It all began when The Last of Us 2 trailer was shown a fortnight ago. There was a scene where a character was using a PS Vita, and suddenly the social media channels exploded, because ‘Naughty Dog remembers the Vita!’ apparently.
I’ve long been an advocate of the handheld, ever since it was released eight years ago. Even now I have one, and before the pandemic, it would be in my bag to use on lunch breaks, playing Metal Gear Solid 2, or Jak and Daxter.
It’s still an incredible system; the design still holds up, the OS still holds up, better than the consoles quite frankly. But since the trailer, a thought has been niggling away at me; it may be time for a PS Vita sequel.
Granted, in these times of streaming, smart-devices and tablets that are twice as powerful as the Vita, it could be seen as irrelevant, but not to me. Here’s why.
Let’s look back to Nintendo. They have an incredible focus on games, and games only. They’ve never seen their consoles as entertainment systems to be alongside the TV, compared to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles.
When the Nintendo Wii was released in 2006, it was notable for essentially being a retooled GameCube console, but in a different form factor, and able to read DVD disks. But the caveat here, was that it was unable to play DVD movies.
For the mid-2000 audience, this seemed madness. But Nintendo stuck to their guns, and without hacking the Wii, DVD’s were shut off. It was all about games.
This is where a PS Vita 2 comes in. We’re at a point where Televisions have apps. USB/HDMI Sticks like a Fire TV can be plugged in and play 4K movies in an instant. So what about a handheld from Sony that can play games, and do it well.
PS Vita II
Let’s have a handheld that’s the size of the Switch Lite, but with the Dual Sense design philosophy in mind. Let’s have dual triggers, lets have haptic feedback, let it be an extension of the PlayStation 5, just how the original Vita was an extension of the PlayStation 4.
The Vita had the ergonomics nailed, from the material to the placement of the buttons, so lets keep that going for the successor. But with streaming being a big part of the ‘PS Now’ service, it could be advantageous if it came with ‘Cellular’ in all models.
Having 4G and eventually 5G, could enable the handheld to play the whole library of PS Now, from within the app, anywhere the user chooses to. There’s 4G plans that offer 100GB for £20 a month, so for the Vita II, it wouldn’t be a stretch to offer something even cheaper to tempt potential customers. It could also help for any games to download through PS Plus, or through the massive library Sony has.
I’ve long been an advocate of backwards-compatibility, and the Vita offers this very well, but it can go one step further. Having the library for the PS Vita, the same for the Vita II, can automatically give the handheld a jump-start for when it launches. A whole store of PS1, PS2 Classics, alongside PSP and Vita games could really sway a lot of people. Having a handheld updated for 2020 in a backpack could be very appealing, and could be something extra for Sony owners for when they’re away from their PlayStation 5.
If you couple this with 128GB of storage, wireless charging and Bluetooth support for headsets, you could have a handheld that can stand on its own with ease. I feel as though the time is now for Sony to release the sequel to the Vita, it only needs the support of the company to make it happen.