Where Are the Original Vita Games: Part Two

Shortly before the Vita launched I expressed disinterest in it on 1up because I didn’t see enough original games on it – just ports. I wanted to reserve judgment until after E3 which I saw as Sony’s chance to save the platform. Since then my opinion hasn’t really changed and I’m honestly more worried about the system now.

I haven’t been as pessimistic on the Vita’s future as a lot of people because I like to wait until a platform’s first holiday season after launch before I begin to judge. That’s usually when a system’s library hits its stride and finds its first real killer apps. I was hoping Sony would show us what that might be at E3 and maybe not focus so much on Vita ports of PS3 games… which is exactly what they did.

I just don’t see how this is very different from what Sony tried with the PSP – offering the console experience on a handheld. Back then people protested that they wanted games unique to the handheld, and eventually that’s what saved the PSP (in Japan at least). What ended up making the PSP an appealing system was when Japanese developers started putting a lot of their tier-1 effort behind it which gave us a lot of interesting full-fledged games tailored to the platform.

I thought the potential for this would be even greater with the Vita’s touch inputs, and that’s what I kind of want to see from the system: games with more modern graphics designed around the Vita’s controls. Maybe the Tokyo Game Show will be the last hope of the Vita this year.

Maybe I’m just underestimating the appeal of carrying over save files, but I don’t want to spend half my time with a game playing a portable version with inferior graphics. I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve wanted to play something similar to a certain console or PC game on the go, but never the same game.

I actually like what they’re doing with Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified and Assassin’s Creed III Liberation. The games look like they’ll be similar to their bigger brethren, but will be their own experiences, likely tailored to the handheld environment.

Wal-Mart just leaked some details about Declassified along with the box art (which looks cool in my opinion), and they suggest that its singleplayer will be focused on missions resembling COD’s Spec Ops mode but loosely tied together by a story. I think that mode of bite-sized missions is perfect for a handheld. Spec Ops Survival – my favorite mode of Modern Warfare 3, might be a particularly excellent fit for a handheld. If they can figure out a way to feed XP and such between Declassified and Black Ops 2 that could make the former the closest thing right now to a Vita killer app.

I’m just sayin’: the most successful handheld games have usually been either original games or handheld spinoffs of console games – not straight ports. Even if Sony’s current strategy works, what’s gonna happen once the PS4 launches and the gulf between the console and handheld hardware widens? Cross-play ports probably aren’t gonna happen as often and the Vita will really have to rely on original games (unless developers start porting between it and the Wii U).

BULLETS:

  • Soooo… Yakuza 5 is gonna have mini games inspired by THE iDOLM@STER? http://t.co/F9zZNzNF
  • As of this typing I think Sonic CD is 200 Microsoft points on Xbox Live right now.
  • All I have to say about the Microsoft Surface right now is that it has what looks like a really nice keyboard, and the USB port is kind of a game changer. It’d be amazing if it were compatible with a 360 pad.
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