The Japanese PlayStation store has recently announced that the PS Vita will be shut down as planned (as we all suspected). This is the perfect time to remember what it has contributed to the transformation of gaming hardware – namely the mix of portable and stationary gaming consoles, the resounding success of Nintendo, the Switch.
The impending disappearance of the Vita is no surprise to anyone, since we have been hearing for over a year that the Vita was about to dissipate. These things happen. Consoles have a lifespan like anything else, and you can not blame a company for not wanting to make a console that nobody buys anymore.
But before embracing the Vita as one of the evolution's dead ends, let's recognize how much that influenced what followed. Obviously this is part of the reason why players now have the switch, if only because it gives a good example of what you can do to create a hybrid console and what you should not not to do.
Nintendo consoles often offer an obvious model to their successors. The 3DS remains one of Nintendo's bestsellers. Given this popularity, it would be tempting to consider it as the predecessor of Nintendo's new fashion. Except that it is not quite true. Aside from the fact that they are both portable, the Switch and the 3DS do not have much in common.
Instead, the true precursors of the Switch's design were two consoles that never really had the love they deserved – the Wii U and the aforementioned Vita. The influence of Wii U is obvious: it is the first foot of Nintendo. put in the water of a hybrid console. He tried to combine the TV with the controller's built-in controller and allowed you to play a game entirely on the controller if you did not want to use the big screen.
But the Wii U controller was not what we could call "mobile". Have you seen one? This sounds like the ill-intentioned offspring of an Amazon Fire 7 and Etch-a-Sketch. You would have a better chance of trying to put in your pocket all the collected works of Tolkien.
The PlayStation Portable and Vita have both been pioneers in the idea of a handheld, which really fits in the hands of the man, connecting to a larger console and functioning as a portable extension of the console. The remote game, as it was called, was intended to connect the PSP and the PS3, but few games of the PS3 supported it. It's only up to the Vita and the PS4 that Sony makes the feature ubiquitous. Almost all games to come out for the PS4 were playable on the Vita.
In the case of the Vita, this has been integrated into the console, rather than a feature to be added later. And unlike the Wii U, the Vita was actually a pocket computer and could be transported. It also resembled Sony's short-lived Xperia Play phone, in that it was even more stylish than the 3DS. Although the aesthetics may not have been exactly the same as the Switch's, the idea of a screen sufficient to display games originally intended for television still exists.
I do not say that the Vita was flawless. Remote reading was actually quite difficult to use, especially because the Vita did not have the same button layout as the PS4. The interface used to connect the two was at best clumsy. But the fact is that it's this unpolished but ambitious attempt to combine mobility with the mainstream console that has allowed us to get where we are today.
The Vita is on the verge of becoming obsolete, but its design and purpose still predicted the trend that the industry would adopt in the years to come. At the very least, the success of the switch's hybrid design could be enough incentive to keep some of the legacy of the Vita in PS5 alive.
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