On Vita Announcements or Lack Thereof

In a way, the recent outcry about certain Vita announcements (or their lack) sums up the whole of E3 to me.

None of the early announcements did anything for me at all. It was all games I don’t care about, consoles I don’t own, or both together. My Twitter feed was swapped with announcements that really didn’t interest me in the slightest.

Then one stood out, from The Playstation Eu Blog’s own Twitter feed.

“Happy news for JRPG fans: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is coming to PS Vita. Details: http://bit.ly/1pCfuGL #4ThePlayers pic.twitter.com/97g0mOnu0H

Which linked to this post, now featuring a correction. (Also featuring half a page of celebration followed by a bucketload of disappointment…)

It was the first news that was about a title I gave a damn about on a console I already own. At last, some E3 news that meant something…

Oh. Nevermind.

Now, granted this means that in a few years time when the PS4 price drops, probably with a slimmer model, and when there is a decent-sized backlog of the games I actually play (the usual point at which I buy any console, nothing Sony-specific here) , if I can justify the cost of PS4 there will already be an interesting game out for it.

But for a console I already have? Nowt!

But this is the point. I wasn’t one of the people rabidly hoping this game would come out. I wasn’t even aware of the #jrpgvita Twitter hashtag.
I just saw an announcement for a game I’d heard of and thought would never come outside of Japan, and I saw it being announced for a system I already own – and own specifically for bringing my jRPG habit on the move.

Then, a correction. No Vita.

Then…. silence. No official explanation as to why such a cockup was made. Just a solid air of “We won’t/can’t tell you”. And that, more than anything, is what personally got my back up. There are details that could somewhat diffuse the situation and instead they’re letting it all fester.

Playstation 4thoughts

So, Sony just announced their next console. I’ve had a very quick look at the revealed features and there are a few that greatly interest me. And some that don’t of course.

Let’s get it out of the way: I care little for the social stuff. I’m a primarily single-player gamer. A console’s primary function is to allow me to play games. if I can see what friends and acquaintances are doing too then fine, but only as an optional extra. If the “newly designed PS4 menu screen” puts that stuff front-and-center then it’s going to make me less likely to want to invest in one.

(Decent single-player gaming experiences. That is what will make me invest in a console.)

Suspend mode sounds useful. No more hunting for a save point before going out, getting food, meeting people, etc. Just put your console to sleep and it’ll remember where you’re up to later.
Per-game suspend/quicksave files would be even better, mind you, but this is still useful for those times when you finally beat a difficult boss fight at bedtime and get locked into a half-hour story-mode before you are allowed to save.

Second Screen Gaming. I hope that all future consoles have this functionality. For years I have wished that things like maps, inventories or control panels could be their own screen.

Remote Play doesn’t interest me, unless it works in reverse. The Playstation Vita has a few games I want, but they are (for me) perfect armchair-and-large-TV games. Let me throw Persona 4: Golden‘s new HD graphics out to my 37″ TV. Seriously, I’d’ve bought a Vita specifically for that game if the Vita had some sort of HDTV Out.

Pre-emptively downloading games that a computer thinks I might buy? Screw that! I’d need to be able to disable that f I were to consider a PS4.

Making digital titles playable as they’re being downloaded? Interesting, but I’ve seen implementations of that sort of technology before. it’s not that i don’t think it can work, it definitely can. But it sounds like a Patent Lawsuit War just waiting to happen.
I’d be more interested in one of the following two ideas:

  • Play new game from disc before/whilst it is being installed to hard drive.
  • Whilst installing game from disc, also start downloading any latest updates at the same time and then patching them in upon completion.
    • Also, digital titles really should be pre-patched to the latest version. No following one long download with another long download.

Still, it looks very interesting. Like any console, though, it depends on what games come out for it. For me, this means RPGs. Until a console has at least a modest catalogue of games I want to play, I’ll save my money. Decent back-cat tends to correspond to price-drop and bug-fixes anyway. But I am more interested, and slightly less cynical, than I was.