Behold, the Playstation Vita, the most elegant handheld to ever unfold.
It came with powerful hardware! A vibrant display! Unique features and a healthy slate of games! Yet, the system never found a proper audience, withering to consumer indifference despite bearing the name of life itself.
An ironic moniker, indeed.
Ah, the Vita. A heavenly device, it is.
Fortunately, a careful examination of the past reveals a more hopeful story; what began as a portal for console-style titles soon became the canvas of choice for developers small and indie. Big-name games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Killzone Mercenary were swiftly replaced by entries decidedly more niche. Horror fans got the delightfully dark Yomawari Night Alone and Corpse Party: Blood Drive, Metroid patrons found Severed and Guacamelee, J-RPG lovers seized Trails of Cold Steel and Ys: Memories of Celceta, and even literary-types, for the first time, were given enough visual novels to last a lifetime.
Voyeurs jumped on GalGun and Senran Kagura. 2-D devotees bowed to Dragon Crown, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, and Child of Light. Retro fanatics claimed Shantae and Spelunky. Yes, the Vita had become the system for everyone. But did anyone care?
GalGun: Double Peace in also available on the PS4. But the touch features of the Vita version give it, uh, added accessibility.
Now in its fifth year, the Vita still perseveres, with games like Ys VIII and Danganronpa 3 keeping it breathing. Indeed, its users are among the most dedicated in digital fandom, buying software at rates far exceeding the industry norm. If this level of enthusiasm had existed in 2013, the Vita would have sprung into a sensation.
Alas, history offers the alternate ending; the Vita has all but vanished in the West, with only Japan keeping that dull torch burning. And with Nintendo’s Switch apparently poised to be the new indie machine of choice, the end might finally be nigh for Sony’s dejected device.
In Japan, 9 out of 10 citizens support the Vita.* In America, 9 out of 10 have never even seen the thing.
Nevertheless, the Vita did find its muse, offering games of a kind and rarity the West had rarely seen before. It may never be deemed more than a flickering footnote in the annals of gaming's past, but its cult-classic status is all but guaranteed.
Verily, Vita fans; your little unit is destined for a second coming. Interest in this pint-sized treasure will surely soar in the years to come, so savor its remaining days while you can.
And be thankful you got one when you did.
*Completely made up fact...but it must be true!
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