I was chatting with a friend the other day, when he casually remarked that he felt Sony had "dropped the ball" on everything concerning the PlayStation Vita. As an avid and vocal fan of the Vita, I may have been a little irked at first, but I have to admit he made a halfway decent point.
First off, I guess I should say that I still take issue with the phrase "dropped the ball" in this instance, as I feel like it suggests that Sony has completely messed the Vita up beyond all hope. And this isn't true at all. The Vita is still a remarkable piece of hardware that has some insanely cool features.
The problem my friend had, though, was that it seems like Sony has taken forever to make the thing do the things it was supposed to do in the first place. And that's a fair point. I don't understand why it took so long to launch a YouTube app, for example. That seems like something that should have been figured out before launch.
In fact, the thing that initiated this conversation in the first place was that PSOne Classics have finally come to the Vita. I mean, the Vita's been out for over six months, and just now we're finally starting to see PSOne Classics supported on it? And even then, here in North America, we're stuck with a measly nine games to choose from, when Europe was bombarded with almost 130 titles. First of all, why does Europe get access to so many games when those of us in the States have to wait for the slow trickle? (I have a feeling this is a marketing strategy, and that's not something I'm happy about.) Secondly, and more importantly, why weren't PSOne Classics an option at launch?
Now, I must clarify something real quick here: Pretty much the entire PSOne Classics library is available to play on your PS Vita if you simply transfer the install file over from your PS3. In theory anyway; this isn't supported by Sony and you can't simply go to the PlayStation Store and download any PSOne game you want, but I managed to get Final Fantasy IX to work on my Vita without any problems. (Maybe I'll finally actually play FFIX now.) In the case of my friend, though, he has a Vita but no PS3, so he's stuck with the nine games Sony is officially supporting.
Another feature that snuck onto the Vita (that you may not even have noticed) is that the Vita now functions as a PS3 controller. Sort of. There's a "Cross-Controller" feature that will let you interact with the PS3 menu, and there will be some games in the future that will actually allow you to use the Vita as a controller. (PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is said to be one such title.) This is a feature that has a ton of awesome potential in the future (I explained why in a column called "Console-Makers Are Crazy for Tablets.")