The PS Vita has been getting a shot in the arm lately thanks to its new role as a PlayStation 4 companion device, not to mention a handful of great exclusives and well-made ports. What seemed destined for failure is now a viable handheld with years of great gaming ahead of it. Last year you may have hesitated to focus any of your holiday shopping on the Vita, but this year things are much different. If someone you're shopping for wants or owns a PS Vita, here's our recommendations on what to buy…
PS Vita Console Bundle
First things first — this list is useless if the person you're buying for doesn't have a PlayStation Vita already. That said, you could be the best gift giver ever and buy them the PS Vita – The Walking Dead Bundle. For $199, which is the cost of a Vita by itself normally, your loved one will get a PS Vita console, a 4 GB memory card, a charger, and a download voucher for the PS Vita The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season game, complete with the 400 Days DLC.
32 GB Memory Card
Unless Sony releases a 64 GB card in the next month or so, do your Vita-owning loved one a favor and bite the bullet so they don’t have to. Memory cards for the Vita are still pricey, and gamers run out of memory fast thanks to the mountain of Playstation Plus games that have been given away for free. A bigger memory card is like a breath of fresh air for a heavy user and right now it doesn’t get any better than the 32 GB. Yeah it’s pricey, but they’ll love you for it.
You’re not going to find these in your local GameStop, but tracking down a pack of thumbstick covers for a Vita fan will give you crazy street cred. These rubber covers that stretch over the thumbstick give it a slightly larger surface area and a much better grip. It pairs really well with Killzone: Mercenary or any first-person shooter, since it gives players that extra fidelity they need for lining up accurate shots.
PDP PS Vita Trigger Grips
If the person you're buying for uses their Vita for a lot of Remote Play off of their PlayStation 4, then you might as well make their gaming more comfortable. The PDP Trigger Grips clips onto the Vita, making it more comfortable to hold for hours on end. It's officially licensed by Sony and is the worth it for the added comfort alone. Now the Vita will feel more like a controller.
PS+ Subscription or PSN Gift Card
Since a lot of the games for the Vita comes digitally, you may want to consider a subscription to Playstation Plus or a PSN Gift Card. The former gives players access to a host of helpful convenience features like cloud saves, as well as access to new free games every month. The latter, obviously, lets them get whatever they want. You can even throw in a few friendly recommendations like Spelunky or Hotline Miami to pick up.
Tearaway is looking like one of the Vita’s killer apps. Everyone who has played it has gushed about its endearing, papercraft world and unique use of the Vita’s features. Media Molecule, the makers of LittleBigPlanet, are behind it as well, so there’s a good chance it will be every bit as good as the previews suggest. With it’s cutesy style, Tearaway could be Vita’s de facto holiday season game.
Go on any gaming forum and ask what Vita game to get; you’ll almost always get swathes of people recommending Persona 4. Not only is it one of the best JRPGs ever made, but the Vita version is the definitive release, with upgraded graphics and extras. At the time it was released, our review called it, “…one of the few great reasons to own a PS Vita.” Plus, whoever you get it for will be getting 70-100 hours of game, making it a great gift.
If you have a shooter fan in your life and they don’t have Killzone: Mercenary then they’re missing out. A surprisingly great single-player campaign and console-quality 4-on-4 multiplayer makes Killzone the PS Vita’s first legitimate shooter experience. It’s as good as the big boys, but in a small package. You can also read our full review.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead was one of last year’s best games, and this package includes all five episodes as well as the 400 Days extra episode. If you have someone who loves zombies and they haven’t played this, don’t hesitate to pick this one up. The game looks phenomenal on the Vita, and you even have the option to switch between button or touchscreen controls.
One of the Vita’s best exclusives, Soul Sacrifice is a twist on Monster Hunter with a deeply engaging, dark tale of sorcerers and sacrifice. It’s a pretty twisted game, but it also has some deep systems and a ton of depth. Four-player co-op with online play rounds out one of GameZone’s highest-rated Vita games. Our review called it a “mandatory purchase.”
If you’re feeling really generous, and your Vita-owning friend or family member doesn’t have a PS4 yet, then it might be time to really win them over with the perfect companion console. The Vita and PS4 play together amazingly well, with features like remote play and second screen that allow players to use their Vita for PS4 games. The PS4 and Vita were designed to be together, and we don’t think anyone would complain about a shiny next-gen console in their gift pile.
Be sure to check out all of the other awesome gifts, games and consoles in GameZone's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Gamers (Click on the image below).