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Why Sony Relegating the Vita to “an Extender” of the PS4 is a Bad Thing

playstation vita 06-12-14-1

If you’re a Playstation Vita fan, Sony’s E3 2014 press conference must have been pretty hard to stomach. The piece of hardware has been slowly shoved away into its own little corner, while Sony’s new show pony, the Playstation 4 and its games, is getting the spotlight.

A fan noticed this and pointed to a piece by Gamasutra, which is actually citing an interview Edge did with president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, upon which he said a very worrying statement regarding the Vita:

“We’ve taken a more holistic view with our platforms. With Remote Play, Vita has now essentially become an extender or an enhancer for the main platform for other rooms in the house, or when someone else wants to use the main screen.”

So now Vita fans have to deal with the platform being relegated to just “an extender” for the main platforms in your household, not the dedicated piece of gaming hardware that it was designed to be. Sony Europe’s Shahid Kamal responded to this over on Twitter:

“My team is working on over 70 games for Vita. The rest of the company is working on many more.”

Naturally, this kind of news got both negative and positive attention, as many fans were either happy to hear this, or simply started crying out “ports!,” or “not enough AAA experiences,” but I digress.

Many Playstation Vita fans who were anticipating the release of the Playstation 4 had caution with the fact that Sony was highly touting the remote play features of the system. I was madly in love with the newborn support that Sony had for the service that was essentially discarded during the Playstation 3 and PSP era, but now I have concerns as well.

It’s a well known fact that Playstation Vita sales have been regularly floundering, and that developer support has somewhat been dialed back to indies, ports of indies, and the handful of unique, original experiences that come every other month or so. As a day one supporter of the handheld, I can’t say that I’m dissatisfied with the device, but I wish it did better.

The system was made to be literally a portable home console, much like what the original PSP was promised to do. Ever since then, I’ve seen other outlets fart all over Vita versions of games for being inferior of their console counterparts, or sometimes even simply groaning and complaining that they were only on the Vita. It’s somewhat silly to see some people say that there aren’t enough games, while others getting mad when something new and cool is only coming to Vita.

With the Playstation (Vita) TV coming west now, Vita owners worldwide (myself included) are probably even more worried about the future of their dear, dear handheld. The unit is practically a replacement for the handheld, and it’s even cheaper – so will we see developer support erode away? It could possibly pick up a bit, but who knows at this point. Ask any Vita owner, the lifetime of the system has been nothing but a rollercoaster.

If you’re a fellow Playstation Vita owner, how do you guys feel about this? Will you ever consider selling the handheld, or do you still have hope that a golden age will come to the platform?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

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Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer, Nicchiban, and Pretentious Media. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.