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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.