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Five Reasons PS4 Will Revive PS Vita

Alex Evans

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Sony's next-gen PS4 will not just start a new generation of amazing home console releases, but breathe new life into PS Vita, too. Here's why.

Published on Feb 28, 2013

Sony's next-gen PS4 will be remarkable when it releases this Christmas for heralding a new era of PlayStation power; not just for the home console, but the company's bleeding egde handheld, PS Vita. Here are the reasons why.

Streaming PS4 Titles with Gaikai

“A PS4 in your pocket”. That’s how Sony is repositioning its most powerful handheld, ready for the release of its cutting-edge home console, PS4.

It’s not just PR bluster from Fergal Gara; it’s a statement of intent from a company determined to make PS Vita a success. 

Remote Play, introduced with PS3/PSP, was a good idea ruined by poor execution. Using Gaikai streaming, PS4 and PS Vita have the power to make it work. 

Imagine going to visit your girlfriend for the weekend – normally you’d have to lug your PS4, possibly on the train, with trailing wires and piles of discs.

Forget that: pack up your Vita, abuse her WiFi and play Killzone, Driveclub and even Knack from the comfort of her home. You’ll never have to talk again!

PS4 has been built from the ground of with Gaikai integration in mind, promising a service that takes advantage of both consoles and supercharging Vita with nearly every PS4 game available on the go.

Perfect Screen Resolution Pairing

Some people bemoaned PS Vita’s resolution upon release – at 960x540, it’s smaller than some smartphones of similar screen sizes.

But it seems Sony was thinking ahead. 

That resolution is an exact quarter of 1080p – the size all PS4 titles will be rendered in natively. 

It means PS Vita will be able to scale down PS4 games perfectly without altering size or messing with messy conversion issues, jaggies or jarring. It’ll obviously lack the finer details of TV play, but it’ll still look ace (and bright on OLED, too).

Game Apps On The Go

Don’t want to stream PS4 titles? Vita will also let you tap into the world of almost all of its titles thanks to full-fledged apps built alongside each game.

At Sony’s reveal we were treated to news that games like Driveclub will have their own apps for Vita, smartphones and tablets, allowing players to tap into its world wherever they are and message fellow players, arrange tournaments and set challenges.

While having this functionality on phones and tablets is incredibly important, a PS Vita will be just as capable, and plays PS4 titles too.

A Wii U On Steroids

Beaming games over the internet is not the only way PS4 and Vita will connect. 

Some PS3 games already allow Vita to be used as a second screen with games like LittleBigPlanet 2, which uses the handheld for an exclusive set of levels controlled using the handheld’s touch screen.

We expect more PS4 titles to take advantage of this over local Bluetooth, beaming maps, track layouts, HUDs and other details to a PS Vita.

If the console also allows off-screen play over a local connection (like Wii U) – and we can’t see why it wouldn’t – then Vita/PS4 could be a super-powerful Wii U-trumping partnership, for those lucky enough to have both.

The One True Home Of All Things PlayStation

So Vita can compliment PS4, while playing Vita, PSP and PS1 titles directly from the handheld’s memory cards. This is already a great start and proves the console’s worth as the best place to digest PlayStation’s diverse history, with a screen small enough to hide PS1 and PSP games’ flaws, while large and crisp enough to show off PS4 and Vita strengths.

But what of PS2 and PS3? The answer, as with much of Sony’s future, lies in the cloud.

SCE president Shuhei Yoshida has already gone on record as saying the company wants to make all of PlayStation’s catalogue available via Gaikai, with the plan likely to roll out in stages.

With Vita’s ability to stream Gaikai, it’s likely PS2 and PS3 streaming could come to the handheld before too long.

It means PS Vita becomes the ultimate PlayStation playground, running PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP and PS Vita titles. It’s not just a PS4 in your pocket, it’s every PlayStation ever – at least that’s the potential.

 

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