But that's the thing. This functionality has the potential to be great, but, as of yet, that potential remains depressingly untapped. Where is the software that uses this functionality in unique and interesting ways? Now, I'm not talking about gimmicks here, but about games that make us go, "Wow, that's really neat! I should get a Vita!"
In fact, where are the games in general?
Sure, you can play PSOne and PSP games on the Vita now, but you could play PSOne and PSP games on a PSP. If you already have a PSP, there's no reason to upgrade.
Of course, there are a few things coming in the future that are worth getting excited about. There's Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, a Vita-exclusive companion to Assassin's Creed III. Then there's that handheld Black Ops game (though coming from the studio that brought us the terrible Resistance: Burning Skies, I think it might be unwise to get too excited about that for now. In fact, Burning Skies is so bad that I haven't sold it for store credit yet because I'm so embarrassed that I even bought it in the first place.)
The real beacon of hope for the Vita, though, could be Tearaway, the next game from Media Molecule, a company that seems to have a pretty good handle on the "painfully cute" thing.
Still, why has it taken the Vita so long to start getting games that make us turn our heads and show some interest? (I admit that the Vita's launch lineup seemed impressive on paper, but in actuality, nothing had any staying power except maybe the exclusive Uncharted title, and even that was a pretty big step down from its console forbears.)
The point my friend ultimately ended up making was that he felt the Vita launched too early. And that's probably valid. I mean, imagine if the Vita had launched with YouTube support, with PSOne Classics support, with games like Gravity Rush, Sound Shapes, and LittleBigPlanet Vita. Imagine if games like ModNation and WipEout had been given six more months of development time. I have a feeling people would have gone absolutely bonkers for the Vita. Instead, we're given a bunch of promises and not a lot to show for those.
The main problem here is the simple fact that the Vita needs some system-selling games in order to survive. Sony's not fortunate enough to have a franchise like Mario as an ace in the hole like Nintendo does, though Sony does have some undeniably awesome franchises on its hands.
My prediction: The Vita is just over six months old at this point, and has barely begun to show off its potential as a handheld gaming platform and as a must-have peripheral for the PS3. Call me crazy, but I'm still optimistic that the Vita's got a bright future ahead of it. For now, though, that's a future we'll just have to patiently wait for.
Editor / News Director
Date: August 30, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*