The Playstation Vita Catch-All

It's almost exactly a year since my last post in this thread. Since then, I've not played much on my Vita. I bounced off of Final Fantasy X, and managed 30 minutes of Sly Cooper at an airport.

I did my annual root around Amazon and Play Asia this week, and it looks like we're reaching the end of the availability of new Vita games. Much of Amazon's own stock seems to have been bought for resale by traders on the platform. And Play Asia only has 5 pages of Vita games available, most of them Japanese titles.

I've picked up Lumines on Amazon (£20 more than it was only three months ago). And I bought from Play Asia Assassins Creed Chronicles, Batman Arkham Origins, Streetfighter X Tekken (though I don't play fighting games, I feel like I need one in my collection), 'Rayman Legends (I don't play platformers either) and Freedom Wars.

I think that's where my collection and collecting will end.

EDIT:

I now one games from most genres (FPS, JRPG, strategy, sports, action, and puzzle), and some of the Vita exclusives (such as Persona 4 Golden, and Gravity Rush). I will continue to be tempted by a few titles available from specialist online resellers, but I'm leery of those now its so easy to refurb and reseal used games.

That's awesome that you got Lumines. It was one of the games I bought digital day 1 with my Vita. I had no idea that it would later be delisted. Out of the ones I've played, Lumines (Remastered), 2 (PSP), Live (360), whatever it was called (PS3), and Electronic Symphony (Vita), the Vita game stands head and shoulders in terms of track list and visualizations. It's criminal that, not only was the game stuck on Vita, it has since been delisted.

My Vita has been on ice for a while as my Retroid Pocket has taken over my handheld needs. But it's still something I think about taking out now and then. One of the reasons I did shift over is that, even with CFW, the emulation support isn't good, especially compared to Android. Lots of platforms that it should have the power to emulate well, just aren't that great in practice. Often when I was looking for a way to emulate a particular platform, I would be directed to the PSP version of the emulator as still the best way to play. That's just wack.

Having said that, the Vita scene is still very vibrant. Apart from the trickle of home-brew titles, there's a very efficient Android layer that has allowed for ports of many full featured Android games. You should have access to or own the Android apk, but, that being the case, getting it up and running on your Vita is fairly straightforward.
List of Android games runnable on Vita through .so loader
62 games ported so far, and it seems to be steadily growing.

There are some game engines too. How about getting your Diablo fix?!
devilutionX

What is this Retroid Pocket?

Darkhaund wrote:

What is this Retroid Pocket?

Retroid is a popular brand of handheld emulators that can play games up to about Gamecube/PS1 and even a few PS2 games. I have the Retroid Flip model but I personally prefer the Miyoo Mini Plus, it’s a bit less powerful than the Retroid handhelds but is more compact, has a better native UI, and is a bit more reliable in it’s emulation.

Darkhaund wrote:

What is this Retroid Pocket?

THAT was exactly my question.

Having looked at the website, it is clear that ruhk is correct... though Retroid's website is artfully vague about what their devices actually do and how they do it. There is one brief reference to upgrading to Android 8.1 on the 'Software' page, but that's it.

"If you know, then you know..." I suppose, but a touch too "Aaargh! Jim lad!" for me.

I have Lumines for the PSP, so I've been blowing hot and cold on getting another for the Vita. But the rapid disappearance of hard copies of Vita games made up my mind for me. I'd rather 'buy and regret' than 'regret for not buying'. And my recent spree has been a spur for dusting off my Vita after not using it for 6 months or so.

There are a ton of these devices on the market now. Many run Android, some run a flavor of linux, and the (usually) more expensive ones, Windows. The intent, especially of the cheaper ones, is primarily to be an affordable handheld way to emulate and play retro games. What makes something like the Retroid Pocket different from just buying a cheap Android phone is that the buttons and sticks are actually part of the device rather than some kind of attachment, and messing with bluetooth etc. Speaking to the Retroid Pocket 3+, I would put the buttons and sticks at least as good as the Vita, certainly much better than the 3DS.

Of course, being an Android device, you've got the Google PlayStore. Not as exciting as I might have hoped, the number of traditional games that still only have touch controls (virtual buttons etc.) is wild to me. On the other hand, I've put hundreds of hours into Minecraft and Stardew Valley, both which play exactly how you'd hope. In addition, I didn't expect how much I'd be using it for Xbox streaming, both local and cloud. Certain games look and play like they may as well be native (I'm playing Persona 3 atm for example). Other games that have a more realistic look or a lot of outdoor textures come across less well.

Back to emulation, PS2 is strictly a case by case basis, with some tweaking per title. 3DS is not really worth bothering with. However, PSP and Gamecube are phenomenal, most games scale up to 1080p no issues. DS games are great too.

Really, the only thing I'd do would be to make the screen a bit bigger, especially now I'm playing more Xbox titles on it. On the other hand, the utility of it for ~$150 blows my mind. I did read that the RP4 is coming soon so probably worth waiting.

detroit20 wrote:

I have Lumines for the PSP, so I've been blowing hot and cold on getting another for the Vita. But the rapid disappearance of hard copies of Vita games made up my mind for me. I'd rather 'buy and regret' than 'regret for not buying'. And my recent spree has been a spur for dusting off my Vita after not using it for 6 months or so.

Would love to know what you think. I've been playing the heck out of Remastered and there are many great songs, but sometimes it just makes me wish it was Electronic Symphony.

I also think Electronic Symphony is the best game in the series. It has the best soundtrack and visualizations. I wish every day that it was ported to modern consoles or at the very least the that the folks working on Vita emulation would catch up to other console emulators.

On that note, I'm a little shocked at how many folks in this thread are doing the handheld emulator thing. I think maybe because I don't spend too much time in the dedicated thread I didn't realize how many of us were into this. For my part I've owned quite a few emulator handhelds, but currently my most played are the Retroid Pocket 3+ and the 35XX H.

The 35XX is what I carry in my pocket when I'm running around doing errands, going to the doctor, etc. I've used the RP 3+ for playing DS games, playing the GameCube Fire Emblem and currently the Wii Fire Emblem, Radiant Dawn.

We talk about dedicated emulation handhelds a fair bit over on the Emulation Catch-All Thread. Edit: DSGamer'hausered.

There's a reason why Retroid is so cagey about what its various devices will and won't do: they know full well that what they're selling is actually the Nintendo Game Pirater 3000, but they're not exactly going to advertise that for fear of bringing the Wrath of Mario down on their heads, so for official marketing purposes, it's an "Android gaming handheld."

Anyway, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro just came out and folks are reporting pretty good results with PS2 on it. I've got an Ayn Odin 2 myself, which is about as powerful as these things come, and PS2 has been great on it, although it's not quite the "load up a game and go, it just works" solved problem that, say, SNES emulation is. Less because the hardware's not powerful enough, and more because the only PS2 emulation app for Android worth speaking of (called AetherSX2) is kind of a half-finished ARM port of PCSX2 for Windows and Linux that the sole developer abandoned, and because it's closed-source, nobody can easily jump in and finish his work. The vast majority of games play great, but occasionally you run into one that needs some tweaking in the advanced settings before it plays nice.

Bringing it back to Vita, there is a Vita emulator for Android / Windows / Linux, called Vita3k, but it's very early days and only something like 40% of the catalog is compatible with the software at all. So if you want to play Vita games, your best bet is still an actual Vita.

hbi2k wrote:

There's a reason why Retroid is so cagey about what its various devices will and won't do: they know full well that what they're selling is actually the Nintendo Game Pirater 3000, but they're not exactly going to advertise that for fear of bringing the Wrath of Mario down on their heads, so for official marketing purposes, it's an "Android gaming handheld."

For sure.

There's also a tradition of these companies not wanting to cop to the fact that sometimes there isn't much of an improvement in emulating platforms. Anbernic especially is notorious for releasing gameplay footage that makes it look like, "See it can do PS2" when the reality is it's just as bad as the handheld they released 2 months ago and 2 months before that.

There have been big leaps over the last couple of years, but those leaps aren't as common as you might hope.

Yeah, it's really easy to cherrypick footage and make it look like things run better than they actually do, or to use cycle skip and underclocking tricks that, sure, will get games running at full speed and look good on video, but introduce so much input latency that the game is borderline unplayable. Even when someone isn't trying to be deceptive, there are a lot of "footage roundup" videos out there showing how various game play on various devices, but it's not like someone can put 30 hours each into 30 different games, and just because a game runs well in the starting area doesn't mean it will run well all the way through.

hbi2k wrote:

We talk about dedicated emulation handhelds a fair bit over on the Emulation Catch-All Thread. Edit: DSGamer'hausered.

There's a reason why Retroid is so cagey about what its various devices will and won't do: they know full well that what they're selling is actually the Nintendo Game Pirater 3000, but they're not exactly going to advertise that for fear of bringing the Wrath of Mario down on their heads, so for official marketing purposes, it's an "Android gaming handheld."

It is a legit Android gaming handheld though. I think 30% of my play has been Android and it's only not more than that because of the lack of games with controller support. It's not as powerful as the best Android phones but it's $150 so what can you expect. It won't run Diablo Immortal or Genshin Impact, this I know for sure. And if you want to stream games, well it will do that like presumably any Android device.

I doubt Nintendo care more about Retroid than any of the dozen other Chinese companies producing these. Some of them even literally ship with hundreds of roms preloaded. Retroid's, AFAIK, do not.

Thanks for the input on the Retroid

hbi2k wrote:

Anyway, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro just came out and folks are reporting pretty good results with PS2 on it.

I'd be interested but, really what I want is a Max version with more screen real estate. Glad that they're continuing the line though.

Mr GT Chris wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

Anyway, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro just came out and folks are reporting pretty good results with PS2 on it.

I'd be interested but, really what I want is a Max version with more screen real estate. Glad that they're continuing the line though.

We're getting pretty off-topic for the Vita thread, so I'm responding to this in the emulation thread.