- Sony discontinued production of the PlayStation Vita in March 2019, bringing the lifespan of this portable video game console to a close.
- Released worldwide in February 2012, the Vita was the successor to the PlayStation Portable, but failed to find a wide audience as smartphones grew more popular.
- Though it wasn’t as successful as Sony had hoped, the PlayStation Vita had its fair share of classic games, and helped a number of indie games make their way into the spotlight.
The era of the PlayStation Vita has come to a close with Sony’s decision to discontinue the console earlier this month.
First released in early 2012, the portable video game console never really found a wide audience, but it was a respectable upgrade to Sony’s PlayStation Portable and offered a handful of exclusive titles that were well worth the investment.
The PlayStation Vita’s most impressive features included an OLED touch screen, 3G cellular internet, Bluetooth, dual analog sticks, and remote play for PlayStation 3 and 4 games. However, as smartphone technology began to develop more rapidly, the Vita became less compelling as a multimedia device. Happily, the Vita’s legacy can still be defined by the handful of exclusive games released during the console’s seven-year lifespan.
While one of Sony’s main goals with the Vita was to produce experiences that felt like playing on a home console, the Vita produced a number of unique games that were later brought over to more powerful hardware. And as the Vita got older, independent developers began to take advantage of the console’s strong hardware and dedicated player base. For example, PC games like "Stardew Valley" or "Minecraft" that had earned an indie following could be moved to the Vita at low cost, letting players take their favorite games on the go.
The PlayStation Vita may not have been a smash hit, but there were plenty of gems to be found on the handheld if you spent enough time looking.
Here are the best PlayStation Vita games you might have overlooked:
"Uncharted: Golden Abyss" showed off the Vita’s graphical power.
"Uncharted: Golden Abyss"/Naughty Dog
Released as a launch title for the Vita, "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" showed off the console’s hardware with a portable prequel to one of Sony’s flagship PlayStation series.
While "Golden Abyss" was designed by a different team than the main games in the series, it stayed true to form and delivered a satisfying portable adventure. "Golden Abyss" was one of the Vita’s most successful games, giving early adopters a must-play title right out of the gate.
The unique visuals of "Gravity Rush" inspired a sequel for PlayStation 4.
"Gravity Rush" was originally a Vita exclusive, but performed well enough to get a remaster and a sequel on PlayStation 4.
The game lets player manipulate gravity and soar through the air, making interesting use of the Vita’s dual thumbsticks and touchscreen in the process. As the player alters the pull of gravity, the world around them shifts, making for outrageous visuals and funny tricks with physics.
"Velocity 2X" was built for the Vita and has since been released on nearly every video game platform.
"Velocity 2x" is a run-and-gun action game with an emphasis on speed. Following the success of "Velocity" in 2012, Sony signed independent development studio FuturLab to produce more games exclusively for PlayStation Consoles.
The bite-sized levels and simplicity of "Velocity 2x" made it a perfect fit on the Vita when it arrived in 2014. As the years went on the Vita became increasingly popular among indie developers and fans who wanted to take retro-inspired games on the go.
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