The PlayStation Vita has been out for some time now and I have to admit that I haven’t been playing it as much as I thought I would. Before the Vita came out, I had in my head that I would be playing the crap out of it and never want to put it down. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Vita is a great system and offers some fun games and it has incredible potential. Titles such as Escape Plan and Uncharted: Golden Abyss are tons of fun and immediately come to mind. Sadly, with a limited library, I simply haven’t spent as much time with my Vita as I had anticipated. However, all that is about to change now that I figured out how to play my downloaded PS1 games on my Vita!!
We always knew the Vita would be able to download and play PS1 games, but I honestly never took the time to figure out how to get them onto my new portable. At first I noticed there were only a few PS1 games listed in the PS Store under the PS Vita category, so I assumed those were the only compatible titles. I was (thankfully) wrong.
It never dawned on me to check the PS Store on my Vita instead of my PS3. I only have three PS1 titles downloaded (Parasite Eve, Parasite Eve 2, and Final Fantasy 7) on my PS3 and only FF7 showed as available for download on Vita.
An online friend of mine sent me a tweet saying he’s installing Jet Moto, so I got a little curious and decided to see if Parasite Eve or Parasite Eve 2 would download and install as well. To my surprise, I was able to download and install Parasite Eve 2 to my Vita and it actually plays perfectly.
So what does this mean? Well, I’ve been on a PS1 kick lately and playing through these old games brings back memories. Next important question: does playing PS1 games on Vita change the experience?
I’ve played PS1 games on PS3 hooked up to a 42” TV and, I hate to say it, the graphics were pretty bad. Yes, I understand that it’s a PS1 game and the graphics weren’t as good back then as they are now, but seeing these games on such a larger scale makes it worse. It was almost unbearable to watch.
Conversely, playing on my Vita makes it a bit easier on the eyes. The graphics are still bad, but the smaller screen makes it more playable. Even the controls seem better on the Vita compared to the PS3 controller which, I admit, has been a pleasant surprise.
I realize that the two have pretty much the same layout, but I’m thinking while using the PS3 controller I’ve grown accustomed to using the analog sticks, whereas on the Vita, I stick with the directional pad, the way the games were made to play.
The only problem you’ll run into is that if you have a lot of PS1 games downloaded you’ll run out of room fast on your Vita memory card. I’m not sure how many other games are compatible with the Vita, but I do know they can be pretty big files.
Final Fantasy 7 is just over 1GB, so if you have a 4GB memory card (which came with the Amazon early release Vita bundle I bought) and even a few PS Vita games loaded on there, you’ll need to get a bigger memory card.
If you’ve been in the mood for some retro gaming, I would absolutely suggest picking up a Vita and enjoying some classic PlayStation gaming. It may have taken some time, but Vita’s growing library of classic and new content is slowly making the handheld a gaming destination.