PS Vita. Still the best handheld?

I recently traded in my PSP for a PS Vita and it's one of the best tech purchases I've ever made. Which is an odd thing alright to be saying about an eight year old console. It's been abandoned by Sony but at this stage in its lifecycle there are just so many things you can do with it. The Switch is by far the better for new games but it can't be modded as much and so can't play the games I want to play on it.

  • It plays vita games obviously :) There are lots of indie games on the vita store and there were some great standard games released for it.
  • It plays PSP and PS1 games perfectly which makes it a great system for RPGs - especially for SRPGs.
  • Using Retroarch you can play lots of older systems. Here is a good installation guide that also adds a nice theme which works well on the Vita.
  • There's a huge amount of homebrew software.
  • The battery life and sleep mode is fantastic on it. It really allows for pick up and play.
  • The PS Vita supports remote play from the PS4. You stream games over the network from the PS4 to the Vita. I'm not sure about any games that are sensitive to input latency but this worked extremely well for me for Final Fantasy 12.
  • CFWaifu Vita Tutorials - this is a good series of tutorials on how to install various software on the Vita.
  • You can replace the proprietary Sony memory cards with an adapter that allows you to use micro SD cards. I haven't tried this yet but it's next on my list as soon as my adapter arrives.

The first thing I did when I got it was to install a custom firmware on it. It's is a lengthy process with a lot of software to be installed but there is a really good comprehensive guide on VitaHacks which walks you through everything in the correct order. Each section of the guide is linked to the next and it shows you the appropriate guides based on your firmware level. It also tells you the common problems you may hit at each stage and how to avoid them. I was on firmware 3.73 but I was able to downgrade using the tutorials. VitaShell is really useful during this as there is a lot of ftping files from the PC to the Vita. This is made really easy in VitaShell.

One great advantage is that you can play PSP and PS1 games on the Vita.

  • The Adrenaline homebrew installs a custom firmware on the built in PSP emulator.
  • This allows for playing PSP and PS1 games and also gives additional features such as graphics filters and Dualshock support.
  • PS1 games need to be converted to eboots first using PSX2PSP
  • Playing PS1 games works really well. The rear touch screen can be used for the R2 and L2 buttons.
  • You can add the PSP and PS1 games to the PS Vita home screen using combinations of Adrenaline Bubble Booter, Adrenaline Bubble Manager, Adrenaline Docs and Vita Bubbles

The Vita is a fanstastic device and I'm really glad with my purchase. It's a real shame that Sony has bailed out of the handset business. I would love a version that could play PS2 games. It would be the ultimate RPG machine. Until the Chinese handhelds can handle PS2 I think that the Vita is the handheld to get.

posted on February 18, 2020games


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