Last night the industry shook with a sort of electric vibrancy not seen in years as the launch of the PlayStation 4 ushered in the era of next-generation of console gaming (sorry Nintendo). While the mass hysteria of the night can be chalked up to needles hype by the skeptical, there is no doubting that the industry needed this infusing of interest.

However it must be said that lost in all the excitement is the fact that leading up to the release of the PlayStation 4 the PlayStation Vita has become a sort of afterthought; restricted to conversation only when associated to its shiny and new home-console counterpart. Magical as it may be, news about Remote Play between PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 has the potential to hinder the success of Sony’s next generation portable through ambiguous marketing.

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For a promising and capable piece of kit it seems as though the Vita is being relegated to a PlayStation 4 companion piece.

Despite the common knowledge from within the industry that most PlayStation 4 games support Remote Play (barring titles require any peripheral outside of the DualShock 4, including the PlayStation Camera), most news junkets have flooded their content with confirmations and demonstrations. I say most because we at The Vita Lounge have made a conscious effort to refrain from doing so.

Being realistic I understand that Sony’s early lack of transparency, coupled with the novelty of the functionality tantalized fans and create an appetite for journalists to feed. However this potential tidal wave of redundant content and updates regarding the service could very well flush away all “real” news regarding the Vita, including reviews, previews, and interviews; and ultimately to drag the system under.

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True Information and news about PlayStation Vita Software is difficult to come across due to the endless waves of necessary Remote Play coverage.

As it stands today nearly every case of Remote Play is documented ad nauseum, and I fear that even after “next-gen” becomes “current-gen” this detrimental storm will continue. I foresee a frightening future in which the Vita is relegated to near Wii Game Pad status, and becomes little more than a footnote in the endless PlayStation 4 revelations. Perhaps I am cynical, but given the rampant speculation and reports about the whether or not PS4 launch titles employed the service it’s difficult not to be. Which leads me to the following question:

Even the event that Remote Play is enabled on a PlayStation 4 game , does this qualify as PlayStation Vita news?

My answer is no. Despite the obvious fact that the handheld indeed a partner in the service, I don’t believe that any speculation, confirmations, or denials based upon Remote Play should be filed under PlayStation Vita news. I believe that much like the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation Vita is an amazing platform that plays host to amazing games, and frankly speaking it deserves to be treated as such. Based on its portable nature, outstanding hardware, and unique inputs; the Vita is capable of proving experiences that are unique to the industry.

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Tearaway is one of the rare titles on across any platform that purely marries software with hardware.

At the time of this article Media Molecule are preparing to release Tearaway, a new IP that is only possible on the PlayStation Vita. Having a developer of the magnitude of Media Molecule design a brand-new title tailor made for the handheld should be top-flight news, but it’s instead a minnow when compared to the whale that the press seem to be chasing. The word of Flower’s arrival on PS Vita is another great example of how little fan-fare there is when actual content hits the platform. The masterpiece that-according to some- ushered in the “artistic” era of indies on the PlayStation platform wasn’t even listed upon its release, a mistake that nearly went unnoticed due to a lack of focus; and that is what this all boils down to in the end.

We’ve all heard the chatter about how the PlayStation Vita has slumped out of the gate, and we’ve all come to our own conclusions as to why. One of the most common arguments brought up in regards to the “failure” of the Vita is that Sony have not supported it with enough marketing, and that’s as valid a point as any. That being said however, as journalists and fans of the system, part of the onus is on us. At a time when the system plays host to more content than ever, and is set to receive a game that could possibly be the it the defining title of it’s life span; it seems as though we are more interested in whether or not it can play Knack.

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Knack runs on PlayStation Vita. We get it. Can we move on now?

Perhaps if reports about Remote Play (in regards to PlayStation Vita news) stopped after confirmation it would be tolerable, but based on the current sample laid in front of us; I feel that it’s highly unlikely. In the case of the aforementioned Knack, after it was absolutely made certain that Remote Play worked with the title and that it was functional, the news never stopped pouring in.

After being discussed in tandem with the PS4 and PS Vita, it seemed that all future information about the game itself got tied to both of the systems by many outlets. What this means is that simply by virtue of the fact that a title supports Remote Play, all updates and reports on the game seemed to get somehow lumped in with the Vita.

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Let’s focus on bringing back excitement to the PlayStation Vita.

If you are reading this, it’s more than likely that you share our passion for the Vita and want it to succeed. In order for that to happen we need to be mindful of the means in which we represent it moving forward.

Remote Play is incredible and one of the great bonuses of being a PlayStation Vita owner, but it shouldn’t be the main attraction, and all if we want to see unique experiences on the platform we need to remember that. By all means if you want a two-hundred dollar controller go buy a Wii U (sorry again Nintendo), but otherwise allow the Vita to mature and grow into itself without the burden of playing second fiddle to the PlayStation 4.

  • Jonathan Harding-Rathbone

    I completely agree, and I hope that the Vita gets it’s identity. People who are buying a Vita for PS4 remote play of course will help boost the figures, and should the release of PS4 explode the Vita sales then the install base increasing exponentially will hopefully garner much more third party support. I just hope this is the case, as the Vita becoming a second screen only device would be a really big shame. Hopefully once the PS4 fanfare has died down a little Sony will pull out more big guns for the Vita and it will truly hit it’s stride.

    • Brian Sharon

      I have no issues whatsoever with Remote Play, my issue is with the news surrounding it. Where does it end? Will we (the industry) be reporting that Knack 4 has remote play with this continued sense of jubilation?

      It’s a slippery slope, and one that shouldn’t be underestimated. While I don’t mean to compare the hardware of the Wii U and the PS4/Vita, in terms of marketing there is something to be learned.

      The PlayStation Vita is a handheld-gaming system that happens to do this miraculous thing, not the other way around.

      • Jonathan Harding-Rathbone

        I know what you mean. Smack bang in the middle of the X Factor yesterday (probably the most expensive slot on TV) was a 2 minute PS4 ad, and all I could think was “Why haven’t they done this with the Vita??”

        • Brian Sharon

          Exactly.

          Even worse is that we are seeing “Remote Play Reviews/Impressions” for PS4 games on PlayStation Vita – placed in Vita news outlets. How can a small-medium Vita game stack up to a Call of Duty review on PS4? It can’t and it shouldn’t have to.

          My two cents.

  • jordanlund

    You missed an important piece… If the emphasis is on Remote Play then what’s the incentive for Vita development? You have developer X and they want to make a game. Are they going to choose the Vita which has anemic (at best) hardware sales or are they going to make a PS4 game that through no intention of their own, will also work on the Vita. Which product nets them the widest audience?

    What we’re going to see is Sony saying “OK, sure, nobody is making Vita games any more, but look at all this PS4 content you can access!” as though that were a good thing. I didn’t spend $250 on a device to play games that I could just as easily play on the device in my living room.

    • Brian Sharon

      Great point Jordan.

    • ChucklesAE

      That’s a round and round issue. If more people buy it as a companion it increases the width of the audience for the developer to make games for it.

      That’s the point you’re missing. Sale for vita are what about 2 million give or take a couple hundred thousand. Add a few million more of people who buy it simply for its companion status and you have a much wider audience. Developers in fact would be more inclined to develop for that.

      • jordanlund

        You don’t understand so I’ll try again using your numbers:

        There are currently 2 million Vita owners and over a million PS4 owners. By this time Friday there will be around 2 million PS4 owners.

        It’s taken the VIta 2 years to get to 2 million unit sales. The PS4 will have done it in 48 hours. (24 hours in the United States and Canada, 24 hours in Europe.)

        For developers, which is the more attractive platform? Since Remote Play allows PS4 titles to be played on Vita what they will do is make PS4 games, they won’t bother with Vita games.

        You can see this because they aren’t making Vita games NOW. Even second screen apps for things like Assassin’s Creed 4 and Beyond: Two Souls are iOS and Android only. It’s not going to change, it’s only going to get worse.

        • ChucklesAE

          More round and round.

          A new console system is ALWAYS going to be more attractive to a developer than a handheld, unless it’s Nintendo.

          The point is that at least more vitas will be in more hands as a result of it being a companion device for ps4 than not. Either way it’s a positive because more being bought increases the likelihood that developers will continue making games as they will continue to have a broader audience.

          Arguing that ps4 is more attractive to developer however is just stupid, of course it is.

  • André Rocha

    I’ve been hearing the Vita being called “companion” too many times which worries me. I paid €250 for it not to be a “companion” to another console but to be an independent portable console.

    I’m curious to see in the near future what are the real plans of sony with this powerful handheld.

  • zpoccc

    the more reasons people have to own a vita, the better. if this helps move vitas off the shelf, then it could very well save the system you apparently love so much. it’s nearly dead as of now, so you can think of this as a last-ditch effort to revive it. if it works, and more people own the system, then more developers will be inclined to spend time developing for it. a win for everyone.

    remote play is an exciting and interesting component of the ps4, and its release is the biggest gaming news in years. people want to know about it – current vita owners and more importantly, prospective owners. that the vita gets to share some of the ps4’s splash of attention is a good thing – you’d think a fan like yourself would be thrilled.

  • What a terrible, misguided and hyperbolic article. Like this was going to happen time enough to do some damage.

    • Brian Sharon

      It very well could Charles. Let’s say that moving forward every PS4 game that is Remote Play enabled is reported as such… that means a flood of (useless) information into PlayStation Vita avenues.

      This takes away from the unique reviews, previews, articles… and info coming out for the PlayStation Vita itself.

  • Lester Paredes

    I agree and always thought that Remote Play would be more of a hindrance than a benefit to the Vita. I figured, once PS4 comes out and almost all titles can remote play, what and where is the incentive for developers to make Vita exclusive games? don’t get me wrong, remote play sounds ridiculously awesome, but it’s not going to help my favorite handheld.

  • Satu Patel

    Well Sony is partly to blame in my opinion and not just the media. When they launched the vita months before the launch Sony themselves boasted remote play on ps3, being able to take advantage of a umd PSP program to play our umd library on the vita, and I can’t remember off hand the third one. Oh yeah tons of cross saves and cross buys for all games.
    This in my opinion is Song’s way of trying to get more vita sold. Once people take interest, they’ll likely be more interested in a game or two for the vita and hopefully things take off from there.
    Who knows ps4 games may start to come with companion mini games for the vita where you can boost your in game stats on the go then sync up and upload. We’ve seen this in the past with many handheld devices.

  • ExcaliburEdge

    I can see your concern, but I think Vita has become even more appealing after ps4 and remote play. Some people might buy a vita just for remote play, but those gamers are going to want something mobile to play when they’re not connected. As long as vita owners keep buying vita games, then I think the ecosystem of vita will thrive substantially.

    • Brian Sharon

      Again i have no issue with the service, I have an issue with the over-saturation of “news” regarding it.