Was the PS Vita Better Than the New Switch (OLED)?

The Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) announcement was underwhelming for many Nintendo fans, due to the lack of notable upgrades over its predecessor.

This is where the PlayStation Vita comes in. Despite being nearly a decade old, Sony’s underrated handheld console offers features that even Nintendo’s new console is missing.

So, how does the Switch (OLED Model) stack up against the Vita? It’s closer than you think.

The PlayStation Vita…

A PlayStation Vita 1000 Series

Had an OLED Screen First

Recently, Nintendo revealed the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model), with its prize feature being the bigger, better-looking OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen.

Whilst certainly an upgrade, gamers were keen to point out that the PS Vita launched with an OLED screen, which makes Nintendo’s reveal that much more underwhelming.

It’s not all bad news: the Switch (OLED Model) should look beautiful, sporting a seven-inch OLED screen at 720p resolution, which is a lot better than the Vita’s five-inch OLED display with 544p resolution.

So, while the Switch (OLED Model) will display a more vibrant picture than the previous, LCD-screen Switch, the Vita got there first—10 years ago.

Related: Which Display Resolution Is Best for Gaming?

Gives You an Expansive Gaming Library

While the PS Vita’s exclusive library is nothing game-changing, the number of games you can play on it makes for a quality, plentiful gaming library.

The PS Vita does this in two ways: backward compatibility and Remote Play.

The PS Vita is backward compatible with most PSP games, PS1 classics, and PlayStation Minis, which you can download via the PS Store. So, you’ve already got a retro gaming library on the go with the PS Vita.

Alongside this is Remote Play. you can stream PS3 and PS4 titles from your console to your PS Vita. This is a pretty seamless way to play full-on console games on a handheld device without having to wait for or buy a port. While support for the PS Vita isn’t all that great (you have to play some parts on your console to progress), this is miles beyond what the Switch (OLED Model) offers.

Thanks to backward compatibility and Remote Play, you can enjoy most PS1, PSP, PlayStation Mini, PS3, and PS4 titles on your PS Vita. Not bad, eh?

Has Its Own “Docked” Version—PS TV

The original Switch is well-known as a hybrid console: you can play both handheld and docked to your TV or monitor. What’s interesting, however, is that you can also do this with the PS Vita.

From 2014 to 2016, Sony sold the PS TV, a micro-console that functioned as a “docked” PS Vita. With it, you could enjoy most of the games and features of the Vita on your TV.

And, while you have to make two separate purchases to get both a handheld and “docked” PS Vita experience, the Vita launched at $250 and the PS TV launched at $100. This $350 total matches the launch price of the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model).

The PS TV, like the PS Vita, also released to disappointing sales and attention, despite being a useful device. You could play PS3 and PS4 titles (like the Vita) with Remote Play on the PS TV, and you could use both PS3 and PS4 controllers on PS4 games, something you can’t even do on a PS4.

Is Packed Full of Useful Features

To this day, the PS Vita has many forward-thinking features that even the Switch (OLED Model) is without.

Unlike the Switch (OLED Model)—or any model of the Switch—the PS Vita can directly connect to Bluetooth headphones and speakers, allows you to create folders to better organize and access your games, and comes with a 3G-compatible model, meaning that you can play online in areas without Wi-Fi.

This is all besides Remote Play, backward compatibility, and minimal stick drift on the original 1000 series Vita. The Switch (OLED Model) could learn a few things from the PS Vita, despite it being a 10-year-old console.

The Switch (OLED Model)…

Gaming on Nintendo Switch OLED model
Image Credit: Nintendo

Boasts Impressive Nintendo Titles

The Switch (OLED Model) comes with a ton of outstanding exclusive games, unlike the PS Vita.

We have Nintendo’s trademark quality and identity with games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

On top of this, Nintendo seems to try hard with Switch ports—did you ever think that you’d be able to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Doom Eternal, or Dark Souls directly on a handheld?

The current Switch library is fantastic, with lots of finely crafted, enjoyable titles and some surprising yet impressive ports.

Related: The Best Indie Games to Play on Nintendo Switch

Offers More Convenient Docking Than the PS Vita

While you can have a “docked” version of the PS Vita, there’s no denying that the Switch (OLED Model) offers a more seamless, convenient, and improved docking experience, that requires a single console.

The 1080p resolution beats the PS TV’s 1080i, you can play local multiplayer using the Switch’s Joy-Cons, and the process is very simple and intuitive.

While still lacking the features of the PS Vita and PS TV, the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) offers a more convenient docked experience, which has cemented its reputation as an effective hybrid console.

Has the More Innovative Controller: Joy-Cons

Red and blue Joy Con controllers

In short, the Switch’s Joy-Cons are ingenious. It is a wonderfully designed piece of tech, turning into one or two controllers seamlessly, avoiding the hassle of buying an extra controller, letting you play with your friends and family from just one device.

The PS Vita’s design isn’t bad and certainly an improvement over the PSP (PlayStation Portable), but it’s not as unique, intuitive, and multi-functional as the Switch’s Joy-Cons.

Nails Appeal

Though perhaps the PS Vita is the more superior console, the Switch (OLED Model)—and, by extension, all models of the Nintendo Switch—nails one major thing: appeal.

Sony released the PS Vita when mobile gaming was on the rise and the 3DS had just released, taking away from the PS Vita’s attraction, despite what it offered. On top of that, Sony didn’t fully commit to the PS Vita, giving it very little support, which is disappointing when you think of what a successful PS Vita could’ve generated.

The Switch sells itself: you’re telling me this console can be both handheld and played with a TV, that I can play both single-player and local multiplayer, and that I’ve got access to an incredible library of exclusive titles and games like the Witcher 3 and Doom Eternal?!

Sure, this OLED Model doesn’t have all the features we’d like to see in the new Switch, but it, like the other iterations of the Nintendo Switch, is a completely unique offering that you can only find with Nintendo.

Though the OLED Model Is Underwhelming, You Should Still Get a Switch

There’s a case that the PlayStation Vita can hold its own against the Switch (OLED Model), and it’s disappointing that we never got to see what a next-gen PS Vita could accomplish.

However, the Switch (OLED Model) is a great option if you’re in the market for a new handheld console. Should you upgrade to it over the current Switch? Perhaps not. But if you’ve yet to try the Nintendo Switch, the OLED Model will give you the best first impression.

The Nintendo Switch
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