Will PC/Mac Remote Play Finally Kill PS Vita?

PlayStation 4’s most recent software update, 3.5, is available to test out right now in a closed beta. The only feature coming with 3.5 that is not testable in the beta is probably the most interesting one: remote play on PC and Mac. Sony promised this feature a while and is almost ready to implement it. Although beta testers can not use it yet, it does bring up an interesting question: is this the final nail in the coffin for Playstation Vita?

As a proud Vita owner myself, I would be sad to see the light finally burn out on the little guy, but as more and more of what makes the Vita special gets stripped away, it seems that Sony has given up on their handheld completely. Remote Play on Playstation Vita is probably the coolest thing you can do with the device. For those who don’t know, Remote Play lets you control your PS4 over any WiFi connection. This means that even if you’re across the planet, if you have good WiFi, you’ve got your PS4 in your bag (not in your pocket, the Vita is too big for pockets). You’d expect a lot of latency issues with this system, but as long as your connection is strong, Remote Play works pretty darn well. I’ve used it on many occasions where I have a cool new game back home that I want to play and have a few minutes to spare.

pspvita-hero-mobile

This isn’t to say that the PlayStation Vita doesn’t have tons of awesome games on it for me to play, but things like Destiny, or more recently The Witness, that just grab you, have to be played when the itch comes and Remote Play is perfect in these instances. Games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Velocity 2X and Shovel Knight have all been awesome on Vita, but many of these games have now come to PS4 as well.

Now, with PC and Mac Remote Play, there is even less a reason to hop aboard the Vita train. What you could do with the Vita and its tiny buttons and quirky triggers can now be done with a full fledged DualShock 4 plugged into your laptop. And your laptop probably has a better wifi card, too, meaning the streaming will be more fluid with less dropped frames and things of that nature. Laptops may offer an overall better experience when it comes to Remote Play, which would make the Vita’s capabilities obsolete.

PS4-PS Vita

There’s no word on when the 3.5 update will be out for real, but when it hits, I don’t see many people picking up a Vita. This is sad for me, because I love my Vita and want to see it be loved by other gamers who enjoy indie games as well as games on the go. It’s a wonderful handheld, but with the tyrannical rise of mobile games and this PC/Mac Remote Play business, I just don’t know how the Vita will survive. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you think of the PlayStation Vita? Do you own one, or would you never buy a handheld? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned for that release date for update 3.5.