PlayStation Vita and Legacy Games – How it Could Have Been Improved
Over the course of its slightly rocky lifespan, the Vita has settled comfortably into a number of different roles, becoming home to a great number of quirky Japanese games and being part of an ongoing cross-buy scheme for indies with the PS3 & PS4. Another area it arguably shines in is as a home to play classic games, whether that be for PS1 classics, digital PSP games, or Vita-native HD Collections. As such the console can pretty much be a portable home for decades of gaming history.
Yet it could have been better. There are a few small tweaks that could’ve made the experience as a whole even more impressive and although it’s a little late in the day for any changes to be made in this department, I thought I would write an article to examine the things that hold back the Vita from being a mind-blowing portable PlayStation legacy system.
Let me preface this by saying that I still think the console does a fantastic job with it – both of my 64GB memory cards are filled with games that I played growing up and am happy to be able to take on the go with me. I still find it thrilling to be able to choose between the Spyro trilogy and the first three Metal Gear Solid games on the train and no amount of pointing out flaws will diminish that.
Disparity Between Stores
By far the biggest frustration in having the Vita as a portable legacy games device is the difference between each region’s PSN store. As a European gamer I’ve always felt like we got the bum deal – things like the PS1 Megaman games are completely missing from the store, along with classic JRPGs like Breath of Fire IV and Legend of Dragoon.
Yet things are arguably better on the EU store as a number of classic games are compatible which aren’t in the NA store – primarily the Crash and Spyro titles, which many consider the best PS1 classics to actually own on Vita in the first place.
The real reason for this frustration, of course, is because account-switching isn’t possible on the handheld. You can go through the awkward method of switching memory cards and reformatting, but this is fiddly and not really a practical solution. I’ve gotten around it by owning two consoles, one for each account, but this is a luxury not available to most.
The situation is aggravated by the existence of the Japanese store – filled to the brim with even more classics, including my favourite PS1 fighting series Battle Arena Toshinden, yet these aren’t available in the west at all. I assume the reasoning for all of these discrepancies is ‘licencing issues’, but that’s a disappointing excuse for so many games to be locked to the region.
And on the topic of licencing issues, it’s particularly annoying to see games actually on PSN that are compatible with Vita but unable to be transferred to it. Thanks to the great glitch of …read more