The North American PlayStation Vita Store Has a Ton Of Problems

ps vita 10-23-15-1

The PS Vita has a ton of problems, I will admit. There’s no game production from Sony proper anymore. Expensive memory cards. No price cut. No Platinum-like line. No advertisement. But there’s one tiny issue that seems very easy to fix, and it just seems to aggravate me the most lately. That would be the state of the PlayStation Store, at least in North America.

You see, the PlayStation Store on Vita has been something equivalent to a bunch of toys strewn around a child’s room for years. Some games have simply dropped off the face of the Earth. Parts of the store seem to have gone through a retooling, but have been left half-finished, like an incomplete kitchen restoration; as seen below:

Imagine a mansion with a bunch of wood hanging off it.

It continues on with four letters past this point.

It looks lazy and half complete, doesn’t it? And in case it wasn’t obvious, it lists PS1 classics, despite not mentioning that anywhere.

Notably, there’s a way to see only PS1 classics, but it’s hidden very well – the big banner of titles at the top has a small button hidden right at the end, back from when the Vita first received PS1 classic titles in the first place.

Good luck finding THAT without waiting around on the store.

Good luck finding THAT without waiting around on the store.

In case you don’t know, the Vita store in North America has a large, ‘master list’ of titles where every title should be listed in one of the many sections. The keyword here is ‘should’, as some titles have seemingly dropped off the face off the store entirely.

Notably, you can still buy the titles in question if you actively search them out or use the web store, you just can’t see them on this list. How did I find what games were missing, you might ask? I indexed every video I’ve done on my channel, cross-referenced the Vita store and the web store, and recorded the results.

youtube-dl is a fantastic tool and it saved me a ton of time.

youtube-dl is a fantastic tool and it saved me a ton of time.

The screenshots below show two views – on the right, you’ll see the store listing for the listed relevant Vita game. On the left, you’ll see that I’ve searched the web store for the game that’s missing and I’m showing that there is a Vita version missing from the listing on the Vita itself.

So let’s take a look at exactly what’s missing. And before you ask; I actually went through the effort of formatting my memory card and checking to see if these errors were consistent across stores by making a new NA PSN account; yes, they were as broken as on my regular one.

The most unfortunate casualty of this failure to index the store properly is arguably the smaller indie titles, the ones that you might not know about unless someone actively tells you or you follow the industry.

badland   finalhorizon   krinklekrusher  whispering

As you can see, the listings not being there means someone who’s just browsing through the store looking for something interesting to play just might not be able to actually learn about them.

This obviously is terrible for discoverability and sales; two things you expect would be top priority for a digital store. This does extend past smaller indies though.

bastion

The first game from indie darling Supergiant, Bastion, after being on sale for a couple of weeks, simply disappeared.

lamulana

La-Mulana EX, one of the hardest indie games ever made, also fell to this.

luftrausers

Luftrausers, from Super Crate Box and Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer also can’t be seen normally.

thebindingofisaac

What is even arguably the most important indie title today, almost single handedly introducing roguelikes into the popular sphere, is The Binding of Isaac’s remake, subtitled Rebirth, is gone too.

Now, the next few will have a common theme, and if you’re in touch with the indie scene, you’ll be able to tell what that is.

If you guessed the common theme, you win a cookie, but if you didn’t, let me help.

All five of these games were published by Curve Studios – they’ve done a lot for the Vita and made themselves one of my favorite developers in the process, and what did they get for it? Screwed, by what appears to be laziness from the people managing the PlayStation Store.

And yet, funnily enough, we’re still not done! Even the bigger publishers have lost a title or two down the drain.

childoflight

Child of Light is quite the delight but it stands quite bright that it’s not in sight. Ubisoft should get onto Sony before they beat this poor dead pony.

earthdefenseforce2

My favorite Earth Defense Force game doesn’t even show up on the store either. XSEED should be really mad about this.

naturaldoctrine

NIS America’s divisive turn based strategy game Natural Doctrine is gone as well; some might say the game became so complex as to form a black hole and dive inside it, but I digress.

warriors3

Tecmo Koei have lost a title as well; the crossover Musou title Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate has no listing on the store anymore.

WRC

I didn’t even know WRC4 had a release on the North American store. And yet, you can’t find it, and yet at the same time there’s TWO listings for WRC5. Why? Don’t ask me.

xblaze

And finally, it’s Aksys’ turn on the wagon – the second XBlaze game, Lost Memories, appears to have caused the Vita store temporary amnesia of its own.

And it doesn’t help that there are store items that simply don’t work or show up anyway. For example, despite the fact I own every Season 3 and 4 table for The Pinball Arcade, I can’t get them all in one go. Why? Hell knows. Also, there’s this:

helldivers

Try looking through the Helldivers listing to find the game for purchase, that is if you already got it before they released the Super-Earth Ultimate Edition or whatever it was. You won’t be able to find the game for download and you’ll have to go through…

This unholy nonsense they call a download list.

This unholy nonsense they call a download list.

(Note: I recommend PSDLE. It has saved me so much grief.)

But wait, I’ve saved the best missing game until last. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on an ultimate display of incompetence.

resogun

Yes, that is actually real. RESOGUN, a game that Sony themselves published, and a regular partner of theirs developed, is completely missing from the US PlayStation Vita store.

As you can see, this is already quite incredible. All in all, there’s twenty eight games I managed to find that simply don’t have a listing in the store unless you know to seek them out. And honestly? I might have actually missed one or two others.

However, the problems don’t end there. You see, the Vita has had a bunch of games either be delisted for licensing reasons, or because they were online only games, but Sony, in their infinite wisdom, saw to leave a fair few gravesites in the store listings:

This one only shows the demo for Asphalt, but the listing on the store is still there, I promise.

This one only shows the demo for Asphalt, but the listing on the store is still there, I promise.

Rest in peace, Destiny of Spirits. I still have more to show you though; have a look at all the games that are, for some reason, in the Vita section of the store when they’re PSP or PSone games!

Breath of Fire, Enchanted Cavern, Sweet Fuse, and Valkyria Chronicles 2 are all PSP games.

There are also PS1 games listed here. Why are they here in this section? Who knows!

However, there’s one last thing I want to talk about. I want to draw your attention back to this example here:

mopoperationcleanup

I want you to pay attention to this game in particular. MOP Operation Cleanup only came out a few weeks ago, but was pulled from the store after 2-3 days on sale.

I’ve linked my video below; less than an hour into the game and I found things that would have failed any sort of quality assurance testing.

If you don’t want to watch the video, I’ll fill you in – the framerate is terrible, the vsync is broken to the point you can see the tearing, and some of the building walls are shrunk to a quarter of their normal size!

There doesn’t seem to be any kind of quality control anymore at Sony.

Any sort of test of this game would have proven that this game is massively broken in it’s current state (to my knowledge, the developers plan to fix the problems and re-release the game).

You know what the worst part about this example is, though?

It got a BANNER LINK. Are you ****ing kidding me.

It got a BANNER LINK. Are you ****ing kidding me.

They literally advertised this game at the top of the store for several days while people bought it and found it to be a buggy mess. The worst part is, that screenshot is from the day I’m writing this article – it’s still there, it just leads nowhere if you tap on it.

Honestly, I’m not even sure if Sony is vetting games for the service anymore.

Let me point you to an example that popped up right around the time MOP did – this game, this utter, utter turd of a game named Zombies: The Last Survivor, plays like something someone whipped up in PS Mobile but forgot to finish in time…or make good. It has to be seen to be believed.

The fact that Sony would allow this sort of game to show up on Vita is giving a hell of a negative showing for the Vita in general. This entire business with the store is. They’re free to not make games if they aren’t profitable. They’re even free to not do any more physical game releases.

But when you can’t keep your web store from becoming a mess of shovelware titles; keeping your worthwhile titles listed, and leaving the graves of failed experiments lying around, you look like you’ve just left it out to die.

Sony, please, for the love of god, sort this out. The Vita has gotten by on a strong Japanese and indie library; and with the right support it could continue like this for several years.

With notable releases mainly being digital only, the Vita can live or die on the cleanliness of the storefront at this point. All you need to do is go dust the shelves every week or so. And maybe cut those memory card prices while you’re at it, for good measure.

Update: I mistakenly said that a Sony first party made RESOGUN, when in fact Housemarque simply works with Sony on a lot of things, and the team that ported it to Vita, Climax, isn’t a first party either.

Ben Latimore

About

Eccentric PC and portable gamer. Would love to spend more time on his Vita if he could stop breaking the analog stick. Loves shooters, action games and the odd spot of racing.



  • Shiggy Diggy Doo

    I use the Web Store on my computer but Holy shit that’s inexcusable.

  • Scowling Meerkat

    Oh thank God, I’m not crazy and the Vita store actually sucks. Got a PSTV last year and when I went to look for a few specific games, I could only find the listing of their DLC on the market. I had to search the exact name of the game to get it to show up.
    Also despite the frequent sales PSN puts out, there’s no section that simply displays titles on sale that I can find, and if it IS there, then well.. still a problem since I couldn’t find it.
    Also tangentially related but the Store for the PS3 isn’t much better, as it has crashed 2 of the last 3 times I’ve visited it.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Wow, Sony REALLY doesn’t care about this thing.

  • Pillbugable

    I don’t have a Vita, so I didn’t know it was this bad. Holy shit, whoever is in charge of the store should be fired.

  • freedomfighter

    Just last night I tried downloading an avatar I bought onto the vita and apparently you cant even do that. This is simply negligence on sony’s part

  • Heavily Augmented

    How incompetent of a large scale publisher do you have to be to screw up this bad? It would be almost tragically hilarious if Sony is doing all of this intentionally to slowly act like it never existed. On a side note, it’s cool to see new writers at Niche Gamer.

  • James

    I commend your little Child of Light poem, it did not go unnoticed.

  • NeoSkyte

    Honestly everything about the PS Vita is a mess. Which is a shame too because there so many good games for it but like as you said the store is a mess and hard to find hidden gems that may have been released but you didn’t know about.

  • Firion Hope

    I also find it crashes a lot for no real reason. Could just be me, but still annoying.

  • NeoSkyte

    No kidding I have to use the Web Store to find anything and even the web store is a mess.

  • AR7777

    the store crashes on the ps3 all the time as well.
    I’ve also had problems with games not showing up on ps3 that I end up buying through the browser.
    It seems only ps4 store works properly now.

    I miss the old ps3 store that was faster and had a proper search function

  • _buchu

    Bought a PSTV bundle when it was under $50USD to play Persona 4:Golden and a few other titles. I just want the NA version of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles to work on the system as the EU version does.

  • Unbeliever

    I also have trouble finding some games on the regular ps store. I don’t think this is just specific on the Vita but it’s more noticeable there.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    Sony just does not give a single fuck about the Vita. It’s almost impressive really. I’m not even a huge Vita fanboy or anything but it’s really absurd just how little effort they put into the thing while still keeping it around. If something isn’t doing well for you, you either give it your full attention or you kill it. Don’t let it become a shambling zombie like this.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    The PS3 store is utter shit. I don’t even use it anymore I just purchase things on their online website (which isn’t amazing either) and go to download history or whatever.

    I frankly find it impressive how well the PS4 store works considering everything else Sony does with online stores.

  • grgspunk

    I reember how Corpse Party Book of Shadows disappeared from the PS Vita storefront. Had to tell XSEED on their forum to get it fixed. I’d say this problem is also in part due to game publishers not paying attention to whether their games can be discovered on the storefront. A lot of glitches can happen whenever the PSN gets updated.

  • menschmaschine

    Speaking of how bad the NA Vita store is, North America still hasn’t gotten the network media player app, the DLNA player. Europe and Asia got in November of 2014.

  • NuclearCherries

    The PlayStation Store in Europe is better, but still needs tweaking. We have the very same download list that could really use a search function. Using the web store is much better I find. You also don’t have to lay down a minimum £5 charge on the web store – something I detest.
    One thing I must complain about the European store is the utter lack of selection of PS1 classics on it, compared to the NA store. It’s an absolute disgrace!

    Also, welcome to the Nichegamer team Bluemaxima – I enjoy your videos.

  • benzene

    Sony goes beyond not giving a fuck about the Vita and actively works to break it. I remember a recent firmware update didn’t let you into the psn store at all.

  • TheManWithPants

    Sony, you’re making Uni very sad.
    http://i.imgur.com/HRiEdcQ.gif

  • Smug

    All the firmwares have been nothing but patches against CFW. You think they would improve the system like the wifi, browser, and other things but nope.

  • Aliens_Of_Gold

    I haven’t touched my machine since Valkyrie Drive came out, early December I think. Sony just drain all the energy out of me to even bother picking the damn thing up. Not only that, but most games that interest me on it either get censored, PS4 release, or no translations.

    I really love the little machine, but god damn Sony shot it in the head right from the start.

  • Johnathon

    When you think of it, it’s pretty disgusting, like lets bother a bunch of users with constant updates because some people might pirate.

  • monkeysrumble

    It’s like Sony is trying to kill the system but doesn’t actually want to so they’re just torturing it instead. It was a system that had such potential and it’s depressing watching Sony drag its beaten body in the dirt.

  • Aliens_Of_Gold

    I got a shock yesterday when I booted the PS4 store and noticed they’ve touched it again. Maybe they’re planning something big for the Vita and the store.

    That last part was my absolute shit attempt at internet sarcasm.

  • Wyatt

    Very nice article Mr. Latimore. I really hope some of these publishers take note of this incompetence on Sony’s part.

  • Aliens_Of_Gold

    Apart from PS1 and PSP games I don’t think hackers have discovered a way to play commercial Vita games yet.

    I had mine hacked way back with firmware 1.60 I think just so I could play my PSP games. Because Sony and backward compatibility are like water and oil.

  • Johnathon

    People can install windows XP on a vita, I think installing a game at that point is easy.

  • darkgamer001

    It’s a mess, I couldn’t even find some of the titles during the recent Capcom sale without specifically looking for them, and it took some time entering and exiting the PSN store to finally get Legends 2 to show up on my end

    But due to the atrocious pricing on the EU store…ye, I’m still gonna stick with my NA account, even though I’m European.

  • Aliens_Of_Gold

    Have you visited a little known store front called Steam lately?

  • Bitterbear

    But.. It has hardware that outperforms the 3DS! That’s the only thing that matters, right? Right? Right.

  • blackice85

    Yup, this is why I use the web store from my PC browser. It shouldn’t be this bad but it is.

  • blackice85

    At least the PS3’s store used to work at a decent speed. After a certain update where they changed it, it’s very laggy too, compounding the crapfest.

  • Zack

    I had no idea who Ben Latimore was… until I saw that Notepad screenshot, when I found out he’s actually BlueMaxima! Best Vita-exclusive channel on YT imo.

  • Taedirk

    You missed the other gigantic clusterfuck of the Vita storefront: the download list. Go find a game you bought 6-12 months ago and redownload it. Now do the same with something like Ragnarok Odyssey Ace or Senran Kagura which have enormous amounts of DLC. Let me know how long it takes before you want to throw the system at a wall.

  • blackice85

    And even if you use web store to facilitate the downloading by adding them to the queue, the Vita won’t start the process without you shutting it off and back on, because apparently it won’t check the queue when it’s already running. The PS4 does this right, if it’s in rest mode and you add to the download queue, it’ll wake and start the downloads.

  • Neojames82

    Good lord…Sony just didn’t really give a damn about its portable consoles do they? It seems to mirror what happened with the PSP, it did alright in Japan but it was left to rot everywhere else. Though I think that even the PSP got more love over here than the Vita by far.

    Which is a damn shame because both the PSP and PSV, with some better marketing and care Sony could have made Nintendo sweat in the portable arena.

  • Chocolate ISISCream

    Holy shit that’s terrible. I’ve never really had the chance to use the vita store since I’m using a VitaTV on 3.52. All the DLC and 2 digital games I bought were through PS3 then transferred.

  • passthegrenadeplease

    Its too late at this point to do anything worthwhile for the Vita, the shit has already hit the fan. The ridiculous memory card prices were pretty much the nail in the coffin, its a sinking ship for this handheld.

  • Nad Nod

    At least PSP sales was okay(not great though) and live lot longer, even on Scene side no one even care enough for Vita again kinda sad.

  • Never knew that Vita had such issues. I never owned the system.

  • djluke_1993

    PSP pretty much picked right up in sales after the heavy hacking scene started.

  • Neojames82

    Yeah it sound roughly over 83 million units which was pretty damn impressive. Current Vita sales? About 14 million, just BARELY passing up the Wii U, not great at all.

  • Neojames82

    Honestly, I want to probably pick up a Vita someday just to hack the hell out of it like I did with my PSP. XD

  • Neojames82

    When Sony starts putting more nails in the Vita’s coffin then you’ll probably see that barrier melt away.

  • Smug

    Considering how the handheld is becoming the next Sega Saturn in the West with very high-priced games (especially english releases) that cost a leg, the hack is getting more and more needed.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    I could at least deal with the lag if it didn’t outright crash like half the time.

  • Zero Eternity

    They cost $40 and PS4 games cost $20 more don’t they? Otherwise I agree it your statement.

  • Guin

    Good luck hacking what equates to a digital Supermax prison.

  • PenguinPlayer

    And I thought the Nintendo eShop with it’s nonsensical categories was bad. This is a really sad state of affairs.

  • Nad Nod

    Even Vita get native now i think it’s to late to catch up with their little brother PSP in term of profit and sales number, buy hey at least maybe some day we will get those delicious fans translation for good un-localize game.

  • Neojames82

    Well, I’ll admit it won’t happen over night but nothing is 100% unhackable.

  • Nad Nod

    If when they launch 2k series and remove those proprietary memory or make it cheaper at least half price not change the screens at least it will not as bad as it is now.

  • Smug

    I was speaking of certain games like Asia English releases (Soul Sacrifice Delta, Oreshika, Deception IV Nightmare Princess, Samurai Warriors 4-II, Nobunga Ambition, FFX-2 HD, etc.) which is near impossible to find or way too expensive now. Same for the games sold in the West only in limited edition (Senran Kagura SV, Ar NoSurge, Corpse Party Blood Drive, etc.).

    Japanese versions of games tend to be a lot less expensive in comparison, except the VNs (in which european resellers tend to sell them around 30 bucks because most of them are just speedrunning them for muh trophies)

  • Don Tworry

    I’d say this is a problem with all of the PSN stores on consoles. I just buy stuff on the computer then download them.

  • Tubsiwub

    The sad thing is, the Vita is my favorite handheld. Absolutely beautiful little machine… it makes me incredibly sad to see it mistreated.

  • tccboss

    I think I should tweet this to sony.

  • Sneezerdoc

    Its only a matter of time before the hackers open it up!!!!!!! Waiting patiently.

  • Tjoeb123

    “Noire…..How could you treat me, your own sister, like shit?! How….HOW COULD YOU?! *cries*”

  • Minuteworld92

    emulator when?

  • DrearierSpider

    Even Steam isn’t this bad as far as making sure the store/client actually works. They’re definitely worse with letting “developers” indiscriminately release broken or buggy pre-alphas onto the store (including many non early access games).

  • DrearierSpider

    Is anyone really surprised? This is the same company that’s had their online network held together by duct tape and Elmer’s glue for the past decade, with download speeds rivaling that of carrier pigeons.

  • Wonderkarp

    I just wish it had Crisis Core. Maybe the new remake will call for a HD Remaster of Crisis Core

  • Sangaz

    I gave up on the uk vita store ages ago, it’s no better. Had hell of a time just getting hold of all the dlc for Shinovi Versus back when it came out. Anyone would think Sony actually didn’t want my money.

  • A Loli de 42 Anos

    and that is why I only buy physical Vita games even though they are hard to find.

  • A Loli de 42 Anos

    Hey! that’s offensive to the carrier pigeons!

  • DrearierSpider

    Carrier pigeons are too fucking privileged, snail mail is the truly marginalized group.

  • scemar

    I like this sort of reporting.

    I’ve had my fair share of annoying, confusing and tedious experiences with the vita store myself, it works, but needlessly more complicated than it should be and so messy.

  • scemar

    Oh god yes, this a million times.

  • scemar

    Sadly I think it’d take a lot of very embarrassing memes everywhere ridiculing them into shame to get them to change things.
    They kind of gave up.

  • Ubrokemygrill?

    Of course Sony hates the Vita. It didn’t sell 10m its first year on marketing alone.

  • Eldhin Hellknight

    i’m always having problems with that stupid store on my Vita

  • AlexiusY

    The EU store has none of these problems – just the occasional disconnect. I can see all those games just fine in the storefront. The categories seem better organised too. However, there are some (older) titles that aren’t available in certain regions, but that’s the publisher’s fault. (Vagrant Story as a PS1 classic for example isn’t available in the Croatian store.) The download list is the worst problem, it’s completely backwards, so you’re forced to use the PC store if you’re looking for a specific download.

  • bL4Ck

    it’s a mess in europe too, i remember i couldn’t find in the vita store a game that launched a couple of days earlier: searching it from the search function returned the game, but you couldn’t find it manually by looking for it in the store.

  • Zero Eternity

    True when you have to import them it really does suck.

  • Lester Paredes

    Even worse, they can’t get game info right, like the recently re-released Metal Gear Portable Ops says it’s PSTV compatible, and yet it isn’t. At least, I haven’t gotten it to work…

  • awvnx

    Yeah, hardware sales, but certainly not game sales.

  • Sylveria Shini

    You’re really better off doing all your Vita shopping through the internet browser or something. Its just… less shitty.

  • awvnx

    Well, those games go on sale all the time on PSN. Something like Ar nosurge becomes $16 in less than a year. Oreshika has been $10, SSD has been $5, Senran Kagura, CP has been <$20.

    It sounds like you're talking about the high prices of some limited physical copies of games, but hacking the Vita won't bring you physical carts. You'll be playing pirated games on a memory card.

  • awvnx

    Yes, you pretty much need PSDLE to use the download list. It keeps scrolling up after each download. I don’t know why Sony couldn’t have just implemented a check box.

  • Chris Mendivil

    naw man, need to get more love for the pony express xD

  • They gave up on the vita and its a great handheld system. I would buy more classics but the service and prices are shitty. They should all be 5$

  • Michael Richardson

    Sad thing is that it’s still easier to navigate PSN on Vita than it is on the PS4

  • ShinMegamiSensei

    Another problem I’ve noticed is that not all the price cuts show up on the “deals” page. Also, not all PSP games show up on the system’s store. I bought Capcom Classics Collection Remixed, a PSP game, and had to download it to my PS3 and then to the Vita.

  • Destiny13777

    I don’t know if anyone else has this problem but it’s like exclusive to my Vita and my Playstation TV. Everytime I go on the store I usually get an error as soon as it loads or as soon as I click anything. It’s really freaking annoying and its not a problem with either the PSTV or the Vita since I recently switched from the 1000 to the 2000. Nothing else in my house has issues so it’s not a wifi thing either, the store is such a mess I swear. Not to mention everytime I download something I never see an image, it gives me a corrupt icon, thankfully the games themselves aren’t corrupt.

  • InkBrush

    You have no idea how asinine it is. Especially when PS1 games that aren’t downloadable on there have to move from downloaded on the PS3 through the content manager.

  • Narmy

    The PS3 download list is bad as well. At least they finally got it right with the PS4 game library.

  • Narmy

    There was that one that increased the limit of bubbles.

  • Siveon

    Those are very common issues, I have them all the time. The store is just unstable in NA and hardly works most of the time. Less so for the PS3 at the moment.

    Sony just doesn’t care.

  • Siveon

    Oh hey, Blue Maxima. Love your channel bro.

  • Raziel Barkrai

    Some games don’t even drop in price as they get older. Atelier Totori is still $40 and that was released around 3 or 4 years ago. Granted that’s probably up to the developer, but it’s still bullshit.

  • Brooks Cannon

    Hey no to “um actually” you, but Housemarque, the developer of Resogun isn’t a first party Sony studio. While most of their games are PlayStation exclusives, they aren’t owned by Sony and one of their games, Outland, is available to buy on Steam.

  • Brooks Cannon

    Oh this article is great though! You put in a lot of hard work on this, I can tell, and I knew the store sucks but I didn’t know just how broken it really is.

  • Obbliglol

    The EU PSN store isn’t much better, on PS4 or Vita. The way that DLC is just randomly strewn about a list is awful (not dlc pack1>2>3 but dlc pack 15>3>[actual fucking game itself]>5 etc) and that fact that there isn’t just a standard “PSone classic” section is ridiculous. Searching for PSone games is a nightmare.

    They gave up on the Vita way too early, and I really liked Freedom Wars – I got a lot of fun out of that. But no, it didn’t sell 20+ million on zero advertising/zero marketing with a digital-only release in Europe (with gutted Accessory VA) in the first month, so now it’ll be left to rot like so many other potential franchises.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    I KNEW IT WAS NOT JUST ME

  • Kaboom

    I definitely agree… If more people knew about the Vita and the system had more games, I’m fairly certain people would go straight to the Vita instead of the 3DS… Better graphics, more content, not to mention little to no need of being child friendly, which Nintendo is all about. Heck when I got my Vita it’s the only game system I played for quite a few years… I’m just playing the 3DS again because my backlog’s too big lol.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    That’s a very in depth anaylisis but to this day, my biggest quarrel with the US PSN (Web or native on PSV) is the fact that you can’t download certain PSP games / DLCs even though said content works. For like two weeks in March / April 2014, they flipped a switch and could buy / download everything (which is how I got to download the God Eater Burst DLC) then they changed their mind and flipped the switch again, leaving a lot of content unavailable unless you own a PS3~.

    This isn’t about Sony and its mistreatment of the PSV, this is about the American branch being completely useless~.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    In this scenario, it’s not about the PSV. Sony of America fails at a lot of things when it comes to the PSN, that its most egregious flaw is the PSV doesn’t change the fact this is the company that still doesn’t let you do some kind of sorting on your purchased digital content list. Good luck if you’ve bought a ton, you’ll be scrolling for a while~.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    Play-Asia charges a ton, I’ll agree that much but XSEED’s LEs have never costed more than 50 tops which is perfectly fine when the normal game costs 40 (which, again, is fine too; 3DS games cost the same)~.

    Regular importers (ie: NCX) won’t charge you more than 50 for the Asia / English version of games~.

    The only games that really cost too much are NISA’s limited run games like Ar NoSurge, Atelier Escha & Logy+ et all but you can blame scalpers for that~.

  • Smug

    Which is still limited to 100 bubbles tho. The trick is to put the games inside folders, but it’s still kind of stupid. I prefer the PSP menu much better.

    Not to mention I want to delete the Welcome Park and near, but no use.

  • Smug

    Not going to bother with PSN considering there are high chances the support will be dropped soon in the West. I’m willing to bet it’ll stay longer in Japan in comparison.

    From my current situation, the CFW will be especially for the digital-only games (Touhou, Phantom Breaker, Jet Set Radio HD, Resogun, etc.) and the DLCs.

  • awvnx

    Why would Sony drop support? PS3 and PSP digital games all continue to work fine. Even with the PSP store closing, you can still download your PSP games from your PSP, or buy PSP games from the web store.

  • Smug

    You’re still a slave to the online digital distribution services regardless, so no thanks.

  • Destiny13777

    That’s so inconvenient since I basically have to buy games from the site, then try to get to the download list on the vita or hope the download to vita option on the site works for once.

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Wow, it’s really bad in the west. I keep my Vita linked to the japanese account(at this point it’s the only way you can fully love the system). The search engine in the japanese store is better from what I can see and it has a lot of free stuff, like themes and apps

  • DizzyGear

    You forgot the metric fucking ton of horrible themes they keep shitting out on the NA vita store with 0 QA.
    I Still remember they promised the Freedom Wars themes and it took them forever to actually release them.
    Same with another Sony published game Oreshika. At first they only gave away a goddamn wallpaper until people asked for the theme of the game.
    I mean what fuck. How hard can it be to put up the theme for sale.

  • RPG

    I had a legitimate chuckle upon reading that. It was needed after the rest of the article made me want to cry.

  • DizzyGear

    Make that western braches since SCEE is even worse.

    Never forget SCEE wanted to release Gravity Rush, a signature launch title, as download only.

  • Smug

    yeah the JPN store is definitively better all around, and that only confirms more that the Vita will stay a full-japanese handheld

  • Karl Smith

    You know Ben (BlueMaxima) I have to agree 100% with you.

    The Vita store is seriously annoying to use due to the infamous ”The connection to the server has been lost (NP-2244-2)” that I always constantly get everytime I use the store. It even sometimes won’t even open despite the PSVita store is so piss broken and tedious, I even smash my Vita in the process in frustration. It’s just a mess and damn shame really.

    The PS4 store is miles better and they even fix the issues quickly, I mean fuck Vita owners right?

  • j0eeyy_p

    You talk about piracy is the saviour for Vita, but the moment the Vita is cracked will be the moment support is dropped in the West for good. Why should publishers work towards localising games when half their audience will pirate them and get the same goddamn product?

    Not to say I’m anti-piracy though. I do want the Vita cracked so the visual novels can get translated (I really want Aiyoku no Eustia and Net High in English, among others) and for emulator development but that’s literally it.

    At least I’m finally getting my Nipponese into gear thanks to this. Importing is getting a lot more frequent now for Vita games. My import list is growing.

    Also to find the physicals, see Heavy Arm Online Gamestore. That’s where I get my Asian English physicals from.

  • j0eeyy_p

    Get the Vita versions if they aren’t shit, keep the Vita alive, kupo! ^O^

  • Smug

    “but the moment the Vita is cracked will be the moment support is dropped in the West for good”

    Considering how that joke of the support is, there will be literally no difference

    More than 3/4 of my Vita library is imported japanese shit anyway.

  • j0eeyy_p

    Not really, the only difference is that Sony will officially wash their hands of it. I was actually meaning support in terms of the localisations though, companies may just stop deciding to bring over Vita games and release them on PS4 and PC instead (even though it’s still possible to pirate the PC version)

  • Smug

    It already happened though, despite best efforts of others supporting Vita localizations.

    Thats why your best bet with the handheld is importing shit (often used) and/or waiting for a CFW

  • j0eeyy_p

    You’re right to a point, almost every Vita excluisve in Japan that comes west is getting a PS4 or PC version. Less incentive for people to get the Vita version. It sucks. It makes you wonder how big the market is and how Vita games are selling, but without actual sales data (which is under NDA) I doubt we’ll ever know. It makes me doubt we’ll get any of Marvelous’s Vita exclusive games (and I don’t just include Takaki’s games in that).

    I’ll be importing even though it’ll cost a ton. And if a CFW comes up, depending on what it is I’ll get a fourth Vita so I can use it.

  • buddyluv324

    It was obvious that the NA Vita store way pretty fucked up, but this only added to the nasty can of worms Sony had when launching the system into the States. It just goes to show that SCEA didnt know what they were doing with the Vita weather its the expensive memory cards, having little to no grasp on the demographic they were trying to go for, and even went full retard releasing the Vita TV.

  • Animaniac

    New demos like Grand Kingdom you have to search to find. They are not listed anywhere in the store otherwise. Odin Sphere that just came out had a demo that released on 6-1-16 that between that date and the the release date wouldn’t even show up in a search until the release date. It is very sad!

  • Strathmore

    I appreciate what you’re saying, I do. But I was able to locate most of these titles on the Vita. Try “All”, then “by genre”. You’ll find most of them listed there.

    The issue I think frustrates us most is that there is the “PS Vita Only” folder that most of us leaf through, but it’s this very folder that filters out several of these titles listed above. It was built with the intention of showing off games that could only be enjoyed on the handheld, but as time wore on, and with cross buy becoming more and more prevalent in some titles, this folder became a haven for games not necessarily meeting this description, or with caveats to go along with them as well.

    I suspect the Store engineers do their level best with the time they have in placing titles in their respective folders, despite this article suggesting otherwise. They do have four stores to update each week.

    But I do agree that the Store overall needs to be revamped.

    What bothers me more than anything listed in this article is the fact that games sought out do not always link with their respective dlc. Or vice versa. That gap has always existed for too many titles. It should have been addressed years ago, the other platforms do it, and the Vita should be no exception.

    The good news is that the Vita gamer, by and large, has always been a more sophisticated gamer. That said, I while I think that many issues related with the store need to be revamped, I remain unconvinced that the vast majority of us inhabitants on Vita Island would struggle to locate titles we want on the port.

  • totenglocke

    The only reason I got a Vita is because I enjoy JRPGs and visual novels. If you like those two genres, then third party Japanese developers put out plenty of games. But Sony gives zero fucks about it and pretty much abandoned ship right after launch. I really don’t get WTF Sony was thinking.

  • Nintendo seems to be getting more and more SJW/feminist friendly as well.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    That sucks, but at least you guys have your PSN up to date (or at least, the UK one, I admit I haven’t checked the others). It’s pretty appalling when the US PSN gets something now (as in, literally, last week) that the EU PSN has had since day one. When I saw Metal Gear Portable Ops / Portable Ops+ added last week I was like: “Uh, now? 4 years later, really?”~.

  • DizzyGear

    European PSN has its share of missing titles that NA had since forever. Jeanne ‘d arc and Xenogears being 2 notable ones.
    Europe is also stuck with the shitty 50hz versions of PSone classics.

    And don’t even get me started on the differences of the shops between countries within Europe. Some countries don’t get stuff at all. And instead of making it easier to publish your shit in Europe, SCEE went ahead and made it harder by demanding that publishers translate all the metadata (store describtions etc EVEN IF THE FUCKING GAME IS IN ENGLISH ONLY) in every fucking language of every country you want to publish in resulting in some publishers going “fuck that” and only release their games and DLC on the UK PSN leaving out the rest of Europe.

  • Hsark

    sony really needs to sort this out

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Which is a shame, I used to look down on the Vita when it came out but that was due to lack of good games in the west, when I started looking at the japanese game market my opinion of the did a total 180. The quantity of games we don’t get is insane, the store in the west is absolute shit compared to the japanese one (for example in the west we have 3 free themes and that’s it, on the japanese store on the other hand we have free Touhou, Senran Kagura and whole lot of other VN based themes with fully custom icons and home music). Sony refuses to show some to the Vita and the companies that exist only wreck it even more (NISA for example), the exception being XSEED that likes to bet on the Vita, although the biggest crap the Vita has is the one account only policy, having to have 2 memory cards and format everything fking time you want to switch is a BS move from Sony’s side, for people like me it’s impossible to support digital only games unless I format the system and buy another card

  • Shiroken

    Even if it is mistreated by Sony, I’m still going to play with my Vita for many years.

  • Smug

    “depending on what it is I’ll get a fourth Vita so I can use it.”
    wew and I thought having a second model in sparse was already a lot to me. A pity also Sony dont want release a new kind of OLED model with none the early issues (black stains in dark colors when playing the dark/poor ambient luminosity for instance). Not that the Vita 2000 model is bad per se (better battery life and universal usb charger), but the LCD screen has more yellowish colors which is obvious side-by-side on bright colors.

  • Carlos Rodriguez

    Thank you for this incredibly cohesive piece on PS Store for vita. Sony really needs to fix this.

  • catazxy

    No love for the Vita. Random trivia: Vita means “cow” in my language….and yes, everybody thinks you talk about cows when you talk about the Vita, if you ever talk in pubic about it, but not many people know or care about it, here……

  • Maria Maasaa

    Uni is the PSP…

  • braneman

    Yeah, I have all the DLC for the Valkyria chronicles game on this. They are all, EVERY ONE OF THEM individual downloads.

  • Sojourner

    So I have a questions and I’m seeing a lot of different opinions on this with a lot of them making me lean negatively but: Is it worth getting a PS Vita right now? I’m about to deploy soon and need a handheld to hold me over and was debating between this or DS (but DS costs more). I enjoy a lot of the niche games that usually come out on the Vita but just not sure if it’s worth picking up or should I just wait till later when it costs almost nothing?

  • Smug

    >Can you read japanese?
    >Can you import (or buying at least from local resellers) japanese titles?
    If none of the above, then dont bother with it. Maybe when a CFW will (eventually) come around, but otherwise no.

    PSP and DS Lite are much cheaper options with the possibility to use CFW/R4, when it comes to handhelds.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    Yeah, there are way too many idiosyncrasies going on with PSN as a whole, which is why I stand by what I said that this time it’s not about the PSV but Sony failing big time at having a decent online store~.

  • Sojourner

    Excuse my lack of knowledge but what is CFW and r4? I’ve got a PSP but it’s the first verison I believe.

  • j0eeyy_p

    Oh, I’m not finished yet. I have one EU, one JP Vitas and the Dragon Quest Metal Slime Vita, I still want the Persona 4 and Hatsune Miku Vita models :P

    Yeah I would’ve loved an Vita 2.0 model with the OLED screen, that would be perfect. Even if they do it and it’s Japan exclusive I would still import it. Alas that’s unlikely to happen now, even in Japan.

  • DizzyGear

    Hes talking about piracy. Just ignore him.

    The Vita has a rich library of localized Japanese niche games and plenty more are on the way so if that’s what you like, absolutely go for it.

    The obvious downside of the Vita are the overprized memory cards. On the bright side used Vita’s go for around 100 bucks if you look around.

  • Smug

    “oh no he’s promoting piracy”
    “how dares he to say the truth about the Vita”
    good goy

  • Smug

    R4 is the cartridge (with the possibility to plug in a microSD) for DS/DSLite that you use to store roms.

    Depending of the PSP model you own (1000, 2000, 3000, PSPGo), you can install a CFW that makes you able to use psp game isos and run pretty much all PS1 titles converted into epub files (with psx2psp). This is pretty much required considering PSP physicals were shit to begin with.

  • dsadsada

    Also the Vita. Each nep became their respective console’s successor.

  • DizzyGear

    There is no need to import anything since there are plenty of games for the Vita in the west. Stop talking out of your ass.

  • Smug

    >have to import to avoid releases by NISA/Aksys (and Re;Birth 2&3 because of Doerr) and sometimes ATLUS USA (for the forced dubs)
    >have to import to get physicals since digital is total dogshit
    Try again

  • Sony why must you hurt the things Iove?

  • Thanatos2k

    What I don’t understand is how it got to this point. The PS3 digital store was originally wonderful, and each update since has made it progressively worse on all platforms.

  • Joe

    The sad thing is, ALL the console digital storefronts (Sony, MS and Nintendo’s) are pretty terrible across two generations.

  • dsadsada

    If there were more people interested in the system and more games being developed for it, the memory card prices might have even gotten a discount. I’m absolutely sure that the memory card prices are still absurd because Sony’s just trying to milk the remaining userbase for all its worth. They have no intentions of trying to attract new customers.

  • TheManWithPants

    Close Enough. Noire is the PS3, but when she goes Next Form, she becomes the PS4. There’s no official Vita character yet, and if Uni gets a Next Form, chances are it would represent the Vita.

  • dsadsada

    In case you still didn’t understand his explanation, CFW is custom firmware. Basically a modded operating system to put it in the simplest sense. It can be used for piracy as the obvious measure but it can also allow the hardware to perform tasks that it officially doesn’t support, including homebrews/user created apps and emulators. I could play Gameboy advance games on the PSP for example or use patches to play Japanese games in English, assuming someone made an English patch of course.

    I normally wouldn’t condone piracy but the PSP is even more dead to Sony at this point anyway. And the PSP is a goldmine when you’re using CFW.

  • dsadsada

    She’s already the Vita. In the ending of Rebirth 1 when the cast is thanking the player for playing, she mentions that the player is holding her.

  • TheManWithPants

    Well I played the PC version, and it’s been a while since I finished it, but I’ll take your word for it.

  • Feniks

    I don’t really see the problem but then again I hate shopping and never browse.

    Walk in store
    Get game
    Pay for game
    Walk out

    If you know exactly what you want and the games are still up it doesn’t matter.

  • Feniks

    Sony is cutting their losses.

    The dedicated handheld market is dying. Compare sales numbers between the Nintendo DS and the 3DS.

  • Softclocks

    Wow, this is almost as bad as PSN.

  • Izanagi

    I guess this is just a sign of culture differences.
    In Japan, the Vita is pure win and the XBone is pure failure.
    In the West, it is the opposite.

  • Izzy Lichi

    haha nice rhymes with the child of light portion, clever

  • eltonBorges

    Is not that Sony don’t care about the Vita… They want it dead. It sounds crazy? It sounds absurd? Yeah, not so much. They are making sure that every old exclusive gets a PS4 release, so you don’t need a Vita. They are allowing games with no quality control.
    remember those digital only titles for the west releases for both PS3 and Vita? I wonder why…
    West Sony want to forget this handheld even exists, and they are not happy to offer any kind of support for it too, that’s why the shop is such a mess, and they are removing so many apps too.

    By the way, this is a good reason to why they made the freaking cards so expensive to this day. And damn, having more than one PSN account was not a problem for the PS3 and PS4, and was easy to use games on your PSP, but for the Vita? They gone full “Nintendo Lockdown” on that. Really sad.

  • Awesome article! I hope this will reach Sony to shame them.

  • Kaboom

    If they’re gonna kill it, at least make a new one…

  • Karl Smith

    And try to scroll down some more. Bam! Connection has terminated error. :|

  • Karl Smith

    Hate to break it to you. During back at the EGX’s Q&A with Shu. He said that SIE doesn’t have any plans for a new handheld because you know. Mobiles.

  • Kaboom

    … *Looks at my flip phone.* … … I hate smartphone.

  • Lapan

    And it’s still better than the european store which doesn’t even list dlc directly with the games. Good luck finding any dlc without the search since only part of it is sorted in any way.

    For the same game part of it can be in a folder for that game and the rest is completely separate.

  • woteveruk1

    I’ve always preferred vert myself, though im not sure why ( the character not the consoles ) :D