Kotaku has summed up the current state of Sony's PlayStation Vita, a handheld gaming system that many people and publishers have written off as a failure. Look beyond the easy headlines and negative naysayers, however, and you'll find a nifty little gadget perfect for niche gaming.
In 2015, the Vita appears to be in a terrible place. Sales have been atrocious, marketing is non-existent, and Sony has all but admitted that they’ve stopped supporting the system. Just look at the Vita’s conspicuous absence from any Sony press conferences. Whether it’s due to the rise of mobile gaming or Sony’s other major Vita screw-ups—like those exorbitantly priced memory cards—the Vita just hasn’t been able to reach a substantial audience. By any account it’s a commercial failure and has been since it launched.
Yet not all is doom and gloom for the PSP’s successor. If you look past the dismal sales, you’ll find a rather fine game machine that’s become the system of choice for fans of Japanese games, especially RPGs. It’s also chock full of indie gems, solid ports, and old-school classics. Anyone hunting for the big-budget shooters and open-world adventures that Sony originally promised will want to look elsewhere, but if you like more interesting, niche games, the Vita might be a perfect fit.
I tend to flip back and forth between on my Vita and my Nintendo 3DS, binging on one for a few weeks before returning to the other. I've logged a lot of hours on Zen Pinball 2, selected PS1 classics, Capcom's iconic brawlers like Marvel vs Capcom 3 & Street Fighter X Tekken, and whatever little addictive indie title PlayStation Plus has offered up lately. Surprisingly, I'm less interested in the big budget, home console-style games (that largely no longer exist on the new release schedule) such as Uncharted or Assassin's Creed. With Vita (and 3DS) I'm looking for simple, bite-size gaming to enjoy for thirty minutes to an hour before I fall asleep at night. The major games are too deep and demand too much concentration to fill that need.