Monday, December 5, 2011
Good News and Bad News For the Vita
So, there's not a whole lot of news around today, but there are a couple Vita pieces at least and we all know how I loves me some Vita news. There's only so much I can do while I sit back and wait for news to come from the Japanese launch at the very least, not to mention waiting the extra months for the US launch when I can finally, finally get my hands on it and find out what it's like for myself. Until then, I just have to absorb just about everything and anything that comes out about it, good or bad. Which, as you might've noticed from the title here, is that there's a bit of both.
I'm going to pick the bad news first, and it's either 'not an issue' or 'near-deal-breaker' depending on how much you like playing non-region games on your console/handheld without importing. Early reports are showing that Q&A booklets being handed out for Japanese Vita events have said you can only have one PSN account per Vita without restoring the system to its factory default. There are a couple grains of salt here that you should take into account before you decide which side of the fence this puts you on however. Firstly, this is just a translated booklet and it's entirely possible that there could be something lost in it. Second, even if it's true as it is, there's the (slim) chance that it can be changed in a firmware update (as other things will be), if it's that big a deal. And third, it's only for digital content, of course, so if what you want is in another language (most likely Japanese) but on a stick, you can still get it and play it.
While I always give an off look to anything that tells me I have to restore something to its factory default, this isn't a big deal at all for me. I have precisely one non-US thing on my PSP and it's a Yakuza: Black Panther demo that was put up on a Japanese site by Sega a long, long time ago. Somehow, it works without me having to dick around with changing anything, so I haven't had to endure the torments of others who have had to venture into the Japanese store and mess around with that deal for other items, but at the same time, I'm just....not terribly interested in things I can't read. Yakuza things being the obvious exception here, as I have the demo I just mentioned as well as a copy of Kenzan! kicking around, but that's because you guys know I love Yakuza. So I'm not fussed at all, but I can see how some might be, if they can understand moon language and have access to Japanese currency, though are primarily English-based and vice versa.
While that's potentially negative news ranging to 'bleh' levels, there is some fairly undeniably good news (if it ends up being true) afoot: Vita games will reportedly be cheaper digitally, so couple that with the fact that every Vita game is going to also have a digital version on the store, you could potentially have yourself a good library at a lesser cost than normal. Don't get your hopes up too high if you read that article however as it's setting up a trolling opportunity later (saying "Welp, discounts are good, but not -great-") assuredly since there's no reason to believe digital games will be 40% less. Joystiq hasn't been trumpeting the high-points of the Vita (or the 3DS for that matter) at all, which leads me to suspect a slight phone bias, but that's not the point and barely even relevant. Apparently, Japanese games are showing an average 20% lessened price compared to their retail counterparts which means a $40 game will be $32 roughly, but savings mean savings, especially if the price of the memory sticks have put you off at all.
Now, I wouldn't take this at face value just yet, but there's a good chance of it at least from what we've seen, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to let your hype get a little up, I suppose. Once again, this news doesn't really impact me directly as I generally don't buy digitally unless there's a really good sale (Like Sega's Half-Off Christmas sales), but depending on how it works out, it just might sway me to switch up my purchasing methods. More or less depends on how easy it'll be to fill a 4 or 8 gigs of data, though, since I generally don't like deleting games after I've downloaded them and usually opt into checking around for cheaply priced memory sticks. (Best Buy, for a little while at least, had Sony sticks for about half off reliably which was quite nice.) I am kind of a whore like that, I suppose.
Update!: So there's been something of a (confusing) clarification re: the only one account per Vita issue. It's not so much that your Vita can only support one PSN Account, but rather that every memory card you have can only support one PSN Account. So, as such, if you're into getting games not in your region, you can still do so; they simply can't coexist on the same card (or account, obviously) as your other account's games. Or, to simplify things, say I wanted to buy Valkyria Chronicles 3 on PSN to play through the Vita, had access to the amount of PSN Cash to do so, and a brand new Memory stick. I'd go into my Japanese Account, find it in the store and buy it on my Japanese Account, then download it to the fresh stick. From that point on, the stick is my Japanese Account stick, so if I buy anything else, that's what I can get it on.
This obviously isn't as versatile as the PS3's setup, where you can play things not specifically attached to your account, but rather, simply downloaded to the PS3 itself, but it's certainly a lot better than reformatting your Vita every time you wanted to play a Japanese Demo. In fact, it's a little more open than the PSP's handling of regions and stores in that respect, but regardless it's being met with a little rage from the internet. But that's never surprising, is it? Still, being able to have a dedicated stick for my Japanese account (purely for demos, assuredly, since I don't have access to, nor do I need Yen Cards) is tantalizing as I've always imagined a sort of 'barrier' when it came to getting on a different account on my PSP.
Update! 2: Nevermind, disregard the last update.