support the Vita much at all any more. Sure the PS Vita is getting numerous noteworthy releases, and additional content on a regular basis, but without proper promotion, and consumer education it will never be able to rise as the great handheld console that it truly is. As it stands the PS Vita has an impressive game library that outshines that of the 3DS by a longshot, and is one that is being constantly updated with more titles of significance than the PS4, and PS3. Not only that, but it also has superb graphics in comparison to Nintendo's 3DS as well as audio capabilities that push such a console's limits. Coming from a man who owns & plays both said handhelds I can honestly atest to the durabilty, and overall quality construction of the Vita as well. I've dropped my PS Vita several times, and it has yet to break in any way. Not only that, but the applied controls feel much more natural than that of the 3DS. Sadly without gamers admitting to such things though the popularity of the Vita will eventually fade out, and the console itself will eventually die out as a gaming alternative.

If you've been following me this year you'll know that I've been hard at work promoting PS Vita games through my reviews. Most of the games I have reviewed for the PS Vita have turned out to be recommendable, and have gained favorable verdicts from me. There's been plenty of noteworthy JRPGs from the likes of NISA, Koei Tecmo, and ATLUS. There's even been amazing indie releases like that of 'Velocity 2X', and even some fighting games such as 'Arcana Heart 3 Love Max!!!!!', and 'BlazBlue: Chronophantasma' from aksysgames that did alright for themselves. As I said before though with this flood of good points also comes some negative points from naysayers who would tell you otherwise. As many negative points that people point out about the Vita there are still an equal, if not greater collection of positive points not being mentioned by those who have the internet review outlets to do so. I have personally never gone in-depth about the PS Vita on my blog, but I have briefly praised it from time to time on the internet through social media outlets. Regardless of my efforts, and those of others the fact remains that gamers need to be properly educated about the PS Vita if it is to be recognized for it achievements as a new generation of Sony handhelds. If that means getting store demo units out to the popular department stores, and leaving journalists' opinions in the dust then that's what needs to be done.

I guess the point I'm trying to make in all of this is don't always believe what you read, or hear online. Not everyone has your best interests in mind, but there are a handful of journalists like myself who are in it solely for the love of the game. If you've stopped by here on occasion you'll know that I do not monetize my blog in any way. I'm not a sellout either. I don't believe in boogering up my easy to navigate blog with ad-sense litter, and honestly don't care about earning money for my reviews. I've always been into journalism for two reasons, and two reasons only. One, I love more than anything to voice my opinion about things I'm passionate about. Secondly, I absolutely love writing, and sharing learned facts about said products with those who are willing to read through the paragraphs of material that I post. You, my friends are one of the main reasons I do what I do.

Getting back to the Vita though ...

Aside from superior graphics, and an overall impressive games library the PS Vita also excels in sound quality. Unlike the 3DS which has volume control issues, and sound that is anything but next-gen you'll find that the PS Vita  has neither issue. Whether you let the audio play out through the speakers, or through your headphones you'll feel as if you are listening to a high quality new generation gaming console. I personally enjoy cranking up the volume, and letting the in-game soundtracks play through the speakers. If you like superior sound quality, and like a good volume control option then the PS Vita is a no brainer.

On the flip-side, when it comes to getting the most out of your PS Vita you will also find as I did that Sony's mandatory high volume memory cards aren't exactly gamer friendly in regards to cost efficiency. If there's one downside to the Vita the cost of a memory card would be it. I mention this because having a proper memory card is necessary if you wish to partake of multiple full game releases, and want said game releases on your PS Vita at all times. When I bought my PS Vita I opted to go with "The Walking Dead" bundle which came complete with the "Walking Dead" game series, and an 8GB memory card. Seeing as I didn't have any money outside of what was needed for the PS Vita bundle purchase, and required a memory card to play on the console it was a wise decision on my part. At the same time though I soon found out like many other PS Vita owners that 8GB of PS Vita memory was a mere drop in the bucket of what would be necessary to amass a boast worthy collection of games, apps, and other PS Vita offerings. Eventually I pony'd up the dough, and bought a 32GB card which cost me close to $80. I think having to go through Gamestop to get one ramped the cost up significantly.

Being this late into the PS Vita launch I figure the price of PS Vita memory cards will eventually drop. If Sony had offered affordable memory options from the start though I imagine the PS Vita would have sold much better than it currently has. Sadly they chose not to do so. The expensive memory cards might very well have be the PS Vita's Achille's heel at the moment, but the good news, aside from hopeful price drops is that you can find 64GB memory cards for a much less cost than what I paid for my 32GB. At the end of the day you really have to shop smart when buying a PS Vita, especially when you are shopping for a sufficiently sized memory card to go along with it. Like any gaming console the hobby upkeep of a PS Vita can become quite expensive, but worth it if you can afford it.

The Verdict ...

To sum it all up I personally think that the PS Vita is this generation's best handheld console. It has superior graphics, and sound quality as well as a durable build that will keep your gaming investment intact should you drop it once, or twice from a lesser height. The only downside, if any is the fact that Sony controls the memory card monopoly, and you must pay their currently high prices to get a proper memory card for your PS Vita downloads. If you have the money, and the hankering for a quality gaming experience though the PS Vita is the way to go. You'll find a game library of impressive, and exclusive titles waiting to greet you if you are willing to give it a chance. I do hope that each, and every one of you give the PS Vita a chance if you can afford it.

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