Published on August 5th, 2014 | by Alecs Pillik
The PS Vita and the PS4 – the perfect couple
When it came to purchasing a next-gen console, way back in November last year, I had my eyes firmly set on the Xbox One. I did consider the PS4 (how could you not), but I was sold on the Xbox One as an all in one media device. I wanted a little more from my games console, and the connectivity of the console with the rest of my home entertainment, as well as the use of the Kinect for voice commands, really appealed to me. That and I was blown away by Ryse on the One during last year’s EuroGamer, whereas the PS4 was having some real issues at the expo.
I’d never say that I regret my decision, because I do love my Xbox One. I do, however, wish that I lived in a world where I could have afforded both consoles at launch. The PS4 does look amazing, and the more I see of it the more I want it. The Last of Us Remastered was almost the icing on the cake for me, but there was something else that pushed me over the edge, the cherry on top if you will, and it has convinced me to purchase the PS4 this Christmas; as a little treat to myself. The cherry on top for me was the PS Vita. Weird, I know. Why would a different console convince me to purchase the PS4? One of the IM PLAYIN gang, Thinkbad Monkey, has had a Vita for a while now. He’s always going on about it, and he definitely likes the handheld console, but he never really convinced me to buy it. The main reason for my lack of interest was because there were very few games that convinced me it was worth purchasing, that I couldn’t already get on console. Tearaway was one of the only games on the Vita that really stood out for me, just because it looks like good old fashioned fun.
It was only quite recently that I was convinced by the Vita, when we were working on our (relatively soon to be released) game. We were going through some of the final edits for the game on Thinkbad’s PC, which was running through the same TV as his PS4, when he asked if we wanted to check out the Destiny beta. I said “go for it, but we’ll have to wait until we’re done with the edits”. “It’s ok”, he replied, reaching for his PS Vita, “we can just remote play”. I was slightly confused, I’d kind of heard of remote play, but I’d never seen it in action. Just goes to show how much attention I’ve paid to the Vita over the last few years. He booted up the Vita, remotely turning on his PS4, and within moments he was playing the Destiny beta. The game ran seamlessly, there was no lagging, no frame-rate issues and considering that it was being played on a handheld, it looked bloody fantastic too. I was surprised by how good it looked, actually. Though he did inform me that it would have trouble playing online matches. Below is a link to a Vine that we made whilst he played the beta.
I was blown away by the Vita playing a PS4 game, and a beta at that. One of my main problems with handheld gaming is the fact that the bigger games, your Call of Dutys, Battlefields and FIFAs, always feel a bit tacky on them. They seem like a halfway house between a tablet and a games console, so, since owning a Gameboy Colour, I’ve always used a tablet for on the go gaming and a games console for playing at home. The Vita, however, is something completely different, it feels like a games console. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a handheld for some time now, but I’ve finally decided which one I’m going to get. I’ll be getting myself a PS Vita so that I can use it with a PS4, as the remote play connectivity between the two has really impressed me. I love the idea that I’ll be able to play some of my favourite PS4 games (provided they’re either in the disk drive or I own them digitally), from anywhere in the house, or somewhere with a decent WiFi connection. Obviously, there are some drawbacks. Not every game supports remote play and you do need a high-speed WiFi connection, so I doubt you’ll be able to play inFAMOUS in a Travelodge whilst you’re on a business trip or want some downtime on your holiday. Though please correct me if I’m wrong!
Still the possibility of having some great PS Vita games at my fingertips, as well as compatible PS4 games, has convinced me to purchase the two. Probably pre-owned, because I love a bargain. In some ways, the PS Vita and the PS4 are just as compatible as the Xbox One and the Kinect. In all honesty, I’d much rather a handheld console like the Vita to go along with my Xbox One. I do own a Surface, which works quite well with the console as a sort of fancy, touch screen remote control, but it can’t do much else. I’d love a remote play aspect to the One, but I can’t really see that happening.
At the moment, buying a PS4 and a Vita is an expensive combination. But I’m hoping that, come the holidays this year or next, Sony might consider dropping the price for the two in a PS Vita and PS4 bundle. Though if that doesn’t happen I’m sure that I’ll be able to pick up the two for around £400 if I shop around and buy second hand, that is. That’s still £20 less than I spent on the Xbox One and the Kinect in Novemeber (excluding all of the additional controllers, games and other accessories), so it’s not a dreadful deal. I think the combination of the PS4 and the Vita is one that a lot of Sony gamers are missing out on. You can pick up a Vita for around £100, so if you already own a PS4 I think it’s a pretty good deal. It’s an investment, as I can see a lot of potential in the two consoles as connected gaming devices.