The Playstation Vita: a tale of relevance

The Vita is the kind of system you’ll want to grab out on the bus or train ride into work or university to show off how great it is, and by virtue of that fact, how great you are for owning it.  You want to be turning heads of the granny next to you that you hope, on spotting your brand-spanking new handheld gaming device, asks you a question that allows you to run off the laundry list of features contained within.  And that is one might long list of features.

So when none of that happens, and the regular that picks his nose is still picking his nose, and the guy that seems to have been reading that copy of Stephen King’s Dark Tower since June 2011 is still only up to CHAPTER F**KING FIVE , you start to doubt whether the Vita is really as exciting as you think it is.  You start to doubt the awesomeness that is Wipeout 2048.  Maybe it’s just you that is still into this stupid hobby – I mean the world has moved on – you see more people sporting Kindles than a knitting bag on public transport these days.  Maybe dedicated portable gaming is knitting in this scenario.

Just at that point you start to panic.  Where did you place that thing that you bought in March the year before.  You know, that thing.  The thing that you bought that had ALL the 3D.  Goddamnit, I hope I haven’t lost it.  What’s the name of it?  I can picture it, it’s right on the tip of my tongue…

That’s right the Nintendo 3DS.  Now where did I put that thing?

Yes, I bought this colour. What of it?

I retraced my steps, starting with March 2011 when I excitedly went down to the local store to pick up the latest and greatest handheld, the Nintendo 3DS.  Not terribly impressed with the launch software line-up, but acknowledging that I needed something to play on the thing, I (resentfully) picked up a copy of Super Street Fighter IV 3D edition.  I must really like Street Fighter IV, I thought to myself, realising that it was the third time I had bought something bearing the name Street Fighter IV.  But I didn’t care, Super Street Fighter IV is an awesome game, and the 3DS game certainly didn’t disappoint in that department.  So for the next few months I played SSFIV3D for about 20 minutes a day – as long as it took me to get to and from work on the bus.  And it was a good time – being able to play a pretty good version of a great home console game on my way to work was seemingly worth that AU$350 investment I had made.

After about 4 months of this, I had used it just enough to be able to convince the more fiscally responsible side of my brain (instilled in me by my parents) that it was actually worth the money I paid for it at launch.  Fast-forward to Christmas 2011 (and hopefully to a time where I could come closer to working out where the 3DS actually was) and I was loving the 3DS, for a while at least.  It was like a fleeting summer relationship, and we couldn’t be separated.  Summer Lovin’ had me a blast.

It turned colder, that’s where it ends.

And then I’d remembered where I had left it.  It was looking at me from its charging dock where it belonged.  The same place I had put it just after Christmas.

Turns out I just didn’t care where I had left it and the fact that it wasn’t in my bag meant that portable gaming just wasn’t relevant to me anymore.  Sad as it was to think about, I had moved on.

I came back to the present, still on that same bus, still playing Wipeout 2048.  Nose picking guy wasn’t there, and the guy that normally gets off at my stop was nowhere to be seen.  I had missed my stop.  But I didn’t care because all it meant was that I had more time to spend with my Vita.

Suddenly portable gaming was entirely relevant again.  And those people on the bus, they just sucked, because trust me when I say that I will not be forgetting where my Vita is in a hurry.

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