Back in February 2012, Sony launched its successor to the PSP, the PlayStation Vita. At the time, the system was not unique in design but had powerful hardware and a number of control possibilities, including motion control, dual-analog sticks, a capacitive OLED touchscreen, and a rear touch-pad. Yet, despite the fact that the company abandoned the console, it is still worth picking one up today.
The system performance was often compared to the iPad 3 due to hardware similarities, but by today’s standards, it is considered to be ancient. Processing power aside, the system does work well, and I rarely noticed any hiccups. Combining a 512 RAM module and a relatively fast processor and you got yourself a pretty decent media device. Although, don’t get your hopes up as the video decoder in the system was never intended to play 4k videos, and as a matter of fact, the screen is a 544p qHD panel. Moving on to the games, the system struggles to run most of the big name games above 30 FPS. In comparison, the PSP had more than 100 games running at 60FPS, while Vita sports a mere 20 and most of them are fighting games. True, the complexity of the games has increased and delivering 60 FPS is not only challenging but a viable battery-saving measure.
Indie all the way
When it comes to games, the Vita is a powerhouse for indie games. Over the past 5 years, the system received a set of critically acclaimed indies such as Hotline Miami, Spelunky, Fez, and Limbo. But when it comes to AAA titles, sadly western developers did not support the device and those that did, ended up producing games such as Borderlands 2 and Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified which were bad, to say the least.
What about the Switch?
As of recent, the Nintendo Switch proved that the demand for AAA games on the go is there. You don’t have to take my word for it, look at the numbers provided below.
Yet, it is unlikely that Sony is willing to make a PS Vita 2. Although imagining a portable PS4-like system would be too much, we still can achieve a high level of details in games utilizing modern hardware.
Yes, if Sony decides to make a portable hybrid, it will most likely be powered by an AMD chip. You might be asking yourself, why AMD? Well, as recent history shows, both the PS4 and the PRO utilize Jaguar Cores, and it would be natural that the company continues their partnership with AMD. The closest thing that comes to mind is the Beema architecture, yet it’s still rather power-consuming. But what if both, AMD and Sony made a custom SoC (System on a Chip) for the console in question. After all, the Jaguar cores used in the PS4 have their roots in mobile architecture, and the overall power consumption levels are relatively low. The possibility is there, but knowing Sony, they will most likely use some proprietary stuff. The company has a long history of using unconventional memory-cards and charging cables. Only time will show if Sony is willing to put up a fight against Nintendo. Indeed, the big N always had an advantage over Sony in the handheld market.
It’s clear, the Vita is a great system and would have been better if it had more western developed games. The homebrew community has prolonged the PS Vita relevancy, but as of late, a number of kernel exploits on the Switch were released. Thus, it is a matter of time before the Nintendo console takes over.